US ramps up probe into Google's online advertising monopoly

itproportal | January 27, 2020

US ramps up probe into Google's online advertising monopoly
Google is facing further scrutiny from lawmakers and law enforcement agencies in the US as a joint investigation into its advertising practices continues. According to Reuters, US state attorneys general will discuss Google’s possible advertising monopoly with the representatives of the Department of Justice. Allegedly, they’re investigating if Google’s advertising practices are harming consumers. They could even “join forces”, as the Wall Street Journal suspects. The two agencies are investigating multiple Google practices, including potentially anticompetitive behaviour in its Android mobile operating system and the dominance in online search. They’re also discussing the best division of labour. No details have been shared with the general public just yet.

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A major new report by Discovery Networks reveals that TV advertising has shown continuing power and resilience despite a surge in ownership of connected devices, a rapid increase in time spent online and a trend toward multi-screen viewing across the CEEMEA region.The report was created in cooperation with the Future Foundation and Research Now and surveyed over 3000 respondents across 10 CEEMEA markets: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, Turkey and UAE in addition to in-depth interviews with a multi-region expert industry panel.


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AT&T Agrees to Microsoft Acquisition of Xandr

AT&T | December 22, 2021

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has agreed to sell its global programmatic advertising marketplace, Xandr Inc., to Microsoft.1 The agreement builds on a decade-long relationship between Xandr, including its predecessor companies, and Microsoft for delivering global digital media solutions for advertisers. As the digital landscape evolves in a post-cookie world, Microsoft and Xandr can shape the digital ad marketplace of the future. Xandr's technology strategically complements Microsoft's current advertising offerings and will help accelerate delivery of digital advertising and retail media solutions for the open web by combining Microsoft's audience intelligence, technology and global advertising customer-base with Xandr's scaled, data-driven platform. "Microsoft's shared vision of empowering a free and open web and championing an open industry alternative via a global advertising marketplace makes it a great fit for Xandr. We look forward to using our innovative platform to help accelerate Microsoft's digital advertising and retail media capabilities," said Xandr's EVP and GM Mike Welch. "With Xandr's talent and technology, Microsoft can accelerate the delivery of its digital advertising and retail media solutions, shaping tomorrow's digital ad marketplace into one that respects consumer privacy preferences, understands publishers' relationships with consumers and helps advertisers meet their goals," said Mikhail Parakhin, President of Web Experiences at Microsoft. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory reviews. About Xandr Inc. Xandr Inc. is a first-tier affiliate of AT&T Inc. and a data-enabled technology platform powering a global marketplace for premium advertising. Xandr Invest, Xandr Monetize, Xandr Curate, and Invest TV are advanced technology platforms which maximize working media dollars, offer audience-based buying at scale for digital environments, and optimize media spend across screens for buyers and sellers alike. About AT&T AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a diversified, global leader in telecommunications, media and entertainment, and technology. AT&T Communications provides more than 100 million U.S. consumers with entertainment and communications experiences across mobile and broadband. Plus, it serves high-speed, highly secure connectivity and smart solutions to nearly 3 million business customers. WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content to global audiences through its consumer brands, including: HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC Entertainment, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Turner Classic Movies. Xandr provides marketers with innovative and relevant advertising solutions for consumers around premium video content and digital advertising through its platform. AT&T Latin America provides wireless services to consumers and businesses in Mexico. AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Additional information is available at about.att.com. © 2021 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

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New Study from the UH Law Center Finds Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Lending Industry Advertising

