Your one-stop for the most important articles in digital marketing this week. In this post, our team dives deep to get you the latest digital marketing news in one place. Enjoy!

eMarketer sees TikTok topping 50 million U.S. users by 2021, 60 million by 2024

Brands want to tap into TikTok for advertising. eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson said in an email, “TikTok had a breakout year in 2019, and it is incredibly popular among teens at this point. Some are spending multiple hours per day on the app, which is a testament to the incredible stickiness of its scrolling video format. But it has yet to develop a strong following among older generations.” The research firm also warned of potential speed bumps for TikTok in the form of competition, as well as questions about censorship, data privacy and brand safety due to its Chinese parent company, ByteDance.

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Facebook bans coronavirus ad scams

Facebook is restricting ads that promote fake cures, false claims, or conspiracy theories about the coronavirus. Facebook’s actions raise questions about its support for freedom of speech, which was its argument for refusing to take action against misleading statements politicians might post on its platform. Facebook’s decision could be a result of a meeting it hosted at its Menlo Park campus between WHO and 12 high-tech firms on how the attendees were working to stop the spread of misinformation.

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Inside the fight against 404bot, the ad fraud scheme exploiting ads.txt

In late 2018, the Integral Ad Science Threat Lab begin monitoring a bot scheme dubbed as 404bot. The botnet was active from September 2018 to November 2018 but abruptly stopped, coincidentally when BuzzFeed revealed that the FBI, Google, Whiteops and other industry players, had taken down a botnet called 3ve. 404bot was back four months later when traffic spiked from April 2019 to September 2019. Since then, more than 1.5 billion ads have been affected, according to IAS, mostly video ads. Publisher’s domains, both high and low profile were hit, and they had one feature in common: an extremely large number of authorized resellers on their ads.txt file. The 404bot proves ads.txt vulnerabilities.

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How some global brands are addressing brand safety concerns

Brand safety encompasses financial risk, reputational risk and consumer risk. And the changes so far have not been enough. In a survey, 90% of consumers said they feel that brands bear the responsibility for ensuring their ads run beside content that is safe and what 61% of users believe that both the brand and the hosting platform are equally responsible to keep the content safe. When brands advertise online, they are often blind to exactly where their messages will be placed because the audience is selected by algorithms. A consortium of brand owners, under the leadership of the World Federation of Advertisers, launched GARM, the Global Alliance for Responsible Media they’re working with publishers and platforms to do more to address harmful and misleading media environments and to deliver a set of protocols for protecting brands. 

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What Google Chrome’s privacy sandbox means for digital marketing

Google Chrome announced plans in January to phase out support for third-party cookies within two years. Eliminating third-party tracking will alter the way digital ads are tracked, targeted and measured, new standards must develop to replace the techniques currently used by digital marketers. Google’s solution is to allow for feedback from the industry through a Privacy Sandbox initiative. A privacy sandbox is essentially a sanitation filter that controls what information can flow back to advertisers. It gives consumers greater visibility and choice over data sharing.

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So there you have it friends, the best articles for this week. Make sure to check back every week for a quick absorption of the most relevant articles in the industry and stay on top of your game.