• Blog

    Connected Recognition

    Enabling a 360 Degree View of a Customer

    Merkle’s Connected Recognition process manages and associates identifiers across channels and media to fuel the execution and optimization of integrated marketing and sales activities. There is an astounding amount of available data about every person. From traditional census data to emotional and personality-driven insights, it is theoretically possible for a brand to paint a highly detailed, accurate picture of each of their customers. But this promised land of insight requires several often-siloed departments to share information, not to mention significant technical and process implements to collect, store, and interpret the data. As a result, marketers resort to sub-optimal point solutions. For example, many brands use a small purpose-built data integration or feed email remarketing. This typically leverages an email identifier only. Similarly, for site optimization, marketers are beginning to leverage personalization, but typically ignore the rich CRM data that should inform decisioning. Each approach ignores valuable amounts of data related to the history of activity, depth of the interaction, and breath of insights available through more robust linking approaches. Connected Recognition (cR) overcomes this and more. The Identity Map The solution creates an identity map across all party or user identifiers that become tied to an individual. This map becomes your reference base by cross-referencing all identity attributes related to both “known” and “unknown” data. A master party (or customer) identifier is generated to leverage all possible information from both strong and weak identifiers. Strong identifiers are those that can be linked to an offline user identity in a customer data file (such as name and address). These include transaction IDs such as online order, registration or lead IDs, as well as account login numbers, customer numbers, service tags, etc. Weak IDs are the primary identifiers found in digital interactions. By their nature, they are anonymous and often very transient. Examples of weak IDs include IP addresses, cookies, device fingerprints and social login or handle. The Connected Event Stream Once the identity map is created, the Connected Recognition solution creates an event stream where all customer engagement is tied back to the master identifier. This event stream is created for all “known” parties, whether they are repeat customers or anonymous parties that visited the website. All consumer interactions can be tied to the event stream to support integrated, cross media and channel marketing decisions. This includes outbound marketing touches such as direct mail, display impressions, email, or mobile texts, and inbound interactions such as important events that occurred while a consumer browsed the website – downloading a white paper, registering for email, browsing a product or filling out an information request form. The final output is something that looks like an active timeline for each consumer with the brand. --- Full article and video available at (link is external)
  • The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and the U.S Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG) filed comments today in response to the Treasury Department’s request for information (RFI) on “Expanding Access to Credit through Online Marketplace Lending.” Specifically, the department sought public comment on (1) the various business models of and products offered by online marketplace lenders to small businesses and consumers; (2) the potential for online marketplace lending to expand access to credit to historically underserved market segments; and (3) how the financial regulatory framework should evolve to support the safe growth of this industry.” CDD/USPIRG’s detailed comments cautioned that “the ‘technology-enabled credit provisioning’ marketplace should not be uncritically viewed as a panacea, especially for financially underserved and economically at-risk Americans.” Rather than giving online lenders special treatment, in fact, the filing calls on the Department of the Treasury “to work with other agencies to propose or implement rules that integrate the online lending sector within the financial services regulatory sector.” Pointing out that instead of “being a new source that can support the needs of low-income or underbanked consumers,” the majority of online loans are actually going to “consumers who already have ‘prime’ ratings.” CDD and USPIRG believe that the entire financial services sector—and its use of Big Data to assess and “score” consumers—warrants closer regulatory scrutiny. “Marketplace lending should be regulated by prudential and consumer protection regulators in the same way that other financial services are,” the filing concludes, “with CFPB authority where appropriate for banks and non-banks and meaningful consumer and prudential supervision by other responsible regulators. Certainly, the lessons of 2008 provide a strong warning against allowing an under-regulated, shadow banking system to grow and pose risks to the financial system, its safety net, or the overall economy.”
    Jeff Chester
  • Mobile internet advertising will overtake newspaper advertising next year, accounting for 12.4% of global adspend while newspapers account for 11.9%, according to ZenithOptimedia’s new Advertising Expenditure Forecasts. Mobile internet will be the third-largest advertising medium, behind television and desktop internet. Mobile advertising will grow 38% in 2016 to US$71bn, while newspaper advertising will shrink 4% to US$68bn. Mobile advertising remains the driving force behind the growth of the entire advertising market, contributing 83% of all new ad dollars between 2014 and 2017. Internet advertising to overtake television in 2018 as print continues to shrink Desktop internet advertising will continue to grow, but will lose market share for the first time this year, dropping from 19.8% of global adspend in 2014 to 19.4%. By 2017 ZenithOptimedia forecasts desktop internet to account for 19.1% of global adspend. Meanwhile mobile internet advertising’s share of the global ad market will rise from 5.7% in 2014 to 15.0% in 2017. Overall, internet advertising will account for 34.0% of global adspend in 2017, slightly behind television’s 35.9%. The market share gap between the two media will narrow from 13.3 percentage points in 2014 to 1.9 in 2017. At this rate of growth, internet advertising will overtake television in 2018. Print adspend continues to decline across most of the world, as it has done since 2008. We predict newspaper adspend will shrink by an average of 4.9% a year through to 2017, while magazine advertising will shrink by 3.2% a year. Their combined share of global adspend has fallen from 39.4% in 2007 to 19.6% this year, and we expect it to fall further to 16.7% by 2017. Global adspend to grow 4.0% in 2015 ZenithOptimedia forecasts that global adspend will grow 4.0% to reach US$554bn in 2015, and will accelerate to 5.0% growth in 2016, boosted by the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and the US Presidential elections. Adspend will then slow down slightly in the absence of these events, growing 4.4% in 2017. Mature Markets to lead adspend growth for the first time in nine years We have reduced our forecasts for adspend growth in 2015 since our June forecast by 0.2 percentage points. There has been broad-based deceleration across the world as marketers have moderated their expectations of global economic growth. With Brazil and Russia in recession, and China slowing down, the world can no longer rely on emerging markets to set the pace of growth. We expect ‘Mature Markets’ (which we define as North America, Western Europe and Japan) to contribute more to global adspend growth this year than ‘Rising Markets’ (everywhere else), for the first time since 2006. We think this is a temporary aberration, however – Rising Markets will become the leading contributors to ad market growth again in 2016, and will increase their market share from 37.4% in 2015 to 38.8% in 2017. --- Full article available at (link is external)
  • Blog

    Advocate General: EU-US 'Safe Harbor' deal invalid over US spy scandal

    Today the AG Yves Bot has presented his opinion in the case C-362/14 on Facebook, PRISM and 'Safe Harbor'.

