Did Biden bring up how brands like Procter & Gamble are reportedly working with a Chinese trade group on an IDFA workaround? Probably not. But there are more signals that his administration is getting serious about tackling an assortment of issues surrounding Big Tech, competition in multiple digital industries and of course, consumer privacy. Just a few weeks after a group of legislators introduced a proposed anti-algorithm piece of legislation, we have a new FTC chair. Based on early speculation, the tech titans should be nervous. As for advertisers? Weâ€™ll see. Anyway, itâ€™s been a busy week. Letâ€™s dig into what happened this week, in the Future of Advertising.
National unity â€” at least on one issue
One of the many interesting things about the appointment of Lina Khan is that Republican and Democratic leaders are happy. This doesnâ€™t mean that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ted Cruz are going to join the same bowling league, but for a Congress that can barely agree to make Juneteenth a holiday, anything bipartisan stands out. Khan has been a big critic of companies like Amazon, and back in April, the 32-year-old (yes, that number is right) told the Senate that she was worried about Silicon Valley having too much power when entering new markets. The New York Times called Khan â€œthe most progressive chair of the FTC in at least a generation.â€
It remains to be seen how much Khan focuses on consumer data, but her immediate predecessor, interim chair Rebecca Slaughter, has already said that existing rules aimed at giving consumers more control over personal data on the web arenâ€™t working, reported Digiday.
While not aimed at tamping down walled-garden-identity-dominance per se, the recently introduced Platform Competition and Opportunity Act could have an impact on some of the M&A activity weâ€™ve seen lately driven by the coming end of cookies and, more immediately, Appleâ€™s changing ad rules. Big Technologyâ€™s Alex Kantrowitz called the proposed law a â€œdumb rocket,â€ which would effectively put an end to the tech giantsâ€™ ability to make acquisitions. While itâ€™s unlikely that weâ€™d see a Facebook $19 billion deal for WhatsApp today, even without this law, itâ€™s going to be interesting if this billâ€™s prospects stifle the type of adtech exuberance weâ€™ve seen lately.
As much of the ad world ponders whether to join in with The Trade Deskâ€“led UID initiative or be happy with Googleâ€™s cohort-centric FLoC, Amazon is going its own way. More specifically, Amazon is not going to support FLoC. While itâ€™s not entirely shocking that a Google-led program wonâ€™t be the go-to way to target consumers on IMDB.com, it does dent the notion that FLoC could end up being just as ubiquitous as cookies once were. In the meantime, some of the early testing of FLoC has been eye-opening (per AdThrive, there are 34,000 cohorts at the moment!) and encouraging for brands (though we doubt that will sway Amazon).
Procter & Gamble Co. Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard delivered a speech last week at the Association of National Advertisers Media Conference, during which he was hopeful about ad targeting in a post-cookie world â€” if not a bit impatient. Pritchard wants testing of UID and FLoC to move faster, reported Ad Age.
â€œThe deprecation of cookies and elimination of app-to-app data transfer is a monumental disruption â€” to consumer advertising and content experience and to the media industry.â€
Pritchard was even less patient regarding the industryâ€™s need to get cross-platform measurement right â€” and he pointed some of the blame at big broadcasters. â€œThe digital platforms are ready to go.â€
Interestingly, P&G gave a pretty strong endorsement of the universal ID introduced by OpenAP, a consortium of TV companies including ViacomCBS and Fox â€” but not all the big players.
Speaking of consortiums, Group 9 Media â€” owners of PopSugar, Thrillist and other digital content hubs, is launching its own identity solution, In-GeNuity,â€ reported AdExchanger. This is a bold move for a company representing a collection of publishers that donâ€™t necessarily have the login data or scale of a giant subscription property. But itâ€™s the kind of take-things-into-your-own-hands gumption many have been calling for in a post-cookie world, where many have urged publishers to just â€œget more first-party data,â€ as if it were just that simple.
Thatâ€™s it for now. See you next week!