CMO Today: More Drama for Newsweek’s IBTimes; Drawbridge Scales Back In Europe Ahead of GDPR; Soap Is the Latest Viral Trend

CMO Today: More Drama for Newsweek’s IBTimes; Drawbridge Scales Back In Europe Ahead of GDPR; Soap Is the Latest Viral Trend 1024 682 C-Suite Network
IBTMedia’s New York office.

Good morning. It’s a question many of us have pondered over the years: Is Facebook listening to me through my phone’s microphone to serve me ads based on what I say? The answer’s still no. WSJ personal tech columnist Joanna Stern spells out why Facebook doesn’t need to: With the help of third-party data collectors, Facebook can help advertisers get a sense of where you shopped, where you’ve been, which apps you’re using, the websites you’ve visited and who you are (all “hashed” into anonymized data so advertisers can’t identify you personally, of course).

The drama continues at Newsweek Media Group. On Wednesday, the company said it had fired two engineers it claimed were linked with running code on its International Business Times sites that potentially juiced its ad viewability numbers, I reported for CMO Today, along with my colleague Lukas Alpert. Before that, some ad-tech companies, including AppNexus and SpotX, told me they had ended their relationships with NMG over invalid traffic concerns. Ad verification service, DoubleVerify, has given four of IBTimes’ websites, plus Newsweek.co.uk, its “Sophisticated Invalid Traffic Sites” designation, which automatically prevents its brand advertiser customers from appearing on those sites. For its part, NMG said the code has been removed and it soon plans to regularly publish its invalid-traffic numbers, which will be verified by Media Rating Council-accredited ad verification services. NMG also said its latest invalid traffic numbers were below the 3.1% industry average.

Pulling Up the Drawbridge

There has been some discussion in the ad industry about how location-based advertising and so-called cross-device data companies (which help marketers track users as they switch from one device to another) will be able to get themselves GDPR-compliant. Most don’t tend to have direct relationships with consumers to ask permission to collect their data for use in advertising services. One such cross-device identity company, Drawbridge, is getting ahead of the new regulation by getting out of the ad business altogether in Europe, AdExchanger’s James Hercher reports. Drawbridge CEO Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan said while the company is still searching for ways to implement GDPR for its data business, she’s still looking for “clarity about how the industry at large is ensuring consent for consumers.” If other cross-device identity companies also see no way past the GDPR fortress, that could arguably place Google…