    1. But Facebook says they have never granted ‘mass access’ to the NSA? The Irish High Court has found as a matter of fact, that Facebook did participate in mass surveillance in the United States and EU data is made available to US authorities (see judgement). The Irish High Court has even found that “only the naive or the credulous could really have been greatly surprised” over these forms of mass surveillance. The court further found that “that personal data transferred by companies such as Facebook Ireland to its parent company in the United States is thereafter capable of being accessed by the NSA in the course or a mass and indiscriminate surveillance of such data. Indeed, in the wake of the Snowden revelations, the available evidence presently admits of no other realistic conclusion.” Facebook had every freedom to join the procedure as a “notice party” but decided to remain silent in the procedure. This may have been a bad decision on the side of Facebook. The fact that the NSA runs mass surveillance systems and US tech firms aid these programs was also not really disputed in the procedure. Facebook typically claims the opposite in public statements (“Mark and others clearly stated that the claim was false”), but has not delivered any credible argument - let alone evidence - that it is not subject to US mass surveillance laws like e.g. § 1881a FISA. In most statements they only refer to blog posts by their CEO as evidence. In fact Facebook is very likely bound by “gag orders” and is not allowed to confirm such cooperation with US authorities. Facebook spokespersons, which make such statements, typically do not have the necessary security clearance to know about such programs themselves. 2. Isn’t there a new Safe Harbor planed? The European Commission has tried to update the current safe harbor system since the disclosures by Edward Snowden, but has met very strong resistance by the US government. While there are continuous signs that the European Commission and the United States are close to a new deal, there has so far been a number of severe delays in the process and numerous deadlines in 2014 and 2015 have expired so far without any results. It also remains questionable if an updated safe harbor would address other shortcomings of the current safe harbor system, which go beyond cases of mass surveillance. A large number of independent reviews equally identified countless shortcomings when it comes to commercial data usage of US companies under Safe harbor (e.g. the European Commission’s reviews in 2002 and 2004, reviews by multiple groups of Data Protection Authorities, like the Article 29 Working Party and the German DPAs, as well as independent researchers like the Galexia Report). In the procedure before the CJEU the plaintiff has also submitted a review (PDF) that identified the numerous shortcomings of the safe harbor system in addition to the issue of mass surveillance. Version 1 Sept 23rd 2015 There is a certain chance that an invalidation or a severe limitation of the ‘safe harbor’ by the Court will bring the ongoing discussions with the US to a whole new level. “If the Court sets the red lines, this may provide the backbone for European attempts to get proper protection for EU citizens that lacked so far. We mainly witnessed nice speeches and anger letters by our politicians – but I doubt that they impressed anyone over the Atlantic. Maybe a Court ruling that may stop certain data flows will do the trick. It is also not unlikely that the US industry will line up in Washington to get better protection for EU data to regain easier access to EU data.” 3. Isn’t there a new “Umbrella Agreement” and “Judicial Redress Bill” planed? The EU and the US have recently agreed on a new “umbrella agreement”. The umbrella agreement only covers data that was exchanged between EU and US authorities in the framework of law enforcement and not national security. Data that was exchanged between EU and US companies and later forwarded to US authorities are also not covered. The agreement has also just been presented, but it remains to be seen if will be signed. I would add that the agreement, even if it is in place would not cover access by national security authorities, which is subject to our case. The judicial redress bill is also far from being signed into law. Like the ‘umbrella agreement’ this proposed US law has a very limited scope and gives EU citizens only a very narrow protection that is far from the rights US citizens enjoy in the EU. I would also mention that it does not make the Privacy Act applicable to EU persons, as this a common misunderstanding. A leaked version of the agreement and the proposed judicial redress bill has already attracted criticism by notable individuals like the former Data Protection Commissioner of Germany, Peter Schaar (link) and EPIC (link). ---- Full article attached.
  • The numerous debates triggered by the increased collection and processing of personal data for various - and often unaccountable - purposes are particularly vivid at the EU level. Two interlinked, and to some extent conflicting, initiatives are relevant here: the development of EU strategies promoting a data-driven economy and the current reform of the EU personal data protection legal framework in the context of the adoption of a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In this context, and focusing on the development of Big Data practices, smart devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), this Study shows that the high degree of opacity of many contemporary data processing activities directly affects the right of the individuals to know what is being done with the data collected about them. This Study argues that the promotion of a data- driven economy should not underestimate the challenges raised for privacy and personal data protection and that strengthening the rights of digital-citizens should be the main focus of the current debates around the GDPR. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY EU citizens and residents and, more generally, all individuals deserving protection as ‘data subjects’ by EU law, are directly impacted by EU strategies in the field of Big Data. Indeed, the data-driven economy poses significant challenges to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, notably in the fields of privacy and personal data protection. Big Data refers to the exponential growth both in the availability and automated use of information. Big Data comes from gigantic digital datasets held by corporations, governments and other large organisations; these are extensively analysed (hence the name ‘data analytics’) through computer algorithms. There are numerous applications of Big Data in various sectors, including healthcare, mobile communications, smart grids, traffic management, fraud detection, or marketing and retail (both on- and offline). The notion, primarily driven by economic concerns, has been largely promoted through market- led strategies and policies. Presented as an enabler of powerful analytical and predictive tools, the concept of Big Data has also raised numerous criticisms emphasising such risks as biased information, spurious correlations (associations that are statistically robust but happen only by chance), and statistical discrimination. Moreover, the promotion of Big Data as an economic driver raises significant challenges for privacy and digital rights in general. These challenges are even greater in a digital ecosystem with a proliferation of cheap sensors, numerous apps on mobile devices and an increasingly connected world that sometimes does not even require human intervention (as shown in the increasing development of the Internet of Things [IoT]). The flows of information on- and off line, shared and multiplied across computers, mobile devices, watches, SmartBands, glasses, etc., have dramatically increased the availability, storage, extraction and processing of data on a large scale. It has become increasingly difficult to track what is made of our data. This situation is complicated further by the wide variety of actors engaged in data collection and processing. The numerous debates triggered by the increased collection and processing of personal data for various – and often unaccountable - purposes are particularly vivid at the EU level. Two interlinked, and to some extent conflicting, initiatives are relevant here: the development of EU strategies promoting a data-driven economy and the current reform of the EU personal data protection legal framework, in the context of the adoption of a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In order to address the issues at stake, the present Study provides an overview of Big Data and smart devices, outlining their technical components and uses (section 2). This section shows that many contemporary data processing activities are characterised by a high degree of opacity. This opacity directly affects the ability of individuals to know how data collected about them is used; it also hinders their capacity to assess and trust the manner in which choices are (automatically) made - whether, in other words, these choices are appropriate or fair. As regards smart devices, cheap sensors or the IoT, the pervasiveness of sensors and extensive routine data production might not be fully understood by individuals, who may be unaware of the presence of sensors and of the full spectrum of data they produce, as well as the data processing operations treating this diverse data. If Big Data, smart devices and IoT are often promoted as key enablers of market predictions and economic/social dynamics, data processing raises the question of who controls one’s data. ---- For the full study, see the attached document.
  • Blog

