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November Updates to Paid Advertising Platforms

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In this monthly post, we bring you the latest from all of the major platforms.

Google Ads

What: Google Ads conversion reporting issues and fix

Details: Conversion reporting was impacted between 11-9-19 through 11-20-19. During that time, a bug caused Google Ads Search and Shopping campaigns to be overreported for those using non-last click attribution models. At this time, the data is correct everywhere except for Search Query, Geo, Keywordless Query, and Keywordless Category reports.

Impact: Advertisers should re-review any reporting downloaded during this time period. Additionally, the over-reporting may have led to more aggressive bidding/budgeting adjustments than merited, meaning advertisers will need to adjust based on the corrected data.

What: Google Extends Shopping ads to more Youtube Inventory

Details: Google is improving the visibility of Shopping Campaigns on Youtube along with an expansion of placements and categories. Advertisers must opt into the “Youtube and Discover on Display Network” targeting setting.

Impact: Advertisers should monitor performance closely given inventory and delivery are likely to ramp up on this placement during the holiday season.

What: Google Ads Editor v1.2 released

Details: The latest release for Google Ads Editor provides support for new campaign types and multi-account management. Among the changes includes support for Discovery Campaigns, shared negative keywords lists, searchable errors, and a condensed edit pane.

Impact: While some are still adjusting to the Google Ads Editor redesign, the most recent update streamlines aspects of cross-account management and creation of Discovery Campaigns. In particular, the shared negative keyword list addition is a longtime requested feature within the editor.

What: Learn about the “Top Signals” dictating your Google Ads Smart Bidding Strategies

Details: Within the Bid Strategy Report, Google will share information on certain signals dictating bid changes. These include device type, location, day of the week, time of day, and keywords.

Impact: Advertisers have gained a level of transparency into their Smart Bidding Strategies previously unavailable. The information will provide insights on what is driving performance and help inform a broader market strategy.

What: Google expands Local campaigns inventory and Buy Online Pickup In-Store offers for Shopping Campaigns

Details: Updates include Promoted Pins in Google Maps and catalog ads in Display.

Impact: Local sales still drive a significant portion of retail momentum. Google continues its push to provide advertisers the opportunity to capitalize on this reality via online advertising. In the coming months, it’s expected that this trend will continue with Google seeking to influence and track offline retail efforts such as store visits.

Microsoft Ads

What: Microsoft Advertising releases “a new, modern design” for Editor

Details: Microsoft redesigned the look and feel of their Editor for Windows and Mac. In their words, the “refresh is simple, clean, and modern, while matching up with other Microsoft Products”. Lastly, the editor now offers five recommendation warning notifications which include campaigns limited by budget, set estimated mainline bids, add keywords, fix ad groups that don’t have any ads, and fix ad groups that don’t have any keywords.

Impact: The updated fonts, colors, and spacing should provide a more intuitive user experience. As for the recommendations, these offer a major upgrade to help identify certain pain points.  Previously, ad groups without active keywords/ads had to be identified via manual means, while now Microsoft Editor joins Google with a simple yet extremely valuable warning notification.

Facebook

What: Facebook rebrands to…*drumroll please*… FACEBOOK

Details: As stated in the press release, Facebook noted they are  “updating our company branding to be clearer that these products come from Facebook. We’re introducing a new corporate logo and further distinguishing the Facebook company from the Facebook app, which will keep its own branding.”

Impact: Aside from a couple of jokes and jabs, no perceived impact.

What: New brand safety controls for advertisers

Details: Facebook announced strides in a series of brand safety controls:

  • One-stop place in Business Manager or Ads Manager: Create blocklists, get a delivery report, and set account-level inventory filter rather than campaign by campaign
  • Improved delivery reports: Allows the advertiser to search by account ID or publisher without having to download a report.
  • New brand safety partner: Zefr joins DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science and OpenSlate to help ensure the brand safety controls and tools added serve advertisers’ needs.
  • Dynamic Content Sets: Content-level whitelisting tool for advertisers working with Integral Ad Science, OpenSlate, and Zefr.
  • Publisher White Lists: Available for Audience Network and in-stream ads on Facebook with select advertisers. Expected to expand availability next year.

Impact: Facebook has been in the spotlight for much of 2019, and often times not for the best reasons. Improved brand safety controls are likely to win back a bit of advertiser confidence. In particular, Publisher White Lists could open up test budgets for those previously unable to operate on the Audience Network due to brand safety concerns.

Did we miss any major monthly updates? Not covering a certain platform close enough? Feel free to let me know on Twitter @Will_Larcom

Feature image from Tamera Clark

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FTC finds GoodRx shared sensitive health data with Facebook, Google

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FTC finds GoodRx shared sensitive health data with Facebook, Google

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

The FTC on Wednesday filed a court order against GoodRx for failing to notify users that it shared their personal, identifiable health data with Facebook and Google and said it would permanently ban the company from sharing such information for ads, should the court order be federally approved.

Why it matters: The court order is the first FTC action under the Health Breach Notification Rule, which requires companies to notify users when their health data is infringed upon, and includes several safeguards aimed at protecting consumer data.

