Follow the Money

Quarterly Ecommerce - Q217

Sitting in the west, the dominance of Amazon is felt daily.  The view from China is quite different.  There Tmall by Alibaba and represent 84.2% of the market while the remainder of the market is made up of more than eight smaller players including Amazon at a measly 0.9%.  It is a example of China’s singularity.  In the biggest digital sectors – search and e-commerce – they separate themselves from the rest of the developed world, which explains the challenges in trying to penetrate that lucrative market.  Sources: eMarketer, International Enfodesk

A Call to Arms Against Fraud

Fraud Triangulation


After a bad experience with bot fraud and domain spoofing, vice president of programmatic and data strategy at Business Insider, Jana Meron articulates the need for all elements of the advertising world to “commit to enforcing higher standards.”


  • Exchanges must police their buy-side partners to assure they are not reselling inventory.
  • Supply-side platforms need to enforce their contracts with buyers. Turning a head when there’s suspicion does injustice to those who are footing the bill.
  • Publishers must fight unauthorized reselling of their inventory and join IAB Tech Lab’s Ads.txt initiative.
  • Demand-side players must resist ads that “appear too good [read: cheap] to be true.” Best practices say one should use third party fraud tracking and blacklists to reduce bad actors while seeking exchanges that actively search for fraud.

Source: AdExchanger

China’s Government Reports GDP within the New Norm

Quarterly GDP - Q217


China’s official second quarter GDP stayed the same as the first quarter coming in a millisquigen above expectations.  Analysts note that “industrial output and retail sales picked up while fixed-asset investment remained strong.”  One must always take government calculated GDP numbers with a grain of salt, but the relative trend is probably accurate.  The economy slide that was predicted in early 2016 has not materialized as many other indicators confirm.  Sources: Trading Economics; National Bureau of Statistics, China

Cutting through the Haze

TrustX logo

At a recent Advertising Week panel the subject of regaining trust in the current advertising market was discussed. It was David Kohl, president and CEO of TrustX who turned the conversation when he said, “Ultimately it’s all about the consumer. You’re in the business of putting content in front of consumers, and we need to stop being in the business of monetizing the consumer. We must aim at creating an experience that’s respectful of the consumer’s time and engagement. It is our job to offer an experience that works for our consumers. Only then can we build that trust.”  That statement cuts through the haze yielding unusual clarity.  Lesson learned.   Source: CampaignUS

Mini-Crash in China’s Service Sector

Non-Manufacturing PMI - Sep-17


A four percent drop in the service sector index is the largest monthly decline we have seen in two years. Next month will be significant. If it ticks further down there is reason for concern since September’s 50.6 is close to magic number (50) that flips into negative territory. If it turns back up, we can look at last month as an anomaly. This number is below both economists’ expectations of 53.1 and the 13-month average of 52.3.  Source: Markit Economics

China’s Programmatic Future

Programmatic Spend in China


Two things are sure in the Chinese advertising sector as we look forward. Programmatic will continue to grow and mobile will take an ever-increasing portion of programmatic ad spending. This trend reflects the continued sophistication of the Chinese ad market, which is still playing catch-up to the west, but it is on the road to equivalency.  And given a territory with over one billion mobile subscriptions, it should not be surprising that mobile is projected to take a larger bite out of the apple.  Source: iResearch

Advertising Wisdom for the Small Screen



Here is some collected wisdom from Advertising Week’s recent panel called, ‘We must be able to do better than this: making better ads for mobile.’

Steve Ellis, chief executive officer of WhoSay;  “There is a physical change of behavior… around carrying smartphones and we haven’t altered our advertising thinking to address those tactile changes.”

Brian Wong, chief executive officer and founder at Kiip mobile advertising network;  “Marketers, agencies and brands need to start understanding ‘what people actually do on the phone.’”

Ian Schafer, chief experience officer at Engine USA, a multi-faceted agency: “The most successful efforts on mobile screens are the ones that look less like advertising and more like content, while still getting the message across to the consumer.”

Russ Freyman, head of partnerships at Google; Speedy page rendering is important for ad consumption. “If the user is spending more time consuming the content, it’s more likely that their ads become more viewable.

Source: The Drum

Business Confidence Spikes

Business Confidence - 9-17


The sharp 1.4% increase in business confidence from August to September was driven by increases in new orders, domestic and export, and increases in overall buying activity along with the continuation of a sixth-month string of decreases in employment. Growth is always accompanied by higher productivity as indicated in these numbers.  Expect stories about how automation is replacing workers in the Chinese economy.  What may be beginning in China’s economy is what has happened in the US economy over the last couple decades – productivity gains via automation have cost jobs.   Sources: Trading Economics; National Bureau of Statistics, China

Event – Mobile Monetization

iab webinar

IAB is sponsoring an event at which industry leaders will discuss how publishers can better monetize their mobile inventory.  Given that the time spent by mobile users is greater than time spent with desktops, it is notable that mobile’s advantage has not been successfully converted into ad dollars. This webinar promises to address the discrepancy.  Sign up for the October 26th event at the following web address:   Source: Internet Advertising Bureau

Onward and Upward

China Consumer Confidence Aug-17


The third consecutive month of gains in consumer confidence takes the number to its highest point since we have been watching, beating last month which was the former high point.  Chinese consumer confidence is the robust under-pinning of the modern Chinese economy, just as the government has wanted.  Inflationary tendencies we have seen in other indicators have yet to reach the consumer psyche.  Sources: Trading Economics, National Bureau of Statistics, China