advertising

Verizon to allow customers to disable “supercookies”

Verizon to allow customers to disable “supercookies”

In a U-turn statement, Verizon Wireless says that it will soon allow users to completely opt-out of its mobile ad-targeting program, allowing them to delete previously unremovable customer codes, which have been unlovingly dubbed "supercookies". This move was in response to the growing criticism of the service provider's shady advertising practices, in particular the storage and tracking of uniquely identifiable user IDs or customer codes. Some privacy advocates, however, fear that this new policy still might not be enough to completely protect consumers.

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Super Bowl 2015: this year’s best tech-related commercials

Super Bowl 2015: this year’s best tech-related commercials

The time has arrived. The 2015 Super Bowl. It's that one day of the year where we throw parties with tons of food, focus on sitting on the couch in front of a large TV, and spend the afternoon watching a collection of the world's the most expensive commercials, all with the occasional break to show a sports game. But we already know which commercial will be the winner, don't we? Just like last year, it will be the emotional one with a puppy that doesn't really have a connection to the cheap beer it's trying to sell.

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Pay for McDonald’s with hugs and dance, says Super Bowl ad

Pay for McDonald’s with hugs and dance, says Super Bowl ad

As the Super Bowl advertising blitz is about to descend upon us this Sunday, companies are eager to get as much value as possible from their 30 to 60-second ads, such as posting them early online for audiences to see before the big game. Well, McDonald's is really thinking outside the box with their attempt, as their Super Bowl commercial announces a near two-week period where the fast food chain will accept acts such as hugs, dancing, or a phone call to mom as payment from customers.

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Verizon backpedals on ‘supercookies’, will allow users to opt-out

Verizon backpedals on ‘supercookies’, will allow users to opt-out

Do you know what a ‘supercookie’ is? It sounds delightful, but in this context, it’s really not. Verizon Wireless has been tracking users for (mostly) marketing purposes, and assigning customers special codes. Being tracked for marketing was opt-out, but those codes were not deletable or opt-out. Some began dubbing those codes ‘supercookies’ because marketers could still access them and pick through your web browsing activity (see? Supercookies can be bad!). Now, Verizon is reversing course, and will allow customers to opt-out of any kind of tracking.

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Super Bowl Ads only: Dish Reverse AutoHop to the rescue

Super Bowl Ads only: Dish Reverse AutoHop to the rescue

Oh thank goodness the Dish team have come to their senses, turning their advertising-skipping feature "AutoHop" on its head for the Super Bowl. Instead of skipping the advertisements, Dish suggests you may want to skip the football. With Reverse AutoHop, the Hopper DVR device will allow you to watch the entire Super Bowl without all those tiresome, boring minutes of sports. Now you can just watch Kim Kardashian's T-Mobile USA ad instead - or the one with the rabbits. Or the one with the guy - the ad about the stuff!

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While you weren’t looking, Facebook took mobile over

While you weren’t looking, Facebook took mobile over

While you were away, Facebook took over mobile. Without you scorning them at every turn (I’m guilty, too), Facebook quietly moved the pieces on the board, and the game now looks different. there was a point in time when Facebook didn’t “get” mobile, admitting as much ahead of cranking the wheel hard and forging a new path. Now, they run the mobile show by having the four most popular apps worldwide, and enjoy a strict hold on mobile advertising.

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Snapchat ‘Discover’ brings curated news, ads

Snapchat ‘Discover’ brings curated news, ads

Snapchat is pushing their curated content platform out today. Called ‘Discover’, the new feature makes a home in Snapchat as you know it, but has videos and other media from deep-pocketed outlets instead of your broke friends. Discover can be found vi a small round icon in the top right of the screen, which then redirects you to media from the likes of CNN, Food Network, ESPN, Vice, and People. Like other snaps, the content also vanishes — just not as quickly.

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Renegade social site Ello now has ads via YouTube

Renegade social site Ello now has ads via YouTube

Remember Ello? Not until you just read that, I bet. The ‘Facebook killer’ social network was ad-free, and a bit of fun for a week or so. Various brands latched onto it as a new medium to share themselves with the world, with its stripped-down interface and stark indifference to social as we know it. A big selling point for Ello was ads, where none existed. According to the founders, none would, either. Until today, with the rollout of video and music on Ello.

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Tumblr announces Creatrs, an ad network for Tumblr artists

Tumblr announces Creatrs, an ad network for Tumblr artists

Dovetailing into their other advertising initiatives, Yahoo-owned Tumblr is announcing Creatrs, an agency meant to connect Tumblr artists with interested ad agencies. A two-pronged effort, Creatrs will have two distinct moving parts: Network, and an internal cooperative at Tumblr made up of artists. The Network will allow creators to make their artwork available to brands and advertisers, which opens them up to syndication and better exposure. For now, Tumblr is choosing artists for the initiative, but it is likely going to open up to the community at-large.

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Twitter comes under fire for new ad campaign

Twitter comes under fire for new ad campaign

Leave it to Captain Kirk to stir up trouble. Star Trek actor William Shatner took to Twitter today to complain about — well, Twitter. Their latest advertising move has ruffled some feathers, where the micro-blogging platform is essentially selling your friendship. By putting promoted accounts in your ‘Following’ list, Twitter is taking an interesting trip down a dark path. The first offender is MasterCard, where Shatner noticed they’d popped up in his Following list, though he didn’t follow them at all.

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