Battling Bot Fraud With White Ops CMO Dan Lowden

During this 213th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Dan Lowden, the Chief Marketing Officer at White Ops.

On the show today, we talk about marketing and cybersecurity. We get into fraud and fraud detection, including two significant cases where White Ops was one of the leaders in identifying fraud. You’re going to learn a lot about fraud and why marketers should care about it.

Lowden explains some of the complex problems White Ops addresses that marketers need to be thinking about today. He says, “The goal here is to ensure brands from a marketing integrity perspective, from an advertising integrity perspective, are engaging with real humans.” We talk about the types of threats White Ops sees right now and how this bad data can affect marketing teams. Lowden says, “Every company in the world right now is being attacked.” He encourages us to stand up to these threats. Then he tells two stories about how WhiteOps helped to identify fraud. He emphasizes, “We don’t underestimate how smart these bad actors are.” Throughout this episode, Lowden makes a case for why stopping fraud is a massive opportunity for marketers.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Dan’s path from being a chef to becoming a marketing CMO. 01:33
  • What led Dan into the cybersecurity space. 03:15
  • The sophisticated problems White Ops addresses. 04:51
  • The growing demand for fraud prevention. 06:43
  • Using a tag on your sites to track bots. 14:35
  • The story of a group of bad actors WhiteOps helped detect. 16:06
  • The economics of cybercrime. 20:04
  • The Ice Bucket CTV fraud. 20:57
  • Recent investments in White Ops. 25:58
  • Marketing White Ops. 27:56
  • Is there an experience in his past that defines who he is today? 30:40
  • What is the advice Dan would give to his younger self? 32:34
  • The most impactful purchase he has made in the last 6-12 months of $100 or less. 34:40
  • Are there any brands, companies, or causes that Dan follows that he thinks other people should take notice of? 35:41
  • Dan’s take on the top opportunity and threat facing marketers today. 37:59

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Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

Challenges Of Implementing A Data-Driven Marketing Approach

Ayzenberg VP of product and technology Chris Strawser on the challenges marketers face in adopting a data-driven marketing approach.

The pandemic has forced businesses to face radical changes overnight, mandating an even faster launch of digital transformations and marketing efficiencies. Having been in technology for almost 20 years now, I’ve seen a steady progression of brands pursuing what became known as data-driven strategies. In unforeseen circumstances like the pandemic, the need for these strategies is paramount as data helps you navigate with confidence so you can always position your business for growth.

Lockdown has led to a shift to digital channels and the acceleration of digital communications, throwing some brands for a loop—how do I reach my customer where they are now? Which is essentially in their living room, and will continue to be until we return to normalcy. Because prior effective strategies may not be enough to pivot, data-driven marketing is critical. However, some brands may be experiencing challenges in leveraging such an approach, which I’m breaking down here.

Building Underlying Infrastructure

What’s always been a really big challenge to utilizing a data-driven marketing approach is finding the time, the people and the money, as well as getting organizational buy-in, to break down the data silos. Typically, in most organizations, data doesn’t just live in one place; it’s owned by several different stakeholders, many of which don’t necessarily communicate on a consistent basis about how to access each other’s data. This devolves into a very fractured state internally. Many times I’ve consulted with clients who were spending $10 million over just a three-year period in order to get their technical infrastructure in a better spot to warehouse their data more effectively.

Understanding And Making The Data Usable

A problem that I run into consistently is that even if a brand has been taking their data seriously and they’ve had a roadmap in place, they still have to coalesce the data to a point where their marketing strategy can actually use this data. Sometimes that can take a long time. The challenge here is getting the data in a form that’s actually usable. You must merge all your different data sources in a way that allows you to harmonize that data around a particular consumer. You might have a pretty good understanding of their patterns and their behaviors, what they like, what they don’t like, what they tend to do and what they tend not to do. 

To market around what the data is saying to you about consumers on a consistent basis requires the creation of a system, which takes a while to do. For brands that are not using data as much as they would like to, a lot of times actually they really would like to, but they don’t have a system in place to leverage the data that they have floating around somewhere.

