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AppsFlyer helps mobile advertisers beat back ad fraud via machine learning

AppsFlyer is helping mobile game and app developers deal with the severe problem of fraudulent advertising responses via third-party ad networks. In doing so, the company said it has already saved brands tens of millions of dollars since 2016.

 Today, the San Francisco-based maker of mobile attribution and marketing analytics is launching Active Fraud Insights 2.0, hoping to set a new marketing industry standard for detecting fraud. The platform leverages metadata from 98 percent of the world’s mobile devices, and it uses proprietary advances in big data and machine learning. Ad fraud is causing an estimated $7.2 billion to $16.4 billion losses a year.

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Yelp gets a no-star review, and its shares take a beating

SAN FRANCISCO — Yelp made its name by giving consumers a place to state their opinions about everything from the quality of local businesses to the reliability of plumbers.

Welp, Yelp’s name may have turned to “Gulp” based on how many investors, and much of Wall Street, reacted to the company’s latest quarterly results and lackluster revenue forecast. The combination suggested that competition from bigger online rivals with deeper pockets is luring crucial advertisers away and cutting into Yelp’s ability to grow.

San Francisco-based Yelp’s shares plunged 18.4 percent to close Wednesday at $28.33 after the company reported a first-quarter loss of 6 cents a share, on $197.3 million in revenue. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast Yelp to lose 8 cents a share on sales of $198.3 million. Read the rest of this entry »

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Facebook nears ad-only business model as game revenue falls

By David Ingram | SAN FRANCISCO

Facebook Inc’s growth into a digital advertising power is showing a flip side: The social network is more dependent than ever on the cyclical ad market, even as its rival Google finds new revenue streams in hardware and software.

Facebook reported on Wednesday that 98 percent of its quarterly revenue came from advertising, up from 97 percent a year earlier and 84 percent in 2012. Revenue from non-advertising sources fell to $175 million in the quarter, from $181 million a year earlier.

Facebook has warned for some time about declining non-ad revenue. That part of its business consists almost entirely of video game players on desktop computers buying virtual currency, and it has fallen as gaming has moved to smartphones.

Facebook takes 30 percent of purchases, with the balance going to companies such as Zynga Inc, maker of the game Farmville.

The company’s dependence on advertising is a long-term concern but it has time to find other revenue while building its core ad business, said Clement Thibault, a senior analyst at

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Will Federal Shield Law Save Facebook From Bias Suit?

SAN FRANCISCO — Lawyers for Facebook Inc. are fighting back against claims that the company violated federal antidiscrimination laws by allowing advertisers to exclude certain users from viewing social media promotions for housing, credit and employment opportunities.

A New York woman and two African-American Louisiana residents sued Facebook in November 2016 claiming that the social media site’s advertising portal allows ad-purchasers to target or exclude users on the basis of race, gender or religion. But in a motion to dismiss the suit filed Monday, Facebook’s lawyers at Munger, Tolles & Olson claim that Facebook expressly forbids advertisers from violating antidiscrimination laws and that the company can’t be held liable for the actions of third-party advertisers thanks to the broad immunities granted to internet companies by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

“Advertisers, not Facebook, are responsible for both the content of their ads and what targeting criteria to use, if any,” wrote the Munger lawyers, led by partner Rosemarie Ring. “Facebook’s provision of these neutral tools to advertisers falls squarely within the scope of CDA immunity.”

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As boycott expands, Google pledges to keep offensive content away from ads

SAN FRANCISCO — In a bid to end a boycott of Google and YouTube by major advertisers in the U.K., Google says it will pull online ads from controversial content, give brands more control over where their ads appear and will deploy more people to enforce its ad policies.

And, amid charges it has not done enough to curtail hate speech on its services, Google broadened its definition to include content that harasses or attacks people based on race, religion, gender or other “similar” categories.

“We know advertisers don’t want their ads next to content that doesn’t align with their values,” Philipp Schindler, Google’s chief business officer, wrote in a . “So starting today, we’re taking a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Twitter explores subscription-based option for first time

By David Ingram | SAN FRANCISCO

Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) is considering whether to build a premium version of its popular Tweetdeck interface aimed at professionals, the company said on Thursday, raising the possibility that it could collect subscription fees from some users for the first time.

Like most other social media companies, Twitter since its founding 11 years ago has focused on building a huge user base for a free service supported by advertising. Last month it reported it had 319 million users worldwide. Read the rest of this entry »

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U.S. judge rejects Google email scanning settlement

By Jonathan Stempel

A federal judge rejected Google’s proposed class-action settlement with non-Gmail users who said it illegally scanned their emails to Gmail users to create targeted advertising.

In a decision on Wednesday night, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, said it was unclear that the accord, which provided no money for plaintiffs but up to $2.2 million in fees and expenses for their lawyers, would ensure Google’s compliance with federal and state privacy laws.

Koh called the proposed disclosure notice inadequate. She said this was because it did not clearly reveal any technical changes that Google would make, or that Google scans non-Gmail users’ emails to create ads for Gmail users.

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How ad agencies are responding to Women’s Day

The advertising industry’s gender problem is no secret, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that several ad agencies are going the extra mile on International Women’s Day today. While some agencies are celebrating their female employees and their work, others are taking the protest route, lending support to “A Day Without A Woman” and letting their female employees take the day off entirely.

Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, for example, is organizing a walkout for employees at noon today, to allow them to show their solidarity for equality, justice and the human rights of women and all gender oppressed people. The agency is sending emails to staffers to remind them to wear red, and has also created Facebook and Twitter event pages detailing the time, place, and the reasons that have prompted them to walk out. Read the rest of this entry »

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5th-grader gives Tesla marketing advice to tech billionaire

How in the world does a fifth-grader give advice to a tech billionaire? Write a letter. Read the rest of this entry »

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City of Concord creates ad campaign to bring in business

An East Bay city is hoping to cash in on businesses that can’t afford to open in some of the most expensive parts of the Bay Area.

Downtown Concord sparkles, but that’s not how economic leaders are selling it. They’re running advertisements on the radio that say, “Silicon Valley and San Francisco made the Bay Area overpriced with no place to grow. Fortunately, the City of Concord opens up a refreshing amount of space to build to suit properties.” Read the rest of this entry »

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