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IBM Watson Advertising Announces New Research to Explore the Role of AI in Detecting and Mitigating Bias in Advertising

IBM | June 24, 2021

IBM Watson Advertising (NYSE: IBM) today announced a research initiative that will apply open-source AI technology, developed by IBM, to better understand how prevalent unwanted bias is in advertising, while simultaneously laying the foundation for potential mitigation. This work aligns with IBM Watson Advertising's overarching mission to make AI the catalyst for improving solutions, services and trust in the advertising ecosystem, and builds upon IBM's leadership in transforming business across industries with AI.

The advertising industry is undergoing a major transformation, with changes to privacy regulations and increased demand for transparency fueling the emergence of AI as the industry's new technology backbone. As brands rebuild amidst this transformation, the timing is ideal to address the persistent problem of unwanted bias in advertising, evidenced by a study conducted by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which found male characters appeared in advertisements 12% more than females. This while women-led and gender-balanced videos yielded 30% more views than other videos, revealing a demand for more inclusive content.

Unwanted bias in advertising has the potential to negatively impact consumers who may miss out on an economic opportunity or feel targeted based on stereotypes, while also negatively impacting brands that may experience poor campaign performance. The aim of the IBM Watson Advertising research is to drive a deeper understanding of the factors leading to unwanted bias in advertising and how AI can help, spanning audience segmentation, creative messaging, performance optimization and campaign impact. Armed with this information, marketers and IT vendors may be able to develop a roadmap for the responsible use of AI to reduce unwanted bias and more effectively create and execute campaigns.

"We find ourselves at a moment in history where a long-overdue discourse on socioeconomic inequalities is dominating the national agenda and compelling action," said Bob Lord, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Ecosystems at IBM. "Our hope is that AI can be the catalyst for reducing unwanted bias in advertising, just as it is helping to transform the advertising industry as it rebuilds for an era without third party cookies. Through this research we are taking an important first step toward that goal, applying scientific rigor to determine just how big of an impact AI can have."

Spotlight

In the first ever whitepaper, the Future Trends Council cast our minds into the future and considered the ‘Living room of 2015’, with a real focus on tomorrow’s futuristic ‘multiscreen environment’. Fast forward to today, and each household owns 7.4 connected devices, according to the latest YouGov data on behalf of the IAB. This trend of multiscreen is indeed both the present and the future, but where can multiscreen take us next? The answer is wearables.

Spotlight

In the first ever whitepaper, the Future Trends Council cast our minds into the future and considered the ‘Living room of 2015’, with a real focus on tomorrow’s futuristic ‘multiscreen environment’. Fast forward to today, and each household owns 7.4 connected devices, according to the latest YouGov data on behalf of the IAB. This trend of multiscreen is indeed both the present and the future, but where can multiscreen take us next? The answer is wearables.

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ADVERTISER PLATFORMS

MGID Bolsters Global Leadership Team to Accelerate Growth Into New Territories

MGID | September 17, 2022

MGID, the global advertising platform, has today announced the appointment of Sara Buluggiu as VP of Publisher Business Development, and Sergio Vives as Global Head of Publisher Acquisition, to drive the company’s European expansion. Buluggiu brings a wealth of international digital media experience, with previous roles including Digital Director at Starcom, and VP, Regional Director Italy, Spain and MENA at Magnite, where she launched its Middle East offering and successfully grew operations in Dubai and Israel. At MGID, she will be responsible for developing the company’s publisher-focused global strategy in Europe, North America, LatAm and APAC regions. An accomplished sales and business development leader, Vives brings more than 15 years experience in revenue management, publisher acquisition and monetization strategies. Previously VP Sales at Marfeel, the global content intelligence platform, and Global Sales Director at Softonic, he will oversee MGID’s global publisher acquisition strategies. Sergii Denysenko, CEO at MGID, commented, “With increasing recessionary pressures and tighter privacy regulations, publishers are seeking alternative revenue streams that won’t compromise user experience." Sergii Denysenko, CEO at MGID, commented, “With increasing recessionary pressures and tighter privacy regulations, publishers are seeking alternative revenue streams that won’t compromise user experience. We want to ensure those creating great content on the open web and amassing valuable audiences don’t miss out on their fair share of ad spend. “As we extend our support of publishers in developing audiences and generating revenue into new global territories, bringing both Sara and Sergio on board is a significant step towards helping us to achieve this.” About MGID MGID is a global advertising platform helping brands reach unique local audiences at scale. It uses privacy-first, AI-based technology to serve high-quality, relevant ads in brand-safe environments. The company offers a variety of ad formats, including native, display and video to deliver a positive user experience. This enables advertisers to drive performance and awareness, and publishers to retain and monetize their audiences. Every month, MGID reaches 900 million unique readers, with 200 billion ad impressions, across 25 thousand trusted publishers. For more information, please visit: www.mgid.com.