    IRI Shopper Marketing Cloud Paves the Way for Top-Line Growth

    Aims to Be the World’s Single Largest Integrated Set of Consumer, Purchase and Media Data; Foundation for Breakthrough Prescriptive Analytics, Software and Technology

    CHICAGO and AUSTIN, Texas — April 21, 2015 — Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), a global leader in innovative solutions and services for consumer, retail and over-the-counter health care companies, announced today the launch of IRI Shopper Marketing Cloud™, expected to be the world’s largest integrated consumer, purchase and media data set built inside IRI’s leading Liquid Data™ technology platform and powered by its recently announced Q-IRI™ prescriptive analytics engine for comprehensive planning, targeting, activating and measuring by fully linking media to store-level or online purchase. “We are at the beginning of a consumer buying revolution, one that will change how consumers shop and make decisions in fundamental ways over the next decade,” said Andrew Appel, president and chief executive officer, IRI. “IRI is focused on transforming the entire shopper journey by helping companies grow and by helping consumers make better buying choices. This integrated data, analytics and technology will help manufacturers and retailers unlock new pockets of growth and do it faster than ever before.” Arming CPG companies with an incredibly powerful platform for growth, IRI Shopper Marketing Cloud encompasses the whole portfolio of data sets and insights, focusing on media, social and purchase. Media Data Sets To ensure the most comprehensive media data, IRI has expanded its ongoing collaboration with Rentrak and comScore to move beyond tracking ad exposure and include full integration of cross-media TV and digital campaign tracking powered by IRI’s ProScores™purchase propensity models. Social Data Sets IRI also is expanding the ability to understand and leverage the impact of social sentiment on consumer activation and sales activities, and will be announcing an exclusive partnership that will guide CPG companies through targeting, activating and measuring campaign efforts. Consumer and Media Consumption Data Sets Leveraging valued relationships with retailers, IRI has continued to make huge investments to improve the ability to track purchases online and offline at a granular level. Working closely with retailers to help them connect with consumers, IRI Shopper Marketing Cloud offers enhanced performance by linking the same media and social data to retailers’ frequent shopper databases for unique insights and in-store activation. It also tracks what media consumers have been exposed to and what products they have purchased. --- Full article available at (link is external)
  • Blog

    U.S. Public Interest Group and Center for Digital Democracy Urge FTC to Protect Consumers from Unfair Lead Generation Practices in Comments filed for Oct. workshop

    Groups call for safeguards on "lead gen" rules exploiting financially vulnerable consumers, inc. for loans & credit. Role of both Google & Facebook raised for forthcoming FTC workshop.

