Advertising Dollars Still Concentrated in the US and AsiaPacific

Ad spending in the US and AsiaPacific lead the world, yet in spite of that they are expected to to contribute more to this year’s expected ad spending growth.  The biggest growth in AsiaPacific comes from all the highly populated countries outside of China, Japan and South Korea – India especially.  Exxpected growth in Eastern and Western Europe and Latin America will account for less aggregate growth than the US.  Source: The Drum

In China, 2018 Ad Spending Suggests 2019’s Trend

China’s ad spend for 2019 is projected to increase by 7%.  For a clue as to where that spending will go we have data from where it went last year.  2018 saw digital spending increase at the cost of all other mediums. Like the US, it was newspapers that gave up the most revenue in service to the digital spending trend.

Global CEO & chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network, Tim Andree, commented, “Digital connectedness – driven not only by advances in technology, but the speed of consumer adoption – has fundamentally changed the shape of our business and will continue to do so.”  Source: The Drum

In AI: It’s all about the Rule Set

Tom Ohanian, global sales executive for IBM Watson Media & Weather. speaking at the Smart Hollywood Summit reduced the AI challenge to its essence when he said, “It comes down to these two questions: Can we produce content in a way that’s acceptable, and can we break these down to rule sets?”

In real life it is necessary to switch these questions around because to get acceptable content out of the machine, one must start with a rule set that can deliver a simulated human expression – which leads to a realization that we have come to understand while working with AI content creation.  AI can produce content, but just as a pool of writers needs an editor, a human editor, so does the machine.  The more sophisticated the machine, the closer it can get to natural language – Watson is among the best – but still, before synthetically created content goes out, a human needs to be the last reader.  Source: Smart Content News; Bidwin analysis

China’s Service Sector Declines Modestly

February’s service sector declined modestly while maintaining a solid underpinning for the Chinese economy.  It sits just below the 13-.month average of 52.9.  Though the manufacturing sector has shown weakness the service sector remains comfortably on the positive side of this scale. Projected GDP reflects this modest downturn.  Source: China Caixin

The Future of US Digital Regulation

Reporting from the first nine months of GDPR provides a look into the future of US regulation.  The ability to focus user issues in one agency for 31 countries gives

an insight into the breathe of the problem, which is likely to be similar in the US. 

Notably, the number of data breaches reported in the first month of GDPR regs was 1,700 – referred to a “massive increase” from prior periods.  The monthly number has settled down to about 400.

As we reported previously, regulation in the US is moving state by state rather than from the feds, which will make it harder to suss out an insight into trends, into the progress we are making against privacy volations.  Source: The Register; European Data Protection Board

AI as the Next Great Cyber Threat

The invention of controlled fire was a turning point for humanity.  To that point fire was mostly a bad thing.  Once controlled, man could make a ribeye and fire became a good thing. 

The early history of AI has dwelled on the positive – how it could deliver better medical diagnosis or, in our world, how it could help find the right audience or create more specifically relatable messages.  It can help us sell more stuff.  Great!

But, like fire, the good side implies a bad side that we haven’t talked about much.  AI’s bad side: When the bad guys start applying the same machine learning tricks we are using for benign marketing purposes to their stolen databases, our cyber security problems will multiply dramatically.  Phishing emails will become even more alluring.  They will arrive on your screen at your most vulnerable.

All of which leads to the inevitable good verses evil battle.  When the force of evil AI  becomes apparent, it will force an AI defense response to counter it.  And the escalating battle will be engaged.   Source: SiliconANGLE

Eyes on the Chinese Consumer

Will Chinese consumers fold under the pressure?  That’s today’s question for the world economy.  It results from the successful adjustments made by the Chinese government to turn its economy toward the consumer, which now accounts for 78% of its economy.  These days, if the Chinese consumer stops buying it will affect the world. 

To keep spending moving the government has loosened credit and reduced taxes to put more money in worker’s pockets.   And the job market seems to be holding as well.  With the exception of some manufacturing sector losses, independent surveys indicate that the job market remains strong.  Source: Seeking Alpha

The Ratio: Traditional v. Digital Marketing

It has been obvious for some years that digital marketing has been siphoning off ad dollars from traditional media.  Print media has suffered the most, especially among those publishers that did not make the digital adjustment made by The New York Times and the Washington Post.

For marketers, the question is how to proportion their ad dollars between the two.  It appears the pendulum is still swinging toward digital because marketers know instinctually, if not actually, that 60% of us check our Facebook timeline once a day, that 66% of last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases were made via mobile phone according to Shopify and that 97% of business-to-business marketers favor LinkedIn.

So, where are you on the digital-traditional scale? 60% -40% or 70% -30%?  Source: Business Insider

Manufacturing Rebound

In a lesson on why one cannot generalize from one data point, we note the strong rebound in the Purchasing Manager’s Index for February after a dismal January.  Given the talk about declining Chinese growth resulting from the trade wars, it was natural that the steep PMI drop in January would be viewed as more than it appears to have been.  We’ll have to watch next month’s number for for a pattern.  Was January an anomaly? Or was it the beginning of a volatile period?  Source: China Caixin

The Regs are Coming

Government regulation is the newest and most consequential moving part in today’s digital advertising space.  As we’ve commented before, GDPR has been the driver toward regulation in the world.  In the US, the gauntlet has been picked up by California and at least ten other states, which are implementing various levels of digital regulation.  Therein lies the problem and the reason the the IAB, in a change from its historic position in favor of self-regulation, is seeking federal regulation to standardize the approach.

In a letter to the Senate Commerce Committee, IAB wrote, “A uniform federal privacy standard could provide clarity, market certainty and add fuel to future innovation while preserving the value and benefit that online advertising brings to the internet ecosystem.”

There will be more regulation.  The question is, will it tqke a fractured, multi-state form or will it be a more uniform, coherent form from the feds?   Source: AdExchange