Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: May 04, 2020

Google’s bad ads under scrutiny

According to MarketingLand Google's fraud problem continues to get worse. In 2018, they had to remove 2.3 billion "bad ads" (fraudulent and false.) In 2019 the number got 20% worse. They reported 2.7 billion bad ads.

Knowing Google, you can bet the number they reported is significantly below the actual number. I created some crap in my time, but even I couldn't produce 2.7 billion bad ads.

- This week, the US District Court upheld the outrageously low fine of $5 billion levied on FB for its violation of its privacy agreement with the FTC. The judge called FB's violations "stunning" but did nothing about increasing the penalty. Zuckerberg spends more than $5 billion on bowls for his haircuts.

- Believe it or not, after over 20 years in business, this week Google finally got around to requiring advertisers to verify their identities before they could buy ads. Until now you could buy an ad on Google and claim you were Albert Schweitzer.

- As described here several weeks ago, The New York Times reported this week that the GDPR -- Europe's sweeping privacy regulation -- has turned out to be a cruel joke. Enforcement of its policies is somewhere between invisible and non-existent. – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian

Canadian newspapers campaign to check tech giants syphoning off revenues

Publishers that represent a majority of Canadian newspapers penned an open letter to the federal government, published as full-page ads in Saturday editions, urging immediate action to make digital giants like Facebook and Google share their advertising revenues with Canadian media companies. – The Canadian Press

 Peter MacKay issues libel notice over The Post Millennial article on polling

In response, The Post Millennial issued a statement Friday saying the filing is a “disappointing development” from the MacKay campaign and that there will be no retraction or apology. – Kristy Kirkup, The Globe and Mail

Liberals hasten high-speed broadband access plan in response to pandemic

CRTC data suggests as few as 40.8 percent of households have access to high-speed broadband. – Catharine Tunney, CBC News

No “statistically significant decline in listening hours” for podcasts

Some of that analysis comes from audio hosting platforms. Some come from industry rankers. And some come from individual publishers. These are interesting vantage points, but they come with limitations. Downloads ≠ listens, and if you only track download patterns, you’re not necessarily measuring podcast consumption.

A Q&A with Darian Muka, Content Curator & Producer Liaison at Pocket Casts. .– Dan Misener, Pacific Content

Mainstream media: Corporate looting is a "rescue plan," plutocrats are "saviours"

When corporate media reported on negotiations and deliberations over the CARES Act, they either hailed it as a bipartisan achievement or else shamed politicians who accurately pointed out that it overwhelmingly benefited corporations at the expense of workers. On the day the CARES Act was signed into law, NPR (3/27/20) praised the bill as "the largest rescue package in American history and a major bipartisan victory for Congress." – Joshua Sho, Salon

Do the media even exist?

Reporters are journalists in the sense that Hollywood still believes it has actors and real scripts, or China still poses as an important contributor to the international community, or the World Health Organization assumes it is a go-to global health resource, or the FBI Washington hierarchy is a protector of American freedom, or John Brennan and James Clapper are distinguished senior “wise men,” or Barack Obama oversaw the most scandal-free administration in history. – Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness

A cautionary tale about using Gmail to send your CV

The essay offers sobering examples of how the free email service and the company behind the service can possibly thwart or hinder your chances of landing a job. It’s all about AI and data collection and offers plausible reasons for re-thinking just how we expose ourselves to the expansive Google eye in the sky. – Medium

Investors bet giant companies will dominate after crisis

An economic downturn almost always favours giants like Microsoft, Apple and Amazon, the country’s three most valuable companies. But the demand for their shares has only been amplified by a crisis that seems almost tailor-made for their future success.. – Matt Phillips, The New York Times

How ‘pirates’ caused supply delays that led to VA deaths

Before embarking on a 36-hour tour through an underground of contractors and middlemen trying to make a buck on the nation's desperate need for masks, entrepreneur Robert Stewart Jr. offered an unusual caveat.

“I'm talking with you against the advice of my attorney," the man in the shiny gray suit, an American Flag button with the word “VETERAN" pinned to his blazer, said as we boarded a private jet Saturday from the executive wing at Dulles International Airport.

It remains a mystery why the CEO of Federal Government Experts LLC let me observe his frantic effort to find 6 million N95 respirators and the ultimate unravelling of his $34.5 million deal to supply them to the Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, where 20 VA staff have died of covid-19 while the agency waits for masks. – J. David Mcswane, ProPublica

What offices might look like in a post-covid world

Advisers at Canadian commercial real estate and architecture have issued guidelines to clients on how to prepare for their employees' return to Canadian workspaces once it's deemed appropriate. They say many changes will be required.

Spoiler alert: It's not going to be fun. And it's not going to be fast. – Dianne Buckner, CBC News

Workers who are rehired may have to cancel and repay their CERB payments.

While the number of Canadians collecting CERB is likely to grow, some workers are now in a position of having to stop collecting payments. – Bryan Borzykowski, Maclean’s

Lawmakers propose 12 years in jail for spreading fake news on social media

Residents of Puebla who disseminate fake news during an emergency situation could go to jail for up to 12 years under a proposal presented by two state lawmakers.

The state penal code already stipulates that media organization employees who publish fake news during a crisis can face prison terms and fines. – Mexico News Daily

Google should start playing nice with the news media

Canada does not have a neighbouring right for news reporting as Europe does. Canadian copyright law would not yield a remedy. Competition authorities in Canada haven’t intervened. A remedial tax has been proposed, but a tax puts government in the position of collecting and dispersing funds. – Richard C. Owens, National Post

Central banks cannot address solvency crises of companies and consumers

Gillian Tett, Financial Times Editorial Board Chair, distinguishes between the liquidity crisis that central banks are trying to prevent and the solvency issues that their measures cannot address. She warns that we are moving towards a solvency crisis as lockdowns continue. She joins host David Westin with her insight on Bloomberg Wall Street Week.

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