Tracking The Consumer

Today there is a proliferation of experiences outside of what a brand can hoist upon the consumer. Where the consumer journey was once linear, COVID has made it so the consumer journey is mainly digital, eliminating several experiences for some brands and verticals that were physical and/or hybrid. These challenges are heightened because all of a sudden now brands feel like they need even more data on the consumer; they want to know more about how they’re experiencing the brand and how they can make their experiences better. And they also want to be more sympathetic to their experiences, with some brands finding that their consumer feedback is, “You guys really need to get your act together.” This is reflective of a much larger trend, which is the evolution from a consumer journey to a consumer constellation that consists of multiple touchpoints.

For example, a small restaurant business won’t survive if all they’ve done to respond to COVID is shift to online ordering but fail to communicate to customers when their order will be ready to be picked up. Data and technology at people’s disposal makes end-to-end easier but you still can’t drop the ball. The technology is only there to facilitate a process that needs human intelligence to be applied to it.

Cannes Lions, WARC Study Establishes Creative Effectiveness Ladder

Over the last decade, creatively awarded campaigns have become no more effective than non-awarded campaigns, according to a global study from Cannes Lions and WARC that analyzed 5,000 effectiveness case studies from 2011-2019.

The study attributes this collapse in effectiveness to brands decreasing their creative commitment to campaigns in order to more quickly maximize return on investment (ROI). To help marketers reverse this decline and create a universal definition of effectiveness, marketing effectiveness experts James Hurman and Peter Field developed a new framework called the Creative Effectiveness Ladder. As part of this year’s Lions Live panels from Cannes Lions, the two discuss the ladder’s six levels, whether effectiveness comes down to budget and why increasing creative commitment will be critical to improving the value and reputation of marketers.

The Creative Effectiveness Ladder comprises six levels, or the various effects that creative marketing produces, ranging from the least to the most commercially impactful. At the lowest level is “Influential Idea,” campaigns that use creativity to maximize engagement and sharing, resulting in over-achieving on campaign metrics and media efficiency.

Next is “Behavior Breakthrough,” campaigns that use creativity to change the purchase behavior of customers or change other forms of behavior relevant to the success of the brand.

“Sales Spike,” the third level, includes campaigns that use creativity to create short-term temporary sales growth, market share or profitability.

Fourth on the ladder, “Brand Buildup,” includes campaigns that use creativity to improve the fundamental measures of brand health like awareness, purchase intent, consideration and preference.

Fifth is “Commercial Triumph,” or campaigns that use creativity to increase sales and market share beyond a single quarter or beyond the duration of a campaign.

The researchers named the highest level of effectiveness as “Enduring Icon” to describe campaigns that use creativity to drive brand and sales growth consistently over a long period, three years or more. These are brands that use the same creative strategy or creative work over a period of time.

The study also found that there are three campaign variables which align consistently with effectiveness: media spend, campaign duration and number of media channels used. As any of these variables increases, campaigns become more likely to achieve upper levels of effectiveness, indicating there’s a strong correlation between creative commitment and effectiveness.

To understand if a campaign’s effectiveness comes down to spend, the researchers separated campaigns by budget level. They found that at any budget level, effectiveness increased as the other two variables, campaign duration and number of media channels used, increased.

“The reason they all contribute to effectiveness is because they’re all related to the mental availability that the campaign creates, the extent which the brand comes readily to mind in purchase situations,” notes Field.

Hurman and Field suggest that the solution to achieving long-term growth is increasing the creative commitment of campaigns, for creativity is the single most important driver of effectiveness.

Listen In: Marie Elena Rigo On The Origins Of Insight

We’re back with another episode of’s new weekly series Listen In, hosted by Ayzenberg principal and ECD Matt Bretz. This week we’re featuring a conversation with MER Leadership Design founder and executive coach, Marie Elena Rigo, who discusses the key tools necessary to produce insight for ourselves and for our work.

About Listen In: Each week on Listen In, Bretz and a rotating cast of hosts from Ayzenberg will interview experts in the field of marketing and advertising to explore uncharted territory together. The goal is to provide the audience with actionable insights, enabling them to excel in their field.