    The FTC requested that comments for the upcoming October 30, 2015 workshop on lead generation be submitted by September 20th so that issues could be addressed during the sessions. USPIRG and CDD submitted initial comments, which are attached below and also summarized. One of our findings from a recent analysis of the online "lead gen" marketplace was that digital industry leaders--including Google and Facebook--engage and support online lead generation in ways that raise substantive consumer protection concerns. USPIRG and CDD have been working for the last several years to encourage policymakers to rein-in lead generatio activities, especially those that play a role promoting financial products that can be expensive and harmful to consumers. We have written background papers on lead generation and payday loans, its use by for-profit colleges, and how Hispanics are targeted, for example. At its workshop, follow-up report and thru new enforcement activities, the FTC needs to analyze and address how contemporary online lead generation embodies a panoply of applications and tactics to acquire, use, and often share or sell a person’s personal data. Lead generation is no longer the simple process of encouraging a consumer to fill out an online form. Today, online “lead gen,” as it is called, incorporates the use of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, search engines, mobile phones, apps, geo-location, native advertising, email, sentiment mining, data-driven audience buying (programmatic), user “scoring” methods, attribution analysis for measurement, and a network of data brokers providing instantaneous identity and other sensitive information. The commission, in its workshop, report, and follow-up activity, should focus on the leaders of the digital data marketing industry—starting with Facebook and Google but including many others—and its use of lead generation. While there are likely many “bad” lead generator actors, as the commission’s enforcement actions have already identified, we believe that the most significant threats to consumers overall arise from the growing and now endemic use of powerful, non-transparent lead-generation techniques, especially for financial products, by the leading companies in the marketplace. Unless it is subjected to some floor of enforceable consumer protection—including but not limited to transparency and real consumer choices to avoid it—lead generation will become—if it has not already—a patently unfair system of consumer manipulation and control. Few consumers know that when they are encouraged to provide data about themselves—when they seek a home, college or auto loan, for example—that the supposedly informational website promising attractive rates and up-to-date information is really in the business on capturing their personal information to be used or sold as a lead. Online lead-generation techniques are integrated into the digital medium, with many interconnected applications fostering ongoing data collection for lead-related profiling and targeted services (e.g., search, social media, financial digital marketing). The commission should note that the leading business segments for online marketing revenues and expenditures—retail, financial services, and the automotive sectors—significantly use online lead-generation tactics. So do the leaders in the digital media business—including Google, Facebook, and Twitter, for example. The commission, in its workshop, report and follow-up activity, should focus on the leaders of the digital data marketing industry and their use of lead generation
  • The Internet as a whole has become an important part of our global public sphere. Internet provides access to a wealth of information and knowledge, and the possibility to participate, create and communicate. This public space made up of internet infrastructures is increasingly threatened from two sides; by the centralization and commercialization through the dominant positions held by giant telecom and Internet companies, as well as by an increasing trend in state regulation and censorship of the net. This poses important questions about how we choose to organize and regulate our digital societies, and how Internet governance models can be developed and implemented to ensure fair and democratic participation. When it comes to the future of the Internet, a key discussion is one of infrastructures; who owns, runs and controls them. The question of regulation, and who oversees the regulators, is made complicated by the transnational nature of the net. As much as people expect a broadly and equitably accessible Internet open to diversity, we are, slowly but surely, moving away from it. Monopolization of Internet infrastructures and services by companies such as Facebook and Google has gone hand in hand with privacy intrusions, surveillance and the unbounded use of personal data for commercial gain. As we all interact in these centralized commercial platforms that monetize our actions we see an effective enclosure and manipulation of our public spaces. Decentralization and democratization of the Internet infrastructure and activities is essential to keep a free, open and democratic Internet for all to enjoy equitably. But can the “small is beautiful”-idea be compatible with the building of state-of-the-art successful infrastructure in the future? The debates around net neutrality, infrastructure neutrality and Internet monopolies reflect the important choices that are to be made. It is essential the EU formulates a comprehensive vision on the internet that addresses the protection of civil liberties such as free speech and privacy, but also the growing commercialization of our digital public spaces and the commodification of personal data with the effect of the market encroaching on all aspects of our daily lives. Only then can it make relevant interventions regarding the Internet and its governance. Let´s discuss how to re-decentralize and reclaim the Internet for all. This conference (link is external) is organised in cooperation with Commons Network and Heinrich Böll Foundation. DRAFT PROGRAMME (TBC) 15:00-15:30 Introduction 15:30-16:45 1st panel, The big picture What, if anything, in the current model of Internet Governance is clashing with a decentralized, resilient internet viewed as a common good? And what steps should be made by policymakers to foster the best environment for decentralized, community managed projects to grow? Confirmed speakers: Renata Avila, Aral Balkan 16:45-17:00 Coffee break 17:00–18:15 Decentralised infrastructure: Examples what examples of local and decentralized projects do we have today and what are the obstacles they face? Confirmed speakers: Edmon Chung, Robbert Mica, Olivier Schulbaum 18:15–18:30 Conclusions and final remarks This conference will be live streamed at: (link is external)>* (link is external) Background & Programme: (link is external) Joint the event community on Facebook: (link is external)> (link is external) Registration: (link is external)
  • Blog

    My personal data, nobody's business but my own:

    Key consumer demands for the trilogue on the General Data Protection Regulation

    Summary: BEUC reiterates the urgent need to put consumers back in control over the way their personal data is processed online and hopes an agreement on the General Data Protection Regulation will be reached under the Luxembourg Presidency. However, the urgency to adopt the Regulation must not take its toll on consumers’ fundamental rights. Weak provisions on fundamental data protection principles (e.g. purpose limitation) and/or allowing too much flexibility for commercial entities to process personal data based on their alleged legitimate interests could have devastating effects for consumers’ privacy, especially if coupled with flawed rules on highly sensitive aspects like profiling. In general terms, we believe that the European Parliament’s first reading position provides a good basis for an agreement. We also welcome the proactive stance taken by the European Data Protection Supervisor, who has provided some useful recommendations. In contrast, the Council’s General Approach contains some provisions that would even weaken current protection standards, a clear red line set out in the beginning of this reform. That being said, we urge the Commission, the Parliament and the Council to be ambitious. The objective is to modernise and improve Europe’s data protection regime, not to merely maintain the status quo and certainly not to weaken existing protection. The outcome of these negotiations shall provide consumers with greater transparency and control over how their personal data is collected and used. Otherwise consumers will be left with little option than to systematically give up their privacy in order to access online goods and services. This would be unacceptable. A robust Data Protection Regulation must comprise: A broad and future-proof scope. Every company doing business in Europe or targeting users based in Europe must comply with EU laws, regardless of the company’s nationality or the place where it is established. Any kind of information that would allow to identify an individual or single someone out as an individual shall be considered personal data, including pseudonymous1 data. Solid data protection principles and strict legal grounds for data processing. Principles such as “purpose limitation” and “data minimisation” are at the core of the EU data protection regime and must not be weakened. The amount of personal data processed should be kept to the minimum necessary. Further processing of personal data for purposes incompatible with those that justified the initial processing should not be allowed. An enhanced set of data subjects’ rights. Strong and clear provisions are needed with regard to fundamental issues such as the information that must be provided to data subjects, profiling and the right to object. Restrictions on user rights should be strictly limited and include sufficient guarantees. A comprehensive enforcement scheme, including effective mechanisms for consumer redress. The Regulation must be effectively and uniformly enforced across all of the EU. It is crucial that consumers can easily access effective mechanisms to seek redress and that consumer organisations are allowed to proactively defend the rights of data subjects. [see attached for rest of this important document]
  • Blog