  • “We’re making clear that apps violating this rule need to come clean with consumers when they share sensitive data improperly,” an FTC official said during a press briefing about the order.
  • The order must be approved by the federal court to go into effect.

Zoom in: The health data GoodRx shared with tech companies includes individually identifiable data on users’ prescription medications and health conditions. Per the complaint:

  • In August 2019, GoodRx compiled lists of users who’d purchased medications for heart disease and high blood pressure and uploaded their email addresses, phone numbers and mobile advertising IDs to Facebook so it could identify their profiles.
  • GoodRx then used that information to target users with relevant ads.

Details: The court order, filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the FTC in California’s Northern District, found GoodRx shared data with companies including Facebook, Google, Criteo, Branch and Twilio. The order found GoodRx:

  • Monetized users’ personal health data to target them with health- and medication-specific ads on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Let third parties it shared data with use the information for research, development or advertising purposes without getting consent.
  • Misrepresented its HIPAA compliance, displaying a seal at the bottom of its telehealth site falsely suggesting it complied with the law.
  • Failed to maintain sufficient policies or procedures to protect its users’ personal health information.

State of play: GoodRx, which offers prescription discount coupons and telehealth services, lets users track their personal health data to save, track and get alerts about prescriptions, refills, pricing and medication purchase history.

  • Per the complaint, the company collects data from users themselves and from pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) that confirm when someone buys a prescription drug using one of its coupons.
  • Since January 2017, more than 55 million consumers have visited or used GoodRx’s website or mobile apps, the complaint says.

What they’re saying: A spokesperson for GoodRx told Axios the company does not agree with the allegations, saying the order “focuses on an old issue that was proactively addressed almost three years ago.”

  • “We admit no wrongdoing,” the spokesperson said. “Entering into the settlement allows us to avoid the time and expense of protracted litigation.”

  • “Health data today isn’t just what your doctor keeps in a file behind a desk,” an FTC official said during the briefing. “And the way we’re enforcing this reflects that new reality.”
  • “We expect this to have a significant impact on the marketplace,” the official added.

Flashback: The FTC in 2021 issued a warning to health apps and others that collect or use consumers’ health information that they must comply with the Health Breach rule.

  • “We are now showing the market that we meant business when we issued that policy statement,” the FTC official said.

What’s next: In addition to charging GoodRx with a $1.5 million civil penalty and banning it from disclosing user health information for ads, the order requires that the company:

  • Direct third parties to delete the consumer health data shared with them and inform users about the breaches and the FTC’s enforcement action.
  • Get users’ consent before sharing health data with third parties for purposes other than ads and detail the types of health information it will disclose to those parties.
  • Limit how long it can retain personal health information.
  • Create a privacy program that includes safeguards to protect such data.

Of note: While the order only binds GoodRx, companies including Facebook who received the data “are on notice that they were in receipt of data that was illegally collected,” another FTC official said.

This story has been updated to include the company’s comment.

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Facebook and Google ad oligopoly is over, fund manager says

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Facebook and Google ad oligopoly is over, fund manager says

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Inge Heydorn, fund manager at GP Bullhound, discusses competition in the digital ad market, what investors will be looking for in Meta’s results, and why it’s “all about TikTok.”

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Mike Lindell Says Jimmy Kimmel Wants to Put Him in a Big Claw Machine

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Mike Lindell Says Jimmy Kimmel Wants to Put Him in a Big Claw Machine
  • Mike Lindell says Jimmy Kimmel is requesting to interview him on his show. 
  • But Kimmel had one request, Lindell said: The pillow CEO has to sit inside a giant claw machine.
  • Lindell said this is because he is unvaccinated. 

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says late-night show host Jimmy Kimmel had one request of him: The pillow CEO must sit inside a giant claw machine during their interview.

“A lot of you have reached out to me: ‘Mike, don’t do it, he’s going to attack you. Why did you agree to go inside a claw game?'” Lindell said during a Facebook live stream on Tuesday. Lindell is scheduled to appear on Kimmel’s talk show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” on Tuesday.

“Which I did, because they, you can’t go inside the studio if you’re not vaccinated. And of course, I’m not vaccinated,” Lindell added. 

“Maybe I’ll find out that that claw game was rigged, huh, the one that picks up the stuffed animals,” Lindell quipped, seemingly referencing his own baseless claims of widespread election fraud.

The pillow CEO said his appearance on Kimmel “should be very, very interesting.” He also said he was only agreeing to the interview because he thinks it will help “save our country.”

Kimmel appeared to confirm Lindell’s account, tweeting: “MyPillow Mike from a claw machine tonight!” 

 

Kimmel said on Monday that Lindell has “repeatedly” asked to be on the show, and that he’s tried to invite Lindell back many times.

Lindell’s last appearance on Kimmel’s show was in April 2021. During their nearly 20-minute conversation, Kimmel pummeled Lindell with questions about his voter fraud claims.

“A lot of people didn’t want you to come on this show. Liberals and conservatives, told me not to have you on, and they told you don’t go on the show,” Kimmel told Lindell in 2021. “But I think it’s important that we talk to each other.”

Lindell is fresh off a big loss in his race for RNC chair, where he only secured four votes.

Lindell and representatives for Kimmel did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.



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