Ben Schumin

Facebook Now Helps Advertisers Target People Who Visited Their Real-World Stores

Most of us are no longer surprised to see that our online ads are sometimes directly related to websites we’ve recently visited. An even more invasive practice would be for you to go online and be bombarded with ads for a bricks-and-mortar store you just shopped at. Nevertheless, Facebook is now letting online advertisers target users based on their offline movements. [More]


Google’s Tracking Of Offline Spending Sparks Call For Federal Investigation

Google recently announced a suite of new tools for advertisers, allowing them to link a customer’s offline credit card purchases with the things they look at online. Shockingly, some privacy advocates think this sort of tracking goes too far and have called on the federal government to investigate. [More]

Report: Instagram Influencers Continue To Ignore Warnings About Stealth Ads

Report: Instagram Influencers Continue To Ignore Warnings About Stealth Ads

Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission issued dozens of friendly reminders to brands that they were potentially breaking advertising/endorsement rules by compensating Instagram “influencers” without being transparent about this sponsorship. According to a new report, this message apparently didn’t influence the influencers, many of whom continue to stealth-advertise to their followers. [More]

Phillippe Put

Spotify Now Testing “Sponsored” Songs For Its Free Tier

As the way we get our entertainment changes, advertisers continue to find ways to target the audiences who are tuned in. Spotify, for example, is apparently not content with playing the occasional ad between songs on its free tier. The streaming service is now testing “sponsored” songs that labels pay to run on the platform. [More]

Instagram Makes It Easier For ‘Influencers’ To Tag Sponsored Posts

Instagram Makes It Easier For ‘Influencers’ To Tag Sponsored Posts

Consumer watchdogs and the federal government have been cracking down on undisclosed “stealth” advertising on social media — particularly Instagram, where celebrities of all stripes have been caught shilling for products without disclosing they were compensated. In an effort to make it easier for these “influencers” to be more transparent about sponsored posts, Instagram has launched a new “paid partnership” label. [More]

‘Most Interesting Man’ In The World Gives Up Beer For Tequila

‘Most Interesting Man’ In The World Gives Up Beer For Tequila

When the night reaches that point when you move on from drinking beer to doing shots of tequila, it usually doesn’t bode well for how you’ll feel in the morning. But then again, most of us aren’t the one-time “Most Interesting Man In the World.” [More]

Chris Rief

NFL Will Allow Liquor Ads For The First Time

Move over, beer: In what the league is calling a one-season test, the National Football League will allow the liquor industry to run ads during games this year. There are rules to this advertising game, however. [More]


Google Rolling Out A Chrome Ad Blocker, Putting Web Publishers On Notice

You know that feeling of relief and serenity that comes with a web-browsing experience free of annoying popups, auto-play video ads, and screen-dominating interstitials? As predicted, Google is planning to launch a new ad blocker on Chrome next year in an effort to clean up the internet. [More]

Belgian King “Not Happy” With Burger King’s Effort To Unseat Him

Belgian King “Not Happy” With Burger King’s Effort To Unseat Him

Who is more deserving to be the Belgian monarch: A man who was — literally — born to do the job, or a fast food chain? However silly that question might sound, it’s one that the actual King of Belgium would rather Burger King didn’t ask. [More]

Chevrolet | YouTube

So How Real Are The People In Chevy’s “Real People” Ads?

If you watch TV at all, you’ve probably seen one of the many “focus group” ads from Chevy, where supposedly real people are consistently flabbergasted at the car company’s achievements. But just how authentic are the things we see in these commercials? [More]


Google Following Your Offline Credit Card Spending To Tell Advertisers If Their Ads Work

Google’s holding its annual conference for marketers today in San Francisco, and to kick it off they’re announcing some new tools advertisers can use. One of them promises to tie your offline credit card data together with all your online viewing to tell advertisers exactly what’s working as they try to target you and your wallet. [More]


Doctors Say ‘General Hospital’ Made Character Ill Just To Advertise Drug

With TV viewers increasingly turning to streaming services or fast-forwarding through commercials on their DVR, product placement is hotter than ever. Reality show contestants have to carry around a company’s mascot for an entire episode; there’s an entire show coming that’s just an ad for an app (it rhymes with “blazzam”). But did a classic soap opera cross the line when a character becomes sick with a rare disease and the show’s partner just happens to make a drug that can treat her ailment? [More]

Mike Mozart

Burger King Franchisee Made Employees Hand Out Coupons At Concentration Camp Site

Even in this age of nearly omnipresent advertising, there are still some places where it’s in very bad taste to force coupons on the public, like outside the site of a former concentration camp. [More]

Phillip Pessar

TV Networks Watch You Back With The Help Of Big Data

Adults between ages 18 and 49 are advertisers’ favorite demographic, but television networks have a huge problem. Every year, those adults watch less and less prime-time TV, and when they do it’s often on a DVR that lets them zip through the commercials or months later on an ad-free streaming service like Netflix. So without all those eyeballs to advertise to, how are TV networks able to stay on air? [More]

Just Because Your Electric Toothbrush Makes A Lot Of Noise Doesn’t Mean It’s Effective

Just Because Your Electric Toothbrush Makes A Lot Of Noise Doesn’t Mean It’s Effective

Much like the never-ending game of oneupmanship in the razor industry, makers of toothbrushes are constantly touting unique features that promise to make your teeth that much whiter and brighter than the competition. But now one ad industry watchdog is calling foul on a commercial that implies a noisy toothbrush is somehow more effective at cleaning your chompers. [More]

Feds Warn Social Media ‘Influencers’ To Stop It Already With The Stealth Ads

Feds Warn Social Media ‘Influencers’ To Stop It Already With The Stealth Ads

Like it or not, the fact is that we’ve crossed through the mirror into a world where people are paid lots of money to mention a product, wear an article of clothing, or sip some ab-tightening tea… not because they are famous but because they get paid lots of money to mention products they got for free, wear comped clothing, and drink dubious tea — a well-dressed, flat-tummied, ouroboros shown off in impeccably framed and filtered Instagram shots. You might find it repellant, but it’s legal, so long as all of that cash and compensation is adequately disclosed — a message that a number of “influencers” and their handlers have either ignored or not received. [More]

McDonald's | YouTube

McDonald’s Creates Clickbait TV Ad That Mentions Google, Coke, But Not McDonald’s

An actress in a yellow dress stands in front of a red curtain. She tells you about Coke and about Google, but it’s not a commercial for either of those things… and you’ll have to search a catch phrase to find out what it is for. It is, apparently, “unbranded marketing” for McDonald’s… but will it work?



What Is Digit, And Why Are Users Upset That It’s Charging A Fee?

Maybe you’re familiar with Digit, an app that analyzes your bank account and tucks away money that you won’t miss. The app has a lot of fans, who credit it with helping them build more savings than they would have on their own. This week, though, the company announced that it will start charging a $2.99/month fee. [More]