University of Houston Law Center | December 27, 2021

A new study authored by University of Houston Law Center Professor Jim Hawkins and student Tiffany Penner and published in the Emory Law Journal indicates that the payday lending industry often targets Black and Latino communities in advertising their products, while the mainstream banking industry targets white consumers. In "Advertising Injustices: Marketing Race and Credit in America," Hawkins and Penner present two empirical studies they conducted on lenders in Houston, which verified these disparities in online advertising. "Everyone knows that advertising affects behavior, so we were interested in how banks and payday lenders advertise," the authors said. "Social scientists have shown that people buy goods and services when they see other people who look like them buying those products. We wanted to know if banks and payday lenders were depicting their customers in a way that represented the general population or only some races." The study found: While African Americans make up only 16% of auto title lending customers and 23% of payday lending customers, 35% of the photographs on these lenders' websites depict African Americans. 77% of the advertisements at physical locations of auto title and payday lenders in the study targeted racial minority groups. 30% of mainstream bank lender websites featured no African American models and almost 75% featured no Latino models. In contrast, only 3%—a single bank's website—did not feature a white model. Recent news articles citing Hawkins and Penner's scholarship, examine how loan lenders are maximizing their profits by requiring high interest rates during the COVID-19 pandemic when many people have been vulnerable and in difficult financial positions. Data analysis by Bloomberg shows that Black and Latino communities have become prime targets, and the article reports that many people have had to set aside government pandemic relief funds to help pay off debts. Hawkins and Penner examined two important negative consequences that emerge from targeting African Americans and Latinos for payday and title loans while pictorially excluding them from mainstream banks. The first consequence is that the advertising works, and African Americans and Latinos are more likely than white customers to use high-cost credit. They also found that advertising forms societal norms and expectations of where people "fit." This in turn, according to the study, creates a "self-sorting" effect and contributes to racial disparity in credit access. Hawkins and Penner's goal for the study is to achieve a positive impact that will change the way lenders advertise. Specifically, they encourage financial institutions to eliminate discriminatory marketing that omits certain racial groups, as some banks currently only feature white models in advertisements. "We hope that businesses will voluntarily change their advertising practices to represent people from all races in their advertising," the authors said. "Additionally, we urge Congress to amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to explicitly prohibit discriminatory advertising by creditors, and federal regulatory bodies to use that Act as well as the Community Reinvestment Act to make bank's and payday lender's advertising equitable." Hawkins serves as the Alumnae Professor of Law at the UH Law Center. He earned his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, where he was the grand chancellor and served as the chief articles editor of the Texas Law Review. During his career, he has published or placed articles in publications such as Science, the UCLA Law Review and more. His research has been featured in top-tier media outlets such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. Penner is a rising third-year student at the UH Law Center, where she is a member of the Houston Law Review and served on the executive board for the First-Generation Professionals student organization. During law school, she worked as a summer associate at King & Spalding and a judicial intern for Lee H. Rosenthal, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Before law school, she worked at NASA as a contracts specialist for the International Space Station Program.

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Medicx Health and MadHive Launch Programmatic OTT Solution for the Healthcare Industry

Medicx Health | January 20, 2022

Medicx Health today announced a partnership with MadHive, the enterprise software that powers modern media, to create a new privacy-compliant end-to-end OTT solution for the healthcare industry. As consumers rapidly cut their cable cords, streaming TV is driving a shift in how, when and where audiences consume content. OTT advertising combines digital advertising's targeting capabilities with linear TV's broad reach and scale, providing advertisers the opportunity to reach incremental audiences across this fast-growing channel. The new OTT offering combines Medicx' industry leading deep medical targeting expertise with MadHive's ability to reach audiences across the OTT universe. The result is a unified, integrated solution for audience planning, campaign forecasting, execution, and measurement that enables medical and pharma practitioners to reach patients in need with confidence and efficiency. Frank Hicks, EVP of Product Strategy and Partnerships, stated "We are excited to offer clients an integrated ability to plan, execute and measure their OTT campaigns, combining the strength of MadHive's OTT programmatic software with Medicx' industry leading high performing healthcare audience segments and cloud-based measurement and analytics platform." The partnership is already driving superior results in the market, achieving a 100% increase in patients reached through emerging OTT channels. This expanded access will provide end-to-end managed service for both Medicx and MadHive clients. Adam Helfgott, CEO of MadHive stated, "The healthcare industry is ripe for innovation, yet it holds some of the strictest privacy and compliance standards in advertising. As cord cutting continues to accelerate, programmatic OTT allows advertisers to run targeted, precise campaigns to reach streaming viewers. MadHive designed our industry-leading OTT product to simplify programmatic advertising while providing transparency and privacy protection at every step. We are excited to partner with Medicx to set a new standard in medical advertising." This partnership marks a paradigm shift in an industry looking for innovative solutions to meet and exceed the regulatory requirements and HIPAA compliance standards. By unifying two leaders in their respective fields, this combined offering is a quantum leap in innovation that lays the groundwork for the future of medical and pharma marketing. About Medicx Health Medicx Health provides commercialization of data and analytics software and services that enable pharmaceutical and healthcare brands to better profile, reach and engage with target audiences and maximize the value of marketing investments. About MadHive MadHive is an enterprise software that powers modern media. MadHive's advertising suite provides tools for audience forecasting, precision targeting and activation, and cross-screen attribution against its proprietary OTT-first device graph. Customers include advertisers that leverage MadHive's next-generation cryptography to prevent fraud and increase margins and broadcast giants that leverage the platform to power their digital TV offerings.