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AD TECH AND MARTECH

Over 60 Brands Tap Picnic’s User-First Ad Marketplace for 50% Lower Carbon Emission Buys

Picnic | November 18, 2022

Picnic, the user-first ad marketplace, has proven that its ad solutions not only drive results but also generate substantially lower carbon emissions than the current digital advertising average. A leader in sustainable media, Picnic is also the first company to measure and compensate carbon emissions across 100% of measurable activity as standard, powered by Scope3. Picnic has today (November 16th, 2022) announced that a single ad impression delivered across their marketplace generates just 0.49g of CO2e on average as measured by Scope3, 50% lower than a current industry estimate. This is a result of Picnic’s unique inventory which must pass a user experience algorithm based on Google Core Web Vital data - ensuring page stability and fast load speeds due to reduced supply chain complexity. Further to this finding, Picnic is the first company to exclusively offer green media products, powered by Scope3. This means that all emissions generated from activity across Picnic’s marketplace are measured and fully compensated for via high-quality carbon removal projects as standard. Since partnering with Scope3 in June this year, Picnic has helped more than 60 advertisers on their paths to achieving net zero advertising. So far the activity has compensated the carbon equivalent of keeping 33.2 million smartphones charged for an entire year. This step by Picnic comes at a time when the impact of digital advertising is more apparent than ever. With the internet accounting for 2% of global carbon emissions — the equivalent of aviation’s impact — advertisers are increasingly eager to media plan with sustainability as a priority. Agencies such as Dentsu International are committed to reducing the emissions associated with media by 46% by 2030. Sadie Stuart, display manager at Dentsu says “Sustainability is now a key priority in media planning. Running campaigns with ad tech vendors such as Picnic takes us one step closer to achieving our net zero goals. What’s more - Picnic’s detailed post-campaign emission insights help us to keep brands informed on their impact.” Over the coming months, Picnic will be rolling out exciting new initiatives to help advertisers on their paths to net zero advertising; from product initiatives such as low emission targeting segments to supply path optimisations ensuring active investment in publisher partners that meet the required carbon thresholds. Alexander Taylor, head of partnerships at Picnic says “This is an exciting time for Picnic and the media industry in general as we move towards innovative sustainability solutions. We have an abundance of new initiatives we’ll be rolling out over the coming months to ensure that Picnic can support advertisers in their net zero missions.” Alexander Taylor, head of partnerships at Picnic says “This is an exciting time for Picnic and the media industry in general as we move towards innovative sustainability solutions. We have an abundance of new initiatives we’ll be rolling out over the coming months to ensure that Picnic can support advertisers in their net zero missions.” About Picnic Picnic Media is a leading premium mobile ad formats company, delivering high-impact, social-style ad formats on a unique marketplace of the highest quality mobile inventory. Their intuitively engaging advertising campaigns allow advertisers to increase brand awareness amongst their most valuable mobile customers. Working with leading global publishers, Picnic delivers increased revenue for their AMP pages, delivering impact and building brand equity by telling a brands’ story in an intuitive, mobile-first and user friendly format. For more information, go to https://www.picnic-media.com/