    MMA Global Smarties Awards Shortlist Celebrates Innovation and Effectiveness in Mobile Marketing

    Campaigns from leading brand marketers and agencies compete from around the world to win the coveted Smarties

    New York – August 20, 2015 –Honoring the trailblazers leveraging the power of mobile marketing, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) (link is external) today revealed the shortlist for the 2015 Global Smarties™ Awards. The close to 100 campaigns from far reaching countries around the world represent the next evolution of what is possible when brands place mobile at the core of their marketing strategies. Led by Chief Creative Officer of Razorfish Global, Daniel Bonner, the powerhouse jury (link is external) panel of over 25 leading brand marketers and agency professionals will have the difficult but invigorating task of debate and winner selection. “This year’s shortlist shows how creativity, innovation and analytics across all mobile formats continue to mature. It is clear that mobile has become an ever increasing primary route to engaging and reaching consumers in a powerful way,” said Bonner. “This diverse shortlist offers a unique perspective from around the planet.” “By continuing to honor the best and brightest work for innovation, creativity and bravery across mobile marketing, the MMA Global Smarties Awards Program serves as an inspiration and beacon for marketing and agency leaders to keep striving for even greater integration of mobile as a key competitive advantage,” said Sheryl Daija, Chief Strategy Officer, MMA. “We are seeing evermore progressive and unique approaches to using mobile as a way for marketers to connect more closely to their consumers.” The finalists and winners will be honored at the annual Global Smarties Awards show (link is external), hosted by Jason Jones, formerly of the Daily Show on the evening of day one of the MMA SM2 Innovation Summit (link is external) during Advertising Week in New York City. The 2015 show will be held on September 28, at Pier Sixty overlooking the Hudson River. As part of a larger ongoing strategy for the MMA to provide the most comprehensive resource for marketers on how best to implement effective mobile marketing campaigns, the MMA in collaboration with Millward Brown will be analyzing the shortlist and publishing a Global Trends Report, which will unearth best practices, key mobile trends and establish what sets apart a winning mobile campaign. Additionally, the MMA will be converting the shortlist into case studies to be added to the over 500 strong Case Study Hub (link is external). For the full list of awards, please visit (link is external)
  • Consumer Group Challenges Jest8’s Application for New COPPA Parent Verification Technology

    Tells FTC to “Just Say No” to Unproven, Unsafe Parental Consent Method

    Washington, DC - September 14,th 2015 - The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) filed comments at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in response to an application from Jest8 Limited (trading as Riyo) for a new verifiable parental consent (VPC) method that purports to be in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). That act requires the operators of websites directed at children under 13 to obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting any personal information from a child. But as CDD’s detailed filing makes clear, Jest8’s system, which attempts to match a photo of a parent with a photo of that parent’s ID, fails on three fundamental counts: (1) it does not ensure that the person submitting the photographic evidence is, in fact, the parent; (2) it does not satisfactorily demonstrate that its facial recognition algorithms are sufficiently reliable to be deployed in the sensitive area of children’s privacy; and (3) it poses a severe risk to the consumer data that it collects in the process of undertaking its “Face Match to Verified Photo Identification,” with no assurance that it it will promptly delete such data as promised. The filing also raises questions about the applicant’s lack of any background on privacy issues, especially those that address the needs of children.“The FTC must ensure that a parent is actually authorizing the collection of their child’s data,” explained CDD executive director Jeff Chester. “Jest8 fails to provide any serious guarantee that a child’s privacy will be protected, and that their parent or guardian has made an informed decision.”CDD (through its predecessor, the Center for Media Education) spearheaded the campaign that led to the passage of COPPA in 1998. More recently, CDD successfully organized the effort to update and strengthen the COPPA rules in 2012, working with a coalition of consumer, child advocacy, and health organizations.A copy of CDD’s FTC filing is available at CDD's comments on Jest8's application, attached below.
  • Blog

    Opera Mediaworks and comScore release new native video ad effectiveness study for auto-playing

    in-feed environments from brands like adidas, Carl’s Jr., Disney, HISTORY, GM and more.

