Location, Location, Location
The FTC’s consumer privacy case against Kochava is back on the docket.
Last year, the consumer watchdog accused the mobile app analytics platform of selling users’ geolocation data in an open market. However, the presiding judge threw out the FTC’s case, claiming it failed to outline harms to consumers.
The FTC refiled its case under temporary seal. On Friday, Kochava lost its bid to keep the latest version under wraps.
The unsealed document reveals new details on the FTC’s case against the company, according to Law360.
The FTC says Kochava ties users’ mobile ad IDs (MAIDs) to sensitive personal information, including name, home address, email address and physical locations they’ve visited. It accuses Kochava of selling this information to any client that completes a simple form.
Kochava has allegedly approved these data requests without any follow-up as to how the client plans to use that data. A data request for a single user can net Kochava $25,000.
Privacy advocates fear such data could be used to target vulnerable groups, such as users who have crossed state lines to visit abortion clinics. The FTC is seeking an injunction barring Kochava from tying users’ MAIDs to their location data, which would have major implications for geolocation data vendors.
GroupM is in a bit of a hole, particularly highlighted following the recent departure of North America CEO Kirk McDonald, and there are no immediate signs of its troubles abating, Digiday reports.
The media buying unit of agency holdco WPP has had a bumpy ride this year, losing $155 million globally in client accounts. In North America, which is on particularly shaky ground, high-profile clients like Uber, Walgreens, L’Oréal and General Mills have decamped for rival agencies.
That’s not to say GroupM hasn’t had any wins. Its Wavemaker division won more than $1.2 billion in new business in the first half of 2023, and GroupM netted PayPal as a global client.
Still, there’s no guarantee GroupM will bounce back.
The pressure is on to fix performance problems as tech companies continue to dial back ad spend and the agency’s data and tech strategy still hasn’t quite found its footing. Not to mention GroupM’s bribery scandal in China.
Whoever replaces Kirk McDonald will have their work cut out for them.
After BravoCon last weekend, NBCUniversal announced new shoppable ads for Walmart items on Monday using the shoppable ad platform NBCU unveiled earlier this year.
Some upcoming episodes of Bravo’s “Below Deck” on Peacock will allow viewers to click through product catalogs on-screen or scan a QR code to shop for items on mobile.
NBCU’s new shoppable suite includes CTV ad formats from BrightLine and AI tech from KERV Interactive to identify objects on-screen. NBCU’s integration with Walmart gives the programmer access to retail data so it can highlight products that are actually available in-store or online. Checkout happens through Walmart, too.
But digital marketers also want to add CTV to their retargeting campaigns, which is why Peacock users who opted in to data sharing will then see personalized ads on Walmart.com for the products they just saw on “Below Deck.”
Advertisers will drive more sales from their CTV ad budgets when viewers can shop for what they see on TV immediately (as opposed to relying solely on a non-TV device), according to William White, chief marketing officer of Walmart’s US business.
But Wait, There’s More!
Epic Games brings its antitrust case against Google to trial this week. [The Washington Post]
Thousands of people are uninstalling ad blockers following YouTube’s global crackdown. [Engadget]
Meanwhile, YouTube is testing a ‘play something’ button to play seemingly random video content for people who don’t know what to watch. [The Verge]
And speaking of YouTube testing, it’s also wading deeper into gen AI waters with a conversational tool and comments summarizer. [TechCrunch]
Where the heck is X CEO Linda Yaccarino? [Wired]
Yaccarino’s boss, Elon Musk, has a new pet project: Grok, an AI chatbot that’s like ChatGPT, but snarky for some reason. [The Guardian]
Big Tech-backed chatbots have a false hallucination rate of between 3% and 27%. [NYT]
Disney poaches PepsiCo exec Hugh Johnson as its new CFO. [NextTV]
Bumble appoints Lidiane Jones to CEO. [The Wall Street Journal]
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