News of the Day

By Adam Glantz   |   Posted at 6:19 am on August 26, 2010   |   No Comments

Specific Media Sued Over Flash Cookie Use

Online ad network Specific Media has been hit with a lawsuit for allegedly violating Web users’ privacy by using Flash cookies for tracking purposes.

In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California, six Web users allege that Specific Media failed to provide adequate notice about its online data collection techniques, including Flash cookies. The lawsuit also alleges that Specific Media used Flash cookies — which are stored in a separate location from HTML cookies — to recreate HTML cookies that users had deleted so it could “obtain personal identifying information, monitor users, and to sell users’ data.”

The company’s “privacy documents require college-level reading skills for comprehension and include substantial legalese, ambiguous and obfuscated language designed to confuse, disenfranchise, and mislead the users,” the lawsuit asserts.

In addition, the use of Flash cookies to recreate deleted HTML cookies “unfairly wrests control from users,” the lawsuit alleges.

Read More: MediaPost Launches Brand Impact Offering for its Online Video Advertising Marketplace, creators of the industry’s first online video advertising marketplace (atm) and the onesource video ad management (ato) platform, today announced Brand Impact, a powerful suite of tools that makes it easy for brands to increase the effectiveness of their online video advertising in the marketplace.

“Our customers are telling us they want brand safety, advanced targeting, increased measurability and verification for their online video ad campaigns. Only’s Brand Impact incorporates all of their needs into a single offering, so they can have confidence in their video ad spend,” said Toby Gabriner, President of “Through partnerships with industry leaders such as Affine Systems and Vizu, as well as built-in tools, we provide brands with the necessary technologies to make online video advertising easy, targeted and impactful.”’s Brand Impact provides five key benefits for brands that want to create powerful online video advertising programs:

Prevention – Through a partnership with Affine Systems, Brand Impact offers access to innovative new video targeting technology. Affine’s first-of-its-kind computer vision engine fully analyzes in-stream video content frame-by-frame, and provides ratings based on obscenity, production quality and violence. As brands expect more transparency and protection for their online video advertising, Affine’s data provides them with the protection they need to prevent their campaigns from running alongside harmful content and ensure their brand is safe.

Performance – Brand Impact will leverage Vizu’s Ad Catalyst solution to enable real-time measurement and optimization of brand advertising campaigns. With Ad Catalyst, advertisers using the marketplace can move beyond basic clickthrough rates and apply a more relevant metric, Brand Lift, to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. Advertisers can also use real-time data on the performance of creative, targeting, and frequency to optimize in-campaign, for maximum Brand Lift and ROI for their online video advertising.

Precision – The marketplace includes the industry’s most advanced data targeting and audience verification tools as part of its Brand Impact offering. Brands can leverage multiple targeting providers including eXelate, Lotame and TARGUSinfo across campaigns to reach specific audiences.

Proof – The marketplace has a built-in URL verification system that automatically confirms a campaign only runs on the sites that have been selected. Brands have full visibility into the video inventory their ads are running against and the audience they are reaching.

Premium Inventory – With a roster of more than 1,400 of comScore’s top properties, ensures access to premium quality inventory, giving brands a powerful environment to showcase their ads.

Read More: PRNewswire

The Rise of the Demand-Side Platform

During the past few months, this column has briefly explored the history of digital ad serving. This month, we’ll continue that journey as we look at recent ad serving developments that are creating significant changes throughout the industry.

Digital advertising, unlike more traditional mass media marketing, doesn’t rely on group exposure models for its success. In reality, online advertising is less about reaching the greatest number of eyeballs and more about reaching the right eyeballs. This means that standard “blind” ad serving models (where ads are being served to any open ad slots on any available pages within the ad network) are being replaced by “smart” ad networks that look for the best recipients for an ad’s message, regardless of where in the network they visit.

Not only does this approach mean that consumers receive more relevant ads, but it also means that advertisers get better results and higher conversion rates for their campaign because they’re reaching a higher percentage of consumers who may take future action in line with the advertiser’s needs.

But there’s also a third winner in this scenario in the form of publishers who are able to better monetize the impressions they serve on behalf of the advertisers. Historically, most websites needed to divide their available inventory into a tiered value model to identify which pages were most popular (attracted the greatest number of eyeballs) and which were less popular. As a result, ads that appeared on the popular pages of a site cost more per impression than those on the less popular pages.

Because advertisers are able to rely on more behaviorally-driven ad models today, which page an ad appears on is becoming less and less significant. Instead, second or third tier online inventory can now be sold at a premium price, not because of where or when the ad runs, but because of who is seeing it when it does. This allows publishers to increase the value of all of their site impressions without having to weigh in on a page popularity contest first.

Most ad networks today utilize some level of audience targeting which allows publishers to better identify site visitor characteristics and behaviors that can be used to help define possible future interests and actions. Through the use of cookies, each user’s browser is tagged and when that consumer revisits a site or ad network, that history is used to direct ads that are more in line with the personal needs and interests of the consumer.

Read More: ClickZ

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