    With the rapid growth of native, in-feed, auto-play video, Opera Mediaworks and comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR) have partnered on an industry-first study on the subject to better understand ad effectiveness of mobile-first video for native environments to help brands drive more impact with their creative. The study, released today, found that brands and agencies are seeing meaningful results from mobile-first, purpose-built video ad creative. Findings from the study showed that purpose-built, native video ads drove significant lift and outperformed comScore mobile norms1 across key upper and lower funnel brand metrics. When isolating campaigns to those that most closely followed creative best practices for native mobile video, results were remarkably higher, in particular, with lower-funnel metrics tied to converting users to actual consumers. “Based on the findings, auto-playing video specifically created for native, in-feed environments can have a major impact on results like purchase intent and likelihood to recommend,” says Nikao Yang, SVP for Global Marketing and Business Development, Opera Mediaworks. “While not a substitute for full-screen mobile video ads, native video ads can be a strong complement and a key part of the mobile video marketing mix.” Following creative best practices for native video yields even greater results when driving consumer conversion and action For the nine campaigns in the study, purpose-built, native video ads that auto-play in the feed drove significant lift at a 90% confidence level and outperformed comScore mobile norms across key metrics in both upper- and lower-funnel metrics. Mobile-ad recall delivered a 6-point lift overall and consumer perception of the ads as unique was higher by 9 points among the exposed group. Among lower-funnel metrics, brands saw a 5-point lift for intent to purchase metrics and a 5-point lift for likelihood to recommend, while outperforming mobile norms. However, when isolating the nine campaigns to those that most closely followed creative best practices (ultimately, four campaigns), results were remarkably higher especially for lower-funnel metrics tied to consumer conversion and action, outperforming comScore mobile norms and delivering significant double-digit lift between control and test groups. When comparing the aggregate of nine campaigns to the four campaigns that most closely followed creative best practices, the latter outperformed the former by 3x in favorability, 3x in likelihood to recommend and more than 2x in purchase intent. From a brand awareness standpoint, the campaigns drove nearly 2x in mobile-ad recall and 2x in ad uniqueness. Full article available at (link is external)
  • The programmatic ad tech consolidation continues. Publicis Groupe has bought mobile-focused ad platform RUN (link is external), previously known as RUN DSP, the holding company said Tuesday. Read more on RUN's blog (link is external) or read Publicis' release (link is external). Details of the deal – including price – were not disclosed. It’s a significant move for the holding company, whose recent financials have been less than stellar. Publicis Groupe’s revenue grew a scant 4% year over year, reaching $2.21 billion in the third quarter of 2014. CEO Maurice Lévy blamed (link is external) the meager growth on key account losses – many from its digital agency Razorfish – and what he referred to as the lingering “distraction” of the spectacularly anticlimactic failed merger with Omnicom. Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) will leverage RUN's DMP and DSP in support of existing solutions, teams and agencies across Publicis Groupe, including ZenithOptimedia and Publicis trading desk VivaKi. The RUN acquisition could mean that Publicis has finally decided to follow in the footsteps of WPP, the only other big-boy agency holding company that has pursued an ad tech "ownership" strategy via its Xaxis unit. WPP has previously invested in AppNexus and Rentrak. Omnicom, in the meantime, has Annalect – though the holding company's CEO John Wren indicated during his last earnings call (link is external) it trailed Xaxis. As part of VivaKi’s Audience on Demand platform (AOD), RUN will also be integral to Starcom MediaVest, Publicis Groupe’s media planning and buying hub. VivaKi will reportedly leverage RUN’s data-management platform and its demand-side platform (DSP) technology to enhance AOD. According to a VivaKi source, one of the desk’s first initiatives will be configuring RUN’s tech to power AOD for cross-channel advertising. The question then becomes: Will there be an internal mandate for Publicis clients to tap into RUN? If a client has a pre-existing DSP relationship, that could cause some friction. Full article available at (link is external)
  • Here you will find the CDD Presentation to Institute of Medicine of September 2015.
  • The growth of Hispanic consumers’ influence in the United States has been nothing short of explosive. Today, they represent one of the most powerful–and attractive–shopper segments in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, and for good reason. Not only do the 57 million U.S. Hispanics already boast an estimated collective spending power of more than $1.3 trillion, their spending and income is only growing. In fact, the latest edition of “The Why? Behind The Buy U.S. Hispanic Shopper Study (link is external)” from Acosta and Univision Communication Inc. reveals that Hispanic shopper spending has hit a three-year high with an average expenditure of $361 per month on groceries, a full $30 more than what the average total U.S. shopper spends. Looking forward, Hispanic shoppers are also more optimistic about their personal economies; 38% indicated that they expect a positive change in their total household incomes in the coming year, compared to just 23% of total U.S. shoppers. U.S. Hispanics are already a driving force in grocery retail, responsible for a disproportionate amount of growth in certain categories, such as health and beauty care, which now outpaces total store growth. What’s clear is that Hispanics have clout, and lots of it. What’s not so clear is how marketers can best appeal to this shopper segment and capture market share. The key lies in knowing how these consumers shop and make purchase decisions. Digital Drivers Hispanics are more digitally engaged, outpacing the general U.S. population when it comes to technology. They are early adopters of new technologies and have a significant lead over their U.S. counterparts when it comes to both smartphone ownership (81% versus 74%) as well as tablet penetration (72% year-over-year growth for Hispanics versus 56% for total U.S. shoppers). It’s no surprise that there is a compelling draw for these types of devices from an entertainment standpoint, but Hispanics are also significantly more likely to use mobile technology, social media, apps, and other digital tools for grocery shopping. Half of Hispanic shoppers have indicated they had purchased a grocery item online in the past year, which is a notable 10 percentage points higher than total U.S. shoppers. Full article available at (link is external)
  • Blog