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AD TECH AND MARTECH

AdKaora and Adgage Strike Exclusive Multi-Platform Partnership with Anzu to Bring Intrinsic In-Game Ads

AdKaora, AdGage, Anzu | September 22, 2022

AdKaora, a digital agency specializing in user-centric mobile advertising and proximity marketing, Adgage, a Spanish company specializing in mobile advertising and partially acquired by Mondadori at the end of 2021, and Anzu.io, the world’s most advanced in-game advertising platform, have signed an exclusive partnership in the Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese markets to enhance the Mondadori Group's offering with intrinsic in-game advertising. AdKaora and AdGage have joined forces with Anzu to help more advertisers seize the unique opportunity to reach a vast target audience of gamers and gaming fans. This gives these companies the edge by anticipating the new communication opportunities that have emerged with the explosion of gaming and metaverse. Now post-pandemic, the gaming phenomenon has exploded: the global gaming audience has expanded to 3.24 billion people, covering all age groups and nationalities. Accessing such a lean-forward target audience, with very little ‘second-screening’ or distractions from other media, is one of the main incentives that increasingly drives brands to allocate more of their budgets to in-game advertising strategies. Anzu boasts the world's most advanced in-game advertising solution available across mobile, PC, consoles, and gaming metaverses, with IAB-recognized, highly immersive formats and an expansive gaming inventory, including exclusive AAA titles from the world’s leading game studios like Ubisoft, Razor Edge Games, and Saber Interactive. The company has also been named Best Ad Tech Platform at the Digiday Media Awards Europe 2022 and Best Tech Partner at 2022’s Drum Awards. Anzu’s patented 3D ad tracking engine and a full suite of integrations with third-party vendors, including Oracle Moat and IAS, provide first-to-market viewability measurement for in-game ads for direct and programmatic campaigns across platforms. Playing a large part in establishing the new Intrinsic In-Game Measurement Guidelines with IAB and MRC, Anzu’s efforts mean that advertisers have never had more confidence to invest in the in-game advertising medium. Anzu also provides a gateway for many brands to activate advertising campaigns through gaming metaverses, presenting brands with a unique opportunity to reach a very young, fast-growing audience through multiple unique experiences. “There’s never been a more exciting time for brands to enter gaming as an advertising space. With over 50 million gamers in Italy, Spain, and Portugal collectively, the audience is there, and advertisers have the opportunity to reach them right now. We’re delighted to partner with AdKaora and AdGage to broaden the horizons of brands and refresh their campaigns with the possibility of intrinsic, brand-safe, and attention-grabbing in-game ad campaigns." - Stephanie Lublinski, Head of Partnerships (Emerging Markets), Anzu AdKaora and Adgage have already been launching in-game ad projects with Anzu that have helped to strengthen brand awareness, visibility, and key KPIs while running in an environment with high brand safety guarantees. Data from HUMAN recently showed that out of 579M events, Anzu’s IVT averaged out at 0.36% on mobile and 0.11% on PC, reaffirming that its in-game ad formats have much lower fraud rates than other forms of digital advertising. "Video games today generate twice the revenue, in economic terms, of the film and music industries combined, making it a fast-growing form of entertainment with 15 million players in Italy."- Davide Tran, CEO, AdKaora "Video games today generate twice the revenue, in economic terms, of the film and music industries combined, making it a fast-growing form of entertainment with 15 million players in Italy. Because of this, the demand for communicating within the gaming world is increasingly high. For AdKaora to decisively enter a market is to do so with the best possible proposition, and with Anzu it was "game, set and match" at the first sight. We are happy to work with them, and in parallel with los hermanos of AdGage, to develop multi-country projects given the exclusive Italy, Spain and Portugal and develop innovative projects for brands, creating an ecosystem suitable for this type of advertising. Spoiler alert: the integration of Dakar, one of the most played driving simulation games in the world, with Anzu on consoles as well." — Davide Tran, CEO, AdKaora

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