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The IAB Tech Lab is rolling out new specs, this time for the buy-side, around transparency and brand safety: big topics of conversation these days. IAB has released two new technology standards — buyers.json and DemandChain Object — that are open for a 30-day public comment period through April 30. Read the release. The two buy-side transparency specifications enable sellers to identify who is buying their inventory. Buyers.json enables advertising systems to publicly declare the buyers they represent [Read AdExchanger coverage], while DemandChain Object provides transparency around every entity involved in a specific transaction. The new specs come after IAB developed standards over the past several years to boost transparency and brand safety from sellers to buyers, including ads.txt (Authorized Digital Sellers, for publishers to declare who sells their inventory) and sellers.json (for supply-side platforms/exchanges to declare their sell-side relationships). Now, buyers.json and DemandChain Object provide similar attributes about buyers, mirroring the structure of sellers.json and SupplyChain Object, which were unveiled in July 2019. Read on.
White Ops is known for protecting brands from bot attacks, cybercrime and the like, but the cybersecurity and ad verification company has apparently done some soul searching and decided that its own name just wasn’t brand safe. White Ops officially renamed itself Human on March 30 — six months after announcing its intention to rebrand — recognizing that its name “perpetuates a toxic association of good and bad with colour and race.” Read the release. The nine-year-old company said that its new name “more authentically represents its values, its employees and the digital community it protects,” Campaign reports. Human was also conscientious of cultural and political issues surrounding race last year, and co-founder Tamer Hassan announced his intention to rebrand the company in October 2020, a move inspired by the worldwide resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. Hassan said race was not considered when White Ops was named by its four co-founders in a Brooklyn sci-fi bookstore in 2012, but admitted that the name now “represents something different than what we’ve intended.” Read on.
Speaking of ad verification companies, DoubleVerify has extended its brand safety and suitability tools with Facebook to now include premium inventory channels such as Facebook In-Stream Reserve, per Adweek. DoubleVerify measures digital media quality and performance across mobile, desktop and video, including the walled gardens of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media. The company also filters out hate speech and disinformation, ensuring that ads are served in the appropriate environments. Facebook has been heavily criticized for the spread of misinformation and hate speech on its platform, of course, and has recently ramped up its efforts to weed out harmful content, particularly in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol. DoubleVerify said Facebook advertisers can now manage brand safety and suitability settings more precisely by using 53 content avoidance categories and 39 supported languages; creating allow lists for Facebook in-stream video inventory, supporting brand and content suitability and alignment; and creating block lists that work across In-Stream Reserve, among other capabilities. Read on.
But Wait, There’s More!
TVSquared, Upwave, Kinetiq, and Ace Metrix have teamed up to measure the reach and impact of linear TV and OTT ads running throughout the year as part of the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative’s effort to educate the American public about COVID-19 vaccines. [release]
T-Mobile is scrapping its TVision service after the wireless company failed to build its skinny bundle of channels into a profitable service, and will steer its wireless customers toward Google’s YouTube TV instead. [WSJ]
Univision launched its free AVOD streaming service PrendeTV on Tuesday. [release]
Blis has launched a new product suite that enables brands and agencies to target their customers at scale in the post-cookie world and achieve key outcomes. [release]
The real impact on media spending from Apple’s imminent tracking crackdown isn’t yet clear, but the actual amount is likely to be severe — at least in the short-term. [Digiday]
GroundTruth has acquired self-serve local ad platform Addy. [release]
Wavemaker has hired Vinny Rinaldi as executive director, head of investment and activation. [Adweek]
Overstock.com has hired Elizabeth Solomon as CMO. [release]
IRI has named former Google exec Kirk Perry as its next president and CEO. [release]