• The Arms Race In Ad-Block Land
    Last week Facebook retaliated against ad blockers by launching an ad-block blocker. This happened on Aug. 9, and by Aug. 11, the good folks at Adblock Plus had provided an update that continued to block Facebook ad content. Facebook, not to be outdone, launched an update to the Adblock Plus update, nullifying the quick work of the ad blocker's engineers. By Aug. 12, at 4:30 a.m. Pacific Time, those engineers launched their latest update. And in return, the Facebook engineers quickly "hackathonned" their way to yet another patch, which they released on the 12th at around 10 a.m. Pacific (so ...
  • Will The 'Open' Set-Top Box Break The TV Ad Bundle?
    The "opening" up of the television set-top is getting a lot of attention these days. The Federal Communications Commission has called for pay TV providers to "open" up TV set-top box standards so that consumers can buy devices directly from third-party manufacturers, and President Obama added his very public support last week.
  • Advertising's Walking Dead, Or: Toward a New Marketing Stack
    The big new thing often starts out being dismissed as a toy. Facebook, Snapchat, virtual reality, bots, emoji, messaging -- what marketer took them seriously at the beginning? What marketer dares to ignore them now? Somewhere back in time, any marketer could have seized the moment, but many rode past it on a wagon train of legacy models and old thinking. As a result, media channels today are clogged with advertising's walking dead -- static banners, 30-second spots that bury the lede, you know the ones -- that consumers either ignore or kill. The new marketing stack is predicated on ...
  • What Marketers Don't Need To Be Told -- Or Do They?
    We need some new memes, some new topics of interest for the industry to grab hold of and beat into the ground on panel after panel, at industry conferences and in columns like this one.
  • Media Buying Just Tip Of Advertising's Disruptive Iceberg
    Two weeks ago, Gary Milner wrote a lucid prediction of what advertising might become. He rightly stated that advertising has been in a 40-year period of disruption. Bingo. He went on to say that he sees a consolidation of media buying into a centralized hub. Again, I don't question the clarity of Milner's crystal ball. It makes sense to me. What is missing from Milner's column, however, is the truly disruptive iceberg that is threatening to founder advertising as we know it: the total disruption of the relationship between the advertiser and the marketplace.
  • First Screen, Second Screen, Olympic Screen
    I have looked up a number of athletes who are currently in Rio. And it is amazing how good most of them are at "marketing" and "branding," even though their number-one job is tennis, boxing, soccer, beach volleyball or another sport. They also know how to integrate the brands of their sponsors on occasion. Sure, you say, but they get all kinds of support for that, which may be true for some of the biggest names. But what you'll see is that athletes share their own updates with their fans in an authentic voice in every post. Brand integrations feel ...
  • Well, *Obviously* People Are Changing Their Minds About Self-Driving Cars
    "Self-driving cars are coming but most people don't want one," wrote MediaPost writer Chuck Martin back in March, citing a study of people 15 to 90 years old. Two weeks later, he followed it up with this final stat: 63% of kids aged 8 to 18 "would prefer to do the driving rather than letting the vehicle handle the task." Really? People are resistant to new technology? What a surprise. Surely if a poll says people don't want a new thing, it won't happen, right?
  • Where Did The ! in Yahoo! Go?
    The ultimate fate of Yahoo, or its pieces, will be the subject of a lot of speculation. But in the meantime, it seems appropriate to mark the occasion of the company's pending absorption into Verizon. We may look back on this as a historic turning point for our industry.
  • Advertising Isn't Creepy -- But You Might Be
    The word "creepy" gets thrown around a lot when it comes to the ad business lately. It used to be I couldn't go to a conference without hearing two things: the first was a panel on millennials, and the second was that this was "the year of mobile." This year the norm is to comment on how marketers have to walk a fine line -- between targeting customers with their messaging by leveraging data, and being "creepy." Still, that comment is correct. We do have to be careful, and common sense can help a lot.
  • Where Context Comes From
    Fellow Spinner Cory Treffiletti told you last week that data without context is noise. Absolutely right. I want to continue that conversation, because it's an important one. It's all about context. So let's talk a little more about context -- specifically, how we decide what makes up that context.
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