Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Coalition for Better Advertising


Publishers have always had to balance pleasing their audience with pleasing their advertisers. Too much advertising turns audiences away, too little means less revenue. Then there are the bad ads, the annoying and irritating, disruptive ones. To tackle this problem, GroupM is helping to form The Coalition for Better Ads - a global industry movement of publishers, agencies, technology companies and advertisers that aims to develop and implement new standards in digital advertising.

Details and Implications:

The rise of ad blockers has tipped the balance of power and consumers now have the nuclear option to block all digital advertising. This means that creating ‘good’ ads is now the responsibility of the entire industry, because ad blockers are not going to be tempted back because one site or advertiser has changed its ways. It’s all or literally nothing.
The Coalition has a strategy to deliver on three areas: defining standards for acceptable advertising, building technology to measure compliance with these standards and building consumer awareness of this change.
These standards will likely be based on the new LEAN scoring from the IAB which specifies that advertising should be: Light, Encrypted, AdChoice Supported and Non-invasive. These four principles will be built upon and quantified but can definitely be put to work right now on current activity.
Once the industry embraces these standards and implements technology based upon them, we are likely to see some significant changes:

Buying ads in ‘non-disruptive’ environments:

Advertising revenues sometimes discourage publishers from maintaining the quality of their properties – adding in more and more ad units. If advertisers pay premiums for ‘non-disruptive’ environments then publishers may be seduced into improving their sites to improve their yields.

Selective ad blocking: 

Once a system for scoring ads has been built ad blockers could specifically block ads that don’t meet the mark. Imagine an ad blocker that only stops THOSE ads.

Publishers charge a premium for certain advertising: 

Sites that want to maintain their score could actually charge a significant premium for advertisers who break the rules.


While we wait for The Coalition to do its work, Mindshare will be working with its clients and partners to lead the charge towards better ads. Delivering ads that are more considerate to consumers is central to delivering good experiences on behalf of our clients.
We urge you to take a look at the LEAN standards and see how we can move adverts away from being seen as annoying to being seen as something that informs and educates.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Google Updates Feeds to Require GTIN


As of May 16th 2016 if you sell a product that has a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) (a digital barcode) on Google, it will be compulsory to include it in your feed, or else those items will be disapproved.

Details & Implications

Many manufacturers make multiple products that are extremely similar when looked at within the product page of a website. Think of a time when you have tried to order something as simple as a TV,  it’s amazing how hard it is to work out if you are comparing the same model across different websites. The difficulty in confidently identifying products, is what makes product comparison sites difficult to build. Despite the fact Google has created relatively robust face recognition software, the company has not come close to replicating this with products, so Google has decided to progress by forcing merchants to tell it exactly what each product is.

Merchants must now use a standardized identifier to make sure Google can compare Golden Delicious apples to Golden Delicious apples. The introduction of GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) uniquely identifies any product that arrives in any kind of packaging – barcodes are usually digital versions of a GTIN. The GTIN is as familiar to logistics people as GRPs are to media people. They act as a common language between warehouses and companies to ensure large companies are able to efficiently transport goods from one business to another without needing someone to key the actual order details each time.

Google’s change ensures that it is getting access to this consistent data and can therefore innovate on top of the existing infrastructure instead of creating its own framework from scratch. If merchants do not comply with Google’s decision, their product listing ads will simply stop working and their products will not appear within Google shopping. This will obviously impact volumes for merchants, so there will be a push on their side to include the GTIN.


After receiving the updated product listing feeds, Google will have an interesting new data source – the exact products on sale from a range of merchants and the ability to compare. Therefore, Google can start ranking these merchants on how quickly they stock new products, how successful they are at keeping items in stock and how broad \ unique a range they sell. Even more interestingly they can compare the prices these merchants offer, so give a guide as to how competitively merchants price. Google can now also start looking at extending quality scores to include metrics based on what retailers sell. Furthermore, other companies will be making these standardized identifiers available on the internet, making it potentially easier for the next Kelkoo to emerge.