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Media Buying Briefing: Sustainability once again takes center stage across digital media

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Media Buying Briefing: Sustainability once again takes center stage across digital media

Late last week, a coalition of governmental organizations, academics and private sector companies banded together at an environmental conference to form the Coalition for Digital Environmental Sustainability (CODES), to engender a “green revolution,” as its announcement blared. 

To paraphrase from the movie Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers — looks like sustainability’s back on the menu, boys!

In this iteration of the “green conversation,” the focus seems to center around digital processes that consume excessive amounts of energy or lead to excessive emissions. The entire digital landscape is under scrutiny, even though executives reached for this story agreed marketers aren’t yet penalizing energy hogs.

“Today I’m not hearing pressure from clients yet to reduce emissions of their campaigns,” said Ed McElvain, executive vp of Mediahub’s P3 unit, which handles data-driven and digital platforms buying. “I would like that to be something that… we can take to them and work with them on establishing that as a goal.”

Brian O’Kelley, CEO and founder of Scope3, an ad-tech firm focused on sustainable practices, noted that other media markets across the globe have been focusing more intently on sustainability compared to the U.S., notably Australia and western Europe.

To help with that, Digiday has learned that Scope3 and ad exchange Sharethrough will announce tomorrow they are partnering with launch Green PMPs (private marketplaces), which lets brands offset emissions that comprise up to 95 percent of a company’s carbon impact caused by ad impressions. It will also help to decarbonize the programmatic advertising supply chain, which is seen as one of the worst offenders, as it often requires dozens of humming servers to process a single ad buy.

“What started with brands growing their sustainable marketing initiatives has grown into a broader understanding of the environmental impact of the advertising supply chain,” said Luc Marsolais, chief operations officer at Sharethrough. “Particularly with more and more brands and agencies committing to be carbon neutral, such commitments aren’t possible without the ad tech industry building solutions to offset the carbon produced from the energy required to deliver ads.”

“In the programmatic landscape, we always want to have the most direct path to supply as possible,” said McElvain. “That’s just good for cost efficiency, regardless of emissions. As the world is moving more towards first-party data, and setting up private marketplace deals, I think we will naturally sort of start gravitating towards more direct engagement, and less links in that in that programmatic chain. Doing that will also have the benefit of reducing emissions.”

O’Kelley credited all the holding companies for taking the issue seriously and cited WPP and GroupM in particular for moving last year to reach zero emissions across its own network as well as the entire supply chain it works with by 2030.

“They set the standard for the market, and that is causing a seismic shift throughout the market,” said O’Kelley. “That means every every publisher, every media owner, has to have a net-zero strategy. They don’t — most companies haven’t started taking this seriously yet.”

Last week, attention metrics firm Adelaide promoted its AU metric to optimize ad campaigns to be more effective, and therefore less wasteful. The company worked with Scope3 to show how attention applied to planning delivered more effective business outcomes than using viewability as a metric. “Buying higher quality media benefits publishers, consumers and advertisers. And now it also benefits the environment,” said Marc Guldimann, CEO of Adelaide.

Color by numbers

$1.5 billion — that’s the haul that connected TV and streaming platforms are expected to secure from political advertisers in the lead-up to this fall’s midterm elections. It amounts to 17 percent of total expected political ad spend this year. This is according to data intelligence firm AdImpact, which has partnered with Innovid/TV Squared on cross-platform measurement for political campaigns in linear and CTV.

Takeoff & landing

  • Mindshare hired Kathy Kline is to be chief strategy and innovation officer for North America. Kline was most recently global chief strategy officer at Starcom. Mindshare also launched Precisely Human Intelligence, a machine-learning-based suite of tools that aims to “help brands better understand the motivations, mindsets and emotions that drive consumer decision-making and then buy those audiences at scale.”
  • Stagwell promoted three executives within its Constellation network: Justin Lewis, co-founder and CEO of Instrument was named chair of the network. He replaces current chair John Boiler (founder of 72andSunny), who becomes creative chair. Replacing Lewis as CEO of Instrument is president Kara Place.
  • Private equity firm GTCR, through its portfolio subsidiary Dreamscape, made a strategic investment whose amount it wouldn’t disclose, into ad intelligence firm Standard Media Index. SMI’s CEO James Fennessy will step down but join Dreamscape’s board and will be replaced by martech veteran Scott Knoll, one of Dreamscape’s partners.

Direct quote

“Online platforms should be subject to the same policies as television and radio broadcasters. Content aired on television and radio have strict standards, which serves to both attract audiences and advertisers to those platforms. The internet, in that sense, should be no different. Platforms should be allowed to have the ability, like their counterparts, to have standards which dictate which content they allow to provide for the best user experience.”

— IAB’s EVP for Public Policy Lartease Tiffith, on the organization’s opposition to the Texas law that restricts content moderation.

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign


Author: Mark Hachman
, Senior Editor

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more
Google Pixel watch



The Google Pixel Watch is incoming
(Image credit: Google)

We’re expecting the Google Pixel Watch to make its full debut on Thursday, October 6 – alongside the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – but in the meantime a major leak has revealed much more about the upcoming smartwatch.

Seasoned tipster @OnLeaks (opens in new tab) has posted the haul, which shows off some of the color options and band styles that we can look forward to next week. We also get a few shots of the watch interface and a picture of it being synced with a smartphone.

Watch faces are included in the leak too, covering a variety of different approaches to displaying the time – both in analog and digital formats. Another image shows the watch being used to take an ECG reading to assess heartbeat rate.

Just got my hands on a bunch of #Google #PixelWatch promo material showing all color options and Watch Bands for the first time. Some details revealed as well…@Slashleaks 👉🏻 https://t.co/HzbWeGGSKP pic.twitter.com/N0uiKaKXo0October 1, 2022

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Full colors

If the leak is accurate, then we’ve got four silicone straps on the way: black, gray, white, and what seems to be a very pale green. Leather straps look to cover black, orange, green and white, while there’s also a fabric option in red, black and green.

We already know that the Pixel Watch is going to work in tandem with the Fitbit app for logging all your vital statistics, and included in the leaked pictures is an image of the Pixel Watch alongside the Fitbit app running on an Android phone.

There’s plenty of material to look through here if you can’t wait until the big day – and we will of course be bringing you all the news and announcements as the Google event unfolds. It gets underway at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm BST / 12am AEDT (October 7).


Analysis: a big moment for Google

It’s been a fair while since Google launched itself into a new hardware category, and you could argue that there’s more riding on the Pixel Watch than there is on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – as Google has been making phones for years at this point.

While Wear OS has been around for a considerable amount of time, Google has been leaving it to third-party manufacturers and partners to make the actual hardware. Samsung recently made the switch back to Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, for example.

Deciding to go through with its own smartwatch is therefore a big step, and it’s clear that Google is envious of the success of the Apple Watch. It’s the obvious choice for a wearable for anyone who owns an iPhone, and Google will be hoping that Pixel phones and Pixel Watches will have a similar sort of relationship.

What’s intriguing is how Fitbit fits in – the company is now run by Google, but so far we haven’t seen many signs of the Fitbit and the Pixel lines merging, even if the Pixel Watch is going to come with support for the Fitbit app.

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you’ll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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