Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez surprised ad-industry professionals this week by calling for a universal "Do Not Track" solution and implicitly criticizing the Digital Advertising Alliance's existing self-regulatory program. "Consumers await a functioning Do Not Track system, which is long overdue," Ramirez said.
Ad-industry executives debated the role of mobile devices in brands' media strategies at a Consumer Electronics Show panel this week. Cross-platform and integrated campaigns are becoming a vital part of online marketing, execs said, but finding the right balance while maintaining a coherent campaign identity can be tricky. "We say human first instead of mobile first. ... We're actually creating one experience, but it can go in so many places," says Alastair Green, executive creative director at Team One, a Saatchi & Saatchi subsidiary.
Marc USA, the Pittsburgh-based agency, doubled the size of its digital specialist team in 2012 -- and the investment is paying off, execs say. The agency recently won a big contract to provide digital media services for Capital Blue Cross, and it already does digital-media work for brands including Rite Aid and the Pennsylvania Lottery.
New applications should speed the development of connected vehicles, writes Tim Peterson. Ford and GM announced the opening of their application programming interfaces to third-party developers, and Pioneer Electronics announced an AppRadio car stereo for streaming compatible apps from a smartphone to in-vehicle audio and display systems. "These apps could unlock another screen for advertisers. ... The possibilities abound considering all the new behavioral data the car platforms could unlock," Peterson writes.
Agency bigwigs say they were neither wowed nor disappointed by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's Consumer Electronics Show keynote. Mayer promised to streamline Yahoo's operations and introduce a more consistent back-end architecture for its services, but didn't pitch any compelling new advertising units or services, executives noted. "Advertisers don't see the spark any more," said one attendee. "Yahoo is low on the list and not just alphabetically."