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Unity Ads Now Offers Access to Meta Audience Network Through Unity Mediation

Unity | December 20, 2021

Unity (NYSE: U), the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content, today announced the availability of Meta Audience Network for in-app bidding access in Unity Mediation, available within Unity Ads. With this integration, publishers get self-serve and streamlined access to a premium demand source, making it quicker and easier to maximize their revenue. Meta Audience Network is the latest addition to Unity Mediation, solutions that give developers access to the most comprehensive demand, with over 60+ ad ecosystem partners as well as enhanced tools to set pricing strategies, bid competitively, and maximize overall ad fill. This partnership with Meta Audience Network will unlock important access to one of the leading bidders in the industry for developers of all sizes using Unity Ads. Our priority is always to enable our developers’ success and with this partnership we are delivering a streamlined path to maximizing revenue potential. This is a significant step we are taking to ensure we are equipping publishers with what they need to achieve operational and monetary efficiencies.” Felix Thé, SVP of Product Management, Operate Solutions, Unity. “Meta Audience Network and Unity share a vision of generating incremental value and transparency for in-app developers on a global scale,” noted Julius Ramirez, Head of Adtech Partnerships at Meta Audience Network. “This integration streamlines access to high-quality demand, enabling developers to maximize their revenue with greater efficiency.” As one of the industry’s top ad networks, Unity Ads aims to simplify the integration and maintenance of the ad stack, allowing for opportunities to fill ad spots quickly and competitively to earn more revenue, and further enabling developers to easily monetize their games. Delivering optimized monetization and growth solutions is paramount to Unity Gaming Services, Unity’s recently launched end-to-end gaming platform that equips all developers with everything they need to rapidly build multiplayer experiences, to handle all scenarios for running a live game and to monitor their performance in a single, connected interface. About Unity Unity (NYSE: U) is the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content. Creators, ranging from game developers to artists, architects, automotive designers, filmmakers, and others, use Unity to make their imaginations come to life. Unity’s platform provides a comprehensive set of software solutions to create, run and monetize interactive, real-time 2D and 3D content for mobile phones, tablets, PCs, consoles, and augmented and virtual reality devices. The company’s 1,800+ person research and development team keeps Unity at the forefront of development by working alongside partners to ensure optimized support for the latest releases and platforms. Apps developed by Unity creators were downloaded more than five billion times per month in 2020.

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Spotlight

A major new report by Discovery Networks reveals that TV advertising has shown continuing power and resilience despite a surge in ownership of connected devices, a rapid increase in time spent online and a trend toward multi-screen viewing across the CEEMEA region.The report was created in cooperation with the Future Foundation and Research Now and surveyed over 3000 respondents across 10 CEEMEA markets: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, Turkey and UAE in addition to in-depth interviews with a multi-region expert industry panel.

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