    Shopper Futures Pairs Mondelez Brands With Retailers, Startups

    7-Eleven, Kum & Go, Mac's, QuickChek participating in initiative

    DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Mondelēz International has announced the eight startups selected to participate in the company's Shopper Futures program. Shopper Futures, the company's innovation initiative, brings together retailers, entrepreneurs and its own "power brands" to help transform the consumer retail experience. 7-Eleven (link is external), Kum & Go (link is external), Mac's (link is external) and QuickChek (link is external) are among the convenience-store retailers involved in the initiative. The company received hundreds of applications from startups across the United States and Canada. After a rigorous evaluation process, Mondelēz invited 18 startups to a Pitch Day to present and meet with participating retailers and brand "intrapreneurs." The eight selected startups will now work with major retailers in collaboration with Mondelēz brands to bring in-market pilots to life over the next 90 days. Those collaborations are: Sampler collaborating with Albertsons & Ritz brand, U.S. Shelfbucks collaborating with Meijer & Oreo brand, U.S. Shelfbucks collaborating with Wakefern & Halls brand, U.S. Freckle IoT collaborating with 7-Eleven (link is external) & Oreo/belVita brands, U.S. Strap collaborating with Kum & Go (link is external) & Trident brand, U.S. Turnstyle Solutions collaborating with QuickChek (link is external) & Swedish Fish brand, U.S. Turnstyle Solutions collaborating with Mac's (link is external) Convenience Stores (Ontario Division) & Cadbury brand, Canada Aislelabs collaborating with Metro & Triscuit brand, Canada Earshot collaborating with 7-Eleven (link is external) Canada & Dentyne brand, Canada Aisle411 collaborating with Halls brand, Canada "We're thrilled to be working with some of the most ambitious entrepreneurs and retailers across North America, to help shape the future of retail both in-store and online," said Kim Yansen, director of field shopper marketing. "The caliber of participating startups is truly incredible. Through our 90-day collaboration process, we're looking forward to putting real solutions in market to solve pressing retail challenges and help unlock growth for our retailers and categories." Shopper Futures is the fourth global iteration in the Futures series, building on the success of Mobile Futures, an initiative Mondelēz launched in 2012 that paired its brands with select startups to accelerate existing mobile innovations and incubate new ventures. Kicked off by several days of "immersions" at each startups' headquarters, the teams will work together to build programs to pilot within 90 days. By harnessing each startup's entrepreneurial spirit, the retailers' commitment to testing innovative ideas, and Mondelēz's brand and shopper marketing expertise, the goal of Shopper Futures is to develop scalable shopper learnings and solutions by the end of 2015 while continuing to infuse a spirit of intrapreneurship internally at Mondelēz. Full article available at (link is external)
  • Cookie Matching This guide explains how the Cookie Matching Service enables you to make more effective bidding choices. The Cookie Matching Service enables a buyer to associate two kinds of data: the cookie that identifies a user within the buyer domain, and the cookie that identifies the user for Google. (We share a buyer-specific encrypted Google User ID for buyers to match on.) With an RTB application, the buyer can bid on impressions where the user has a specific Google User ID, and can use information associated with the Google User ID as criteria in a bid for an ad impression. If Google hosts the match table, that may simplify integration, decrease latency, and enable future enhancements. Background A browser cookie is typically set by the party that owns the domain to which the cookie belongs. The cookie identifies a user within that domain. The security model of the browser restricts one party from reading the cookie set by another party, even if both parties would otherwise agree to such an exchange. The buyer typically identifies users with cookies that belong to the domain of a third-party ad network. The buyer may index a database of user information with those cookies. For itself, Google identifies users with cookies that belong to the domain under which Google serves ads. For buyers, Google identifies users using a buyer-specific Google User ID which is an encrypted version of the cookie, derived from but not equal to that cookie. Google passes the Google User ID to the buyer (raw DoubleClick cookies are never sent). When receiving a particular Google User ID for the first time, the buyer has no knowledge about the user associated with the Google User ID other than what the bid request reveals. The buyer can associate the Google User ID with a buyer cookie, and subsequently consider user information associated with the buyer cookie in making decisions about users identified by the Google User ID. This can be useful in remarketing (link is external) campaigns, and in refining targeting or bidding for impressions as they become available in real time. The Cookie Matching Service provides the information that a buyer network needs to maintain an association between the buyer cookie and the Google User ID, in the form of a data structure called a match table. Additionally, the buyer can provide data for Google to store and add to future bid requests. Benefits of hosted match tables Buyers who choose to have Google host their match tables stand to gain the following benefits: Less infrastructure support Mapping the Google User ID to a useful form no longer requires a table lookup During pre-targeting, there is the option to filter on whether or not a cookie match exists, which can reduce unwanted bid requests ---- Full article available at (link is external)
  • Conference of the Data Protection Commissioners of the Federal Government and the Federal States (Länder) I. Preliminary remarks After the Justice and Home Affairs Council adopted its position on the General Data Protec- tion Regulation on 15 June 2015, since late June the European Commission, Parliament and Council have been discussing their positions on the Regulation in what is known as the trilogue, with the aim of reaching an overall agreement and adopting the legally relevant act by the end of 2015. Since the Commission presented its proposals in January 2012, the conference of Germany’s data protection commissioners of the Federation and of the Länder has repeatedly made public its position on data protection reform. It presented its opinion on the entire package on 11 June 2012 and on individual aspects of the data protection reform in a series of resolu- tions and opinions.1 From the beginning, the conference supported the Commission’s aim of building “a modern, strong, consistent and comprehensive data protection framework for the European Union”,2 all the more so as the Commission explicitly focused on individuals’ fundamental right to privacy, which the reform is intended to serve. This is why it is extraordinarily important for the conference of federal and state data pro- tection commissioners that the General Data Protection Regulation should ensure better or at least the same level of protection of fundamental rights as current law, which is largely determined by Directive 95/46/EC. The reform of European data protection law must abso- lutely not result in a lower level of data protection than is currently in place. The conference emphasizes that the fundamental principles of data protection based on Article 8 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Article 16(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the Eu- ropean Union (TFEU) should therefore not be open to discussion. There are still no specific requirements governing high-risk data processing, such as profiling or with regard to video