I&CO’s Rei Inamoto On What Adland Can Learn From Restaurants Amid The Pandemic

In response to the pandemic, restaurants shuttered and delivery and takeout orders skyrocketed. Some restaurants pivoted digital and were able to persevere while others shut down for good. Technomic estimates that the global restaurant business will lose nearly $600 billion in consumer spending in 2020 due to the pandemic.

In a panel on Cannes Lions’ digital platform Lions Live, founding partner of I&CO Rei Inamoto looks to the playbook by which his friend and chef, Yoshihiro Narisawa, pivoted to keep open his two-Michelin star restaurant Les Créations de Narisawa in Tokyo, Japan. In drawing parallels between the restaurant industry and the advertising industry, Inamoto established four imperatives for growth the marketing industry can implement to create new opportunities in the new normal.

In January, as restaurants in Japan closed amid the crisis, Narisawa, where plates start at $400, immediately lost its customers and utility as demand for luxury items and experiences plummeted. Five months later and Narisawa has been able to stay afloat. According to Inamoto, that’s because Narisawa’s team turned on their functional speed, stuck to their point of view and found a sound business case in order to create a practical future for the restaurant.

Inamoto attributes part of Narisawa’s success to his first imperative—shifting from organizational scale to functional speed. Because the in-person dining experience upholds Narisawa’s business model, Narisawa and his team truncated their complex menu to feature just two bento boxes available for delivery. As per Inamoto, “The notion that you have to be small to have the function of speed is completely false.”

Inamoto’s second imperative for growth is sticking to your point of view. In Narisawa’s case, this meant maintaining the restaurant’s premium brand image—using high-quality, sustainable ingredients that are cooked naturally—by only slightly lowering the price of the newly launched bento boxes, to $150 each.

Next, Inamoto advises brands to seek out a sound business case rather than a case study. For example, to stay top-of-mind for his existing customers, Narisawa launched a limited time bento box with Dom Pérignon, priced at $1,000 each. After calculations, the team decided the move was a sound business case rather than just a marketing stunt.

Lastly, Inamoto cautions brands against operating on wishful thinking, or that the pandemic will end soon and allow them to return to normal. Instead, businesses should identify unaddressed customer and cultural needs to create solutions that unlock new marketing opportunities. For Narisawa, that need sprang from the behavioral shift of more people cooking at home. To capitalize on the trend, Narisawa launched freshly packaged food items that could be stored and easily cooked at a later time, starting at $60 each.

Planning for the ideal or immediate future won’t make you competitive enough, says Inamoto. Instead, practical futures offer the sweet spot—close enough to be achievable but allowing just enough time to create new products and services with lasting and meaningful impact.

Brands Stop Facebook Ads In Show Of Support For #StopHateforProfit Campaign

The North Face is halting its Facebook ads as part of a social media boycott led by civil rights groups calling on brands to take a one-month Facebook advertising hiatus in an effort to crack down on hate speech and misinformation on the platform. “Stop Hate for Profit,” organized by the Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Common Sense Media, Free Press and Sleeping Giants, follows Facebook’s refusal to remove President Trump’s offensive posts in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd by police.

Stop Hate for Profit condemned Facebook for actively choosing not to protect and support black users and call out Holocaust denial as hate.

As per

“We are asking businesses to stand in solidarity with our most deeply held American values of freedom, equality, and justice and not advertise on Facebook’s services in July.”

On Friday, The North Face tweeted, “We’re in. We’re Out,” with a follow-up tweet noting that its commitment to the movement extends to all Facebook-owned properties, namely Instagram.

A few hours later, REI followed suit, saying it, too, would pull all Facebook and Instagram ads for the month of July on the premise that it has put people over profits for 82 years.

Patagonia’s head of marketing, Cory Bayers, also announced via Twitter that the brand will stand with #StopHateforProfit:

“From secure elections to a global pandemic to racial justice, the stakes are too high to sit back and let the company continue to be complicit in spreading disinformation and fomenting fear and hatred.”

Since then, Talkspace and Fons have also said they’re pulling spend from Facebook advertising.  

