Quantifying The Brand Safety Crisis; Another Day, Another Google Pile-On

Not So Safe

Eighty percent of the more than 3.3 billion pieces of content removed from social media platforms – including Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and Snapchat – is either spam, adult or explicit content, or hate speech, according to a new report from the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM). The data in the report – GARM’s first on digital brand safety – was self-reported, Research Live reports. And Ad Age points out there are still gaps in reporting on topics such as how safe the digital platforms are for consumers and advertisers, and how effective they are at policing themselves and correcting mistakes. GARM began working more closely with all the platforms following the political and social upheaval in 2020, and the brand boycott of Facebook, which was prompted by concerns over hate speech and disinformation.

Google Pile On

An antitrust lawsuit against Google? Shocking. The Daily Mail has filed suit against the tech giant for allegedly manipulating search results and advertising auctions that harm online publishers. According to The Wall Street Journal, the suit claims Google punishes publishers in search rankings if they don’t sell enough advertising space through Google’s marketplace. Google already is facing antitrust suits brought by the U.S. Justice Department and attorneys general in several states, while the parent company of West Virginia’s Charleston Gazette-Mail filed an antitrust suit against Google and Facebook in January. But wait, there’s more! Several other small publishers on Monday filed suits against those two tech companies, citing a deal between them code-named “Jedi Blue.” So, how did the beef with the Daily Mail start? The Daily Mail’s concerns stem in part from its assessment that its coverage of the UK’s royal family in 2021 has been played down in Google’s search results.

Leaked Memo

Remember Facebook’s mass data leak of 533 million Facebook users? The one that included their names and phone numbers posted on a hacker forum? Well, apparently an internal memo about the leak has been leaked as well. Per Business Insider, the Facebook memo shows how its PR team plans to take the heat off the company and outlined Facebook’s long-term PR strategy for dealing with user data being scraped and exposed online. The memo was reportedly meant for Facebook’s European, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) PR team – Belgian news site Datanews first reported the story – and said the company should “normalize the fact this activity happens regularly.” The leak has landed Facebook in hot water over in Europe: Digital Rights Ireland (DRI) is commencing a “mass action” suit alleging that the Facebook breach violated personal data protections outlined by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

But Wait, There’s More!

Around the world, governments are moving simultaneously to limit the power of tech companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon with an urgency and breadth that no single industry had experienced before. [NYT]

DoubleVerify has uncovered seven fraud schemes targeting CTV devices over the past 18 months as part of one large, coordinated fraud scheme family, dubbed “OctoBot.” [release]

Netflix’s subscriber base jumped by roughly 37 million in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic to 204 million by the end of December, though the company must now contend with people looking to leave their houses more and a growing number of competitors entering the streaming wars. [WSJ]

Brands are rethinking their in-housing plans after the tactic was ‘put on ice’ amid pandemic. [Digiday]

Omnicom’s organic revenues slid 1.8% in Q1 [CampaignUS], while P&G’s net sales increased 5% to $18.1 billion for the quarter ending March 31. [Adweek]

Google is testing an ad relevance survey in Gmail desktop. [MediaPost]

Extreme Reach snapped up its competitor, Adstream, in a bid to make TV advertising more digital. [Business Insider]

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