surveillance. And the Regulation still allows data to be processed for advertising purposes without the data subjects’ consent. Precisely in this era of Big Data and global data pro- cessing, the autonomy of the individual, the transparency and lawfulness of data processing, purpose limitation and the accountability of controllers are just as important for safeguard- ing fundamental rights as strong supervision of data protection and effective sanctions. These issues and others addressed in the following are the most important points which the conference of federal and state data protection commissioners believe the participants in the trilogue should especially concentrate on. For ease of use, this paper is oriented on the structure of the current drafts of the General Data Protection Regulation. II. The individual proposals 1. The scope of the General Data Protection Regulation a. The household exemption must not be expanded! The Council has expanded the household exemption in Article 2(2)(d) of the Regulation by crossing out the words “without any gainful interest” and “exclusively” in the Commission’s proposal. The Council’s proposal is formulated in a way that would exempt a substantial part of the processing of personal data by natural persons from the scope of data protection law even if the fundamental data protection rights of third parties were significantly infringed upon. As formulated by the Council, even if the processing for personal or household purposes repre- sented only a minor purpose when considering the whole, it would still fall under the house- hold exemption and would therefore no longer be subject to data protection law. Users of a social network or operators of a private website would be exempt from the law, even if they published large amounts of personal data without restriction on the Internet, as long as they declared they were doing so (also) for personal or household purposes. Such expansion would be unacceptable. Nor can the intention to make a profit serve as a criterion for apply- ing data protection law, because the degree to which data processing interferes in privacy does not depend on the profit motive. Expanding the household exemption too far would conflict with the fundamental right to privacy guaranteed by primary law and therefore can- not be implemented in secondary law. Full article available at (link is external)
  • Earlier in the week, I started a decision-science series that I’ll carry through the entire year. I’m really excited to spend some time on this emerging topic that has already proven to be a game changer in the digital-marketing industry. Brain science and its offshoot, neuromarketing, have quickly become such powerful concepts that many organizations are integrating these principles into their day-to-days; some have even gone so far as to bring neurologists and cognitive scientists on staff to inform and infuse overarching marketing initiatives. To speak of their experiences, Dr. Carmen Simon of Rexi Media; Jennifer Towns, AOL’s VP of Marketing; and Merkle Principal Consultant, Leah van Zelm presented a riveting session, “Bringing neuroscience to the world of data-driven marketing (link is external),” earlier this month and weighed in on their companies’ respective efforts. Audiences remember 10 percent of what we present, and according to Dr. Simon, marketers can tap into brain science to best craft both that 10 percent and the experiences that push consumers toward that critical information. Every company that’s integrating these best practices has different motivators, processes, and end goals. At AOL, Jennifer explained, they recognize that the 10 percent isn’t the same for everyone, and they strive to connect the right message to the right person at the right time, drawing on that user’s own personal experiences. Because different things happen to us daily—and have happened to us in our lives—words, experiences, stimuli, and other external factors automatically have unique meanings to individuals. What I perceive one way may be perceived completely differently by another person. And for AOL, that could mean 1,000 different 10-percent messages that, through lookalike modeling and other predictive elements, can be utilized across their entire customer base. Going in, AOL always knows what actions they want consumers to take, stemming from the 10 percent they want them to take away. For Merkle, it’s similar and starts with that same notion of gaining messaging clarity. Leah’s team is always spot on in terms of what they want to say, how they want to deliver the message, and the context by which it should be surrounded. When she looks at decisioning, it’s about appealing to unique consumer motivations in relevant, experience-driven ways. For them, it’s the “single selfish benefit” of it all. How can that single selfish benefit become the 10 percent? And how can they determine what my single selfish benefit is or yours, your spouse’s, your colleague’s, and your neighbor’s? Simply speaking, it’s about diving into the context of the engagement—what consumers are searching, what they’re saying, and how they came to the platform, for example—to craft more relevant experiences and messaging with the 10 percent always front and center. Once the 10 percent has been determined, it’s essential to go back to the core principles of brain science to then drive action. Dr. Simon’s equation for inspiring action is simple: Attention + Memory + Decision = Action Full article available at (link is external)
  • The most exciting point of Panos Toullis’s work involved a late night of caffeine-powered data-hacking, when Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt sauntered into the room, nudged him on the shoulder and said something to the effect of, “You know, you guys are doing something new and innovative and something that people will be repeating over and over again from now on.” To Toullis, a Ph.D. student in Harvard’s statistics department, this was like an aspiring pianist meeting Mozart. He recounted to the HPR, “The company is Google, and this dude sees so many technologies and integrations and he’s saying that this was something innovative! Surprising, right?” The innovation to which Toullis was referring is the new world of political analytics that emerged out of Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, known as Obama for America or OFA. OFA, initially designed for the 2008 race, was widely regarded as revolutionary when it started using data in earnest in 2012. Having hired Facebook and Google veterans, high-energy particle physicists, and executives from various up-and-coming companies in the Bay Area, OFA’s team was 10 times the size of Mitt Romney’s Republican equivalent. From conducting experiments to optimizing fundraising email wordology, the analytics team completely changed senior political operatives’ approaches to campaigning. It was the first to spend over $100 million on online advertising; it was also the first campaign to simulate database failures to practice handling end-of-the-world level disasters. It was, after all, the year 2012. As 2016 approaches, the focus on data and analytics will continue to grow. Civis Analytics and BlueLabs, both founded by members of OFA’s analytics team, have expanded from the campaign world into the private sector as data consulting firms for progressive non-profit organizations and political campaigns. Hillary Clinton has already hired a key subset of Obama’s top digital and analytics personnel. And on the Republican side, the Koch brothers have invested $50 million into i360, a Republican equivalent to Civis and BlueLabs. Analytics, it seems, is here to stay. It looks like the politicians will wage their battles with armies of data for the years to come. As campaigns gather more information about individual voters and continue to target at finer granularities, what is the ultimate affect of analytics on our democracy? Full article available at (link is external)