Facebook’s content moderation policies have drawn backlash for propagating fake news, racism and hate speech before; the Black Lives Matter protests have only magnified the issue. After Floyd’s death, Trump took to Facebook, referring to protesters as “THUGS” and warning, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

In response, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the platform wouldn’t remove the President’s post on the basis that Facebook “should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harm or dangers spelled out in clear policies.”

As the #StopHateforProfit organizers point out, Facebook generates nearly all of its revenue through advertising. Despite marketers pausing spending in response to COVID, Facebook made $17.4 billion in Q1 from advertising alone.

What We’re Reading-Week Of June 15th

We’re searching for the most pressing marketing insights this week.

The Modern Advertiser’s Blind Spot: How To Avoid Missing The Mark For Consumers

Ad Age

Sprout Social’s “Social Index” report revealed that 89 percent of consumers will buy from a brand they follow, perhaps suggesting that marketers are sidetracked by virtual content creation over practicality, namely equipping customers to make informed purchases. 

Why it matters: Founder and president of Ideas That Evoke, Kelly Ehlers, reminds brands to make their products the main attraction, not memes or free downloads. To align your market accordingly, Ehlers suggests evaluating the motive, mindset and strength of the platforms you’re using, refocusing your efforts on customer service through proactively solving problems and showing gratitude for continued loyalty and posting relevant information that keeps the purchase cycle top-of-mind.

Ranking How National Economies Adapt To Remote Work

MIT Sloan Management Review

MIT recently analyzed the economic impact of remote work in 30 countries and found that national economies like Spain, Ireland and the US—where 10 percent of the labor force represents workers in high-proximity personal services and occupations, such as barbers, dentists and flight attendants—will see a bigger impact from social distancing. However, internet quality, experience working from home and demographics outweigh developed economies’ more risk-prone occupational mixes.

Why it matters: MIT’s research notes that “developing countries have the advantage of fewer service-oriented jobs that require close proximity, but internet infrastructure gives developed economies a substantial advantage.” 

5 Things Every CMO Needs To Know About How AR And VR Are Changing Marketing


Many marketers will soon need to determine how to integrate virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) into their marketing mix as these emerging technologies develop more rapidly.

Why it matters: VR and AR have the ability to add deeper context to the customer experience, be it in the form of virtually trying on clothes, converting static images to 3D images, engaging with virtual influencers, transforming company storefronts into virtual showrooms and testing employees in manufacturing on different parts of a virtual line without physically putting them at risk.

Female CMO Salaries Eclipsed Men’s In 2019, Study Finds

Marketing Dive

According to a new study from the CMO Council, in 2019, female marketing executives reported higher pay than men. On average, female executives’ salaries were about $213,000 and their bonuses $56,000, while their male counterparts earned an average of $210,000 and bonuses of $53,000. 

At companies with over 250 employees, marketer salaries of both men and women averaged $236,000; at companies with 50 to 249 employees, marketer salaries averaged $180,000; and for smaller companies with 10 to 49 employees, marketer salaries averaged $103,000.

Why it matters: The report supports recent research from Spencer Stuart, which found that the percentage of female CMOs at the 100 most advertised brands grew from 36 percent to 43 percent in 2018.

Unilever Takes Heat For Fair & Lovely In India As It Criticizes Racial Injustice Elsewhere

Ad Age

After contributing $1 million to racial justice initiatives through its various brands, Unilever is getting backlash from two dozen petitions calling on the company to stop producing and marketing Fair & Lovely, a brand it sells in India that creates skin-lightening cream.

Why it matters: In 2019, Fair & Lovely made over $500 million in sales in India alone. In February, the government there proposed an amendment to existing advertising laws that would make ads promoting fair skin illegal.

Unemployment By Design: Building Resilience In A World Disrupted


After his eleven-year run with Edelman came to an abrupt end due to COVID-19, David Armano has found that there are three interesting pathways to approach unemployment by design as a way to develop resilience: every day presents an opportunity to unlearn an old habit and master a new one, lean into the unknown and embrace change by updating your current role on LinkedIn and approach each day as an iteration to your strategy.

Why it matters: Unemployment in the US has risen higher during COVID than it did during two years of the great recession, with nearly 21 million people currently classified as unemployed.

