Leading Operations Online

There’s a new report out from FreeWheel called "Advancing the Ad Experience," where the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video and study partner Advertiser Perceptions surveyed brand and agency execs about the ad experience in digital video, and the challenges to it. The report concluded—surprise!—that “the process and responsibility starts with the brand advertiser themselves.” That’s the kind of news publishers like to hear, right?

All right, so I oversimplified the report’s takeaways for the sake of a catchier lede. The full sentence I quoted goes, “The process and responsibility starts with the brand advertiser themselves, their agency teams, technology partners and the publisher.” So, in other words, ad experience starts with the entire ad supply chain. But brands and agencies are still first and second in that list.

Publishers catch a lot of heat for ad experience problems, and much of it comes from users...

In an end-of-week post, AdExchanger reported this afternoon that Google had abandoned its “last-look” practice in exchange bidding. The old Google last-look advantage allows AdX the chance to outbid whichever demand source would have otherwise won in a programmatic auction, prior to sending a request to Google’s ad server. Famously, publishers’ desire to circumvent that practice gave rise to header bidding.

But now Google says it’ll be putting AdX bids into a unified auction with everyone else’s. Updated support documentation for its exchange bidding product reflects that change.

This might sound surprising to some. Yes, header bidding has been probably the hottest topic in ad tech over the past couple years—and rather than just being discussion point, it’s had substantial effects on publishers’ ability to earn revenue in programmatic. But...

Congratulations! Digital privacy policy made it to the general-interest news hole this week. Shame it’s not under better circumstances, but, well, at least it’s a reliable conversation-starter, that Congress voted to nix proposed changes to FCC policy to require a user’s opt-in before ISPs could be allowed to sell their browsing history to advertisers…

This is a development a lot of people might not have predicted a year ago, for a number of reasons. New FCC regulations were set to take effect later in 2017 that would have prevented ISPs from selling this kind of data without user opt-in, so this week’s news marks a step in the opposite direction, straight up.

There was a time when digital privacy was an easy bipartisan issue in Washington: Among the broader public, digital targeting is a convenient (even facile) bogeyman, and challenges to it enjoy wide support. Most people don’t fully understand how...

U.S. publishers find themselves wrestling with unfamiliar issues due to the coming implementation of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Under GDPR, E.U. citizens are given the right to protect and control the way their data is collected and how it might be used anywhere in the world. This global reach is a new development, and U.S. publishers aren’t entirely sure what they need to actually do to comply.

What kind of issues? Take the right to erasure, for example. If a user can show consent to process their personal data was not given, or that the data is outdated or irrelevant for whatever purposes it was collected, that individual can force the data holder (e.g., website operator) to erase that offending data and prevent any third parties from processing it. In Europe, this is a tightening-up of an older...

Cookies are a foundational part of digital advertising, but their application is limited in a cross-device environment. Cookies are browser-specific, they aren’t supported in OTT, and they aren’t easily ported between mobile apps. Cookies, then, are just one type of identifier among several that go into targeting users across multiple screens.

Those types of identifiers can be sorted into two groups, deterministic and probabilistic identifiers.

Deterministic identifiers are based on some kind of identifiable data—you know who this specific user is. These identifiers include log-ins and other registration data, and sometimes offline customer data or IDs, information the user and data collector have shared with each other. It’s possible to determine with certainty that this data relates to a particular user. There are some privacy concerns here, potentially—there may be personally identifiable information contained in deterministic data—but to ensure...

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