🌯 Regulation Revolution: EU V. Big Tech; UN Fossil Fuel Advertising Ban; LinkedIn’s Pub Lifeline

AdMonsters Wrapper: The weekly ad tech news wrap up
This Week
June 10, 2024
Regulation Revolution: EU V. Big Tech
UN Calls For Global Ban of Fossil Fuel Advertising
LinkedIn's Publisher Lifeline
Costco's Retail Media Ad Network
The Wrap Up: Follow Ups
Regulation Revolution: Europe’s Bold Moves Against Big Tech
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Europe is setting a new course with its Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA). These twin pillars aim to dismantle the monopolistic strongholds of Big Tech, fostering a fairer and more transparent digital marketplace. Margrethe Vestager, Europe's antitrust chief, asserts that the DMA should address systemic anti-competitive behaviors proactively, moving beyond the ineffective "whack-a-mole" strategy. The DMA compels tech giants like Google and Apple to open their ecosystems, promoting competition and safeguarding consumer choice — key themes echoed in our recent AdMonsters article on the DMA and DSA's impact on digital advertising.

Simultaneously, Google faces a £13.6bn lawsuit in the UK, accused of leveraging its market dominance to disadvantage online publishers. This legal battle, initiated by Ad Tech Collective Action LLP, highlights the growing global scrutiny of Google's practices, particularly its alleged self-preferencing that unfairly disadvantages competitors. The case underscores the broader regulatory push discussed in our AdMonsters piece, where we delved into the implications of the DMA and DSA for digital advertisers and publishers, emphasizing the need for transparency and fair competition.

Europe's DMA and the UK's legal action against Google aim to curb big tech's monopolistic practices and establish a more open and innovative digital marketplace. This could reshape how digital markets operate, ensuring a balanced market power and protecting consumer privacy. - LdJ
UN Chief Calls For Global Ban of Fossil Fuel Advertising and Ad Tech Must Follow Suit
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for a global ban on fossil fuel advertising. In a speech in New York, Guterres urged news and tech companies to reject fossil fuel advertising money to combat "planetary destruction."

Relying on new data from the World Meteorological Organization, he warned that there is an 80% chance the world will breach the 1.5°C warming threshold in the next five years. Guterres stressed that the 1.5°C target is still achievable but requires significant efforts to reduce carbon emissions, boost climate finance for poorer nations, and stigmatize the fossil fuel industry for its role in the climate crisis.

In addition, Guterres called on governments to impose advertising bans on these companies and urged media and PR firms to sever ties with the fossil fuel industry. Although there is some growth in clean energy investments, Guterres emphasized that ending the fossil fuel advertising is economically logical and essential for a sustainable future.

The advertising industry is aware of this problem, and there are those dedicated to sustainable advertising. In fact, The Guardian was the 1st global publisher to ban fossil fuel ads in 2020. But how successful is the ad tech industry?

The internet, including digital advertising, accounts for 3.7% of carbon emissions. According to Brian Murphy, Founder of the Alpine Project, which helps advertising companies reduce their carbon footprint, there is some progress, but there is still a long way to go. The ad tech industry needs to catch up to traditional advertising, with few companies in the Science Based Targets Initiative database and fewer reporting verified emissions data. – AB
LinkedIn to the Rescue: A New Lifeline for Publishers
As Meta and Google are sidelining news, LinkedIn is stepping up, providing a fresh avenue for publishers to monetize their content. Enter LinkedIn's Wire Program, allowing media companies to sell pre-roll ads on their editorial videos. This provides a new revenue stream for publishers relying on traditional social platforms. With major players like Bloomberg, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal on board, the program's beta phase is already showing promise.

The revenue-sharing model and high CPM rates are enticing, but robust targeting capabilities set LinkedIn apart. Unlike other platforms, LinkedIn's first-party data allows for precise audience segmentation, making it a valuable tool for publishers looking to reach specific professional demographics. This targeting precision, coupled with LinkedIn's reputation for quality content, positions it as a potential savior when other tech giants deprioritize news.

While there are no guarantees on revenue, the optimism from participating publishers is palpable. As LinkedIn expands its content formats and continues to invest in news, it's poised to become a crucial partner for publishers seeking to diversify their monetization strategies. As of late, LinkedIn is positioning itself as news pubs' BFF, and this goes far beyond B2B. – LdJ
Costco Develops Ad Network to Become a Key Player Retail Media
Another day, another retail media network. The retail media arena just got a new contender with Costco throwing its hat in the ring. How will they compete against competitors like Kroger, Target, Walmart and Dollar General?

Costco is developing an ad network using its 74.5 million members' shopping data for targeted advertising on and off its website. Currently testing this capability, Costco wants to become a key player in retail media, estimated to reach $166 billion by 2025.

Leading this initiative, Mark Williamson noted that Costco's membership system allows precise targeting based on past purchases. Unlike other retailers, Costco is relatively new to retail media, trailing behind competitors like Walmart and Target. However, with its substantial membership base, there is significant revenue potential.

Costco generates some ad revenue through its magazine and basic website ads but aims to expand significantly by leveraging its data. – AB
The Wrap Up
Adalytics: Industry Friend or Foe
Adalytics has once again stirred the pot, accusing Colossus SSP of using "mis-declared" IDs to manipulate ad auctions. According to AdAge, the fallout included BidSwitch temporarily dropping and then reinstating Colossus after a thorough investigation. Meanwhile, Google's actions in the matter remain more ambiguous. This highlights the contentious nature of Adalytics' reports and the industry's struggle between reform and sensationalism. Check out our latest analysis here for a deeper dive into whether the backlash against Colossus is truly warranted. - LdJ
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The Telegraph’s Karen Eccles on Publishers’ Print Revenue Decline, MFA Sites and Political Ads Moving Away From Microtargeting
In this MadTech Podcast episode, John Still is joined by Lindsay Rowntree and Karen Eccles, CCO at The Telegraph. They delve into a publisher-focused conversation, exploring publishers’ decline in print revenue, how MFA’s are affecting the online publishing industry, and UK political ads moving away from microtargeting.
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