The Pandemic Will Impact How And Why Consumers Exercise


Fitness companies have found creative ways to engage their customers in lockdowns by offering online services and live streaming workouts on social media. However, as gyms reopen, experts predict the industry will continue to feel the effects of this digital disruption.

Why it matters: To meet their members where they are, fitness brands should focus on a hybrid of in-person and digital services while being cognizant of the fact that many consumers are even more dedicated to staying in shape than before the pandemic.

Creativity Awards Winners Revealed: Ad Age Digital Edition

Ad Age

Winners of the 2020 AdAge Creativity Awards include: HBO’s Game of Thrones #ForTheThrone campaign for best content marketing of the year; Microsoft/Xbox’s adaptive controller for tech innovation of the year and best work for good; Skittles’ “Broadway the Rainbow” and Wendy’s “Keeping Fortnite Fresh” for experiential campaigns of the year; and Popeyes’ tiny but mighty chicken sandwich wars tweet.

Why it matters: Popeyes’ chicken sandwich wars tweet helped the company double its Twitter following and receive 1.1 million mentions.

Good Leadership Hinges On “Organizational Intelligence”

Harvard Business Review

Organizational intelligence consists of five competencies: sending messages that reinforce strategy; fostering an understanding of “who we are,” using “action strategy” rather than consensus building to pursue strategic goals, rebelling from the top by recognizing what aspects of the status quo need to be challenged and staging moments of theater that will communicate and reinforce an ethos.

Why it matters: Leaders often fail because they don’t know how to get the company to do what they want, or they lack organizational intelligence (OQ).

Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s, Mrs. Butterworth’s To Update Brand Identity Over Racist Origins

Quaker Oats Co., a unit of PepsiCo, announced that it will retire the image and name of its 131-year-old Aunt Jemima brand due to its racist origins. The decision is part of a larger movement underway among corporate brands to reevaluate their role in perpetuating systemic racism after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and ensuing Black Lives Matter protests.

The Aunt Jemima logo traces back to 1893, when Nancy Green, a black woman who was born into enslavement, was hired to portray the character when it was introduced at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

“We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype. While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough,” said Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer, Quaker Foods North America.

Quaker Oats will roll out the changed Aunt Jemima packaging in Q4, followed by a name change.

In addition to changing the Aunt Jemima name and image, Quaker Oats is donating $5 million over the next five years to support the black community, on behalf of the Aunt Jemima brand.

Prior to the Aunt Jemima announcement, PepsiCo announced a more than $400 million set of racial equality initiatives over five years.

Mars, parent company of the Uncle Ben’s brand, which features an older black man, quickly followed suit, saying it would review the visual brand identity.

B&G Foods, owner of Cream of Wheat, and Conagra Brands, owner of Mrs. Butterworth’s, also both initiated a review of their respective black corporate mascots.

Instagram Is Testing Shopping Tags In Post Captions

We’re rounding up the latest social media platform news for marketers. Updated daily.

Instagram Tests Shopping Tags In Post Captions

As spotted by social media expert Matt Navarra, Instagram is testing shopping tags in captions among a select group of users, enabling them to add product tags in their captions, which, when tapped, direct you to a shoppable product page.

Why it matters: The test follows Instagram’s announcement of Shops, which would allow brands to set up a digital, customizable storefront via Instagram. Adding shopping tags in post captions would give businesses an added way to reach more consumers.

The details: The feature is reportedly in beta testing with a small group of US accounts that already have access to the Checkout function.  

Twitter Launches Voice Tweets On iOS

Twitter is adding a new wavelengths icon in the tweet composer that would allow users to record up to 140 seconds of audio, or voice tweets, that then appear on people’s timelines alongside other tweets.

Why it matters: As per Twitter, “There’s a lot that can be left unsaid or uninterpreted using text, so we hope voice Tweeting will create a more human experience for listeners and storytellers alike.”

The details: Voice tweets can capture up to 140 seconds of audio. After you reach the time limit, a new voice tweet starts automatically to create a thread. After tapping “done,” you’re taken back to the composer screen to publish the tweet. Twitter says you can continue listening to voice tweets while simultaneously scrolling the feed and doing other things on your phone.

For now, voice tweets are available on iOS to a limited group of people on Twitter, but will be available to everyone in the coming weeks.

Facebook Tests Option That Would Make Saved Collections Public And Followable

Facebook is looking to expand Collections—the saved content option it introduced in December 2019 that enables users to share saved posts, videos and more with each other—with a new option that would allow users to share the Collections publicly and have friends follow them. The update was first spotted by a Twitter user.

Why it matters: The new update could help Facebook gain an advantage over Pinterest, which is currently the go-to platform for curated collections of web content. Facebook told TechCrunch that its goal with publicly shareable collections is to build community and togetherness.

The details: The update means the addition of a sharing button below the collection’s title, which would enable you to share it with a larger group of users. Those who you share the collection with can then add to and comment on the items within it.

Facebook says people have used the feature to share health and wellness information and recipes.

Pinterest Sees Surge In Online Grocery Shopping Activity

The number of online purchases that Pinterest drove to grocery retailers surged nearly 70 percent over February due to lockdowns. Not only do Pinners shop for groceries online more frequently compared to non-Pinners, but they also end up spending more when grocery shopping online.

Why it matters: Pinterest’s study reveals that 65 percent of Pinners are new to online grocery shopping, indicating the need for brands to shift how and where they communicate with those stuck at home.

The details: According to Pinterest, Pinners are 27 percent to 67 percent more likely to grocery shop online when compared to non-Pinners. Additionally, nearly 7 in 10 Pinners shop for groceries online at least once every two weeks, 14 percent higher compared to non-Pinners. Pinners also spend 27 percent more than non-Pinners on online groceries and 14 percent more on personal shopping and delivery.

Instagram To Review Platform’s Inadequacies In Supporting Black Community

Following Black Lives Matter protests, Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced Instagram will dive into any disparities some underrepresented groups on the platform experience including racial harassment, account verification criteria, content distribution and algorithmic bias.

Why it matters:
 Over the years, Instagram has received complaints about the app filtering users without transparency, or shadowbanning, and limiting their reach as a result. 

The details: As per Mosseri: “The irony that we’re a platform that stands for elevating Black voices, but at the same time Black people are often harassed, afraid of being ‘shadowbanned’, and disagree with many content takedowns, is not lost on me.”

Instagram’s plan is to explore how Instagram’s products and policies protect black people from harassment; make its verification criteria inclusive; be transparent about how they decide whose posts get distributed; and ensure its technologies are devoid of racial bias.

YouTube Rebrands FameBit To BrandConnect

In a company post, YouTube said it’s evolving its influencer marketplace FameBit to BrandConnect after the average deal size across YouTube’s full-service product grew more than 260 percent over the past two years.

Why it matters: The move comes after FameBit shut down its self-service website, which allowed influencers to independently work with brand partners and comprised four percent of its total payouts to influencers. Shifting to the full-service side of things will allow influencers to earn more money.

The details: For influencers, the shift means enhanced matchmaking with brands; for brands, it means the ability to measure impact and return on investment (ROI) of influencer marketing via Google insights.

YouTube has plans to extend its shopping shelf feature, which lets viewers buy products mentioned in influencers’ videos, to buying or renting movies and shows.

YouTube creators with 25,000 subscribers or more can sign up for BrandConnect in YouTube Studio.

Facebook Explains How Its Ad System Works

As part of its “Good Questions, Real Answers” series, Facebook provided a new overview of how its machine learning decides which ads to show people and common misunderstandings about Facebook ads.

Why it matters:
 Facebook’s overview comes as more businesses seek to reach consumers online during the pandemic.

The details: Facebook says the two main factors that determine which ads to show people are audience targeting selected by advertisers and the results of its ad auction. Facebook decides which ads within the auction to show to people that have the highest total value score, an estimate of how likely that person will take the advertiser’s desired action, which is generated via machine learning. To do this, Facebook’s models take into account the person’s behavior on and off Facebook as well as the ad’s content, the time of day and interactions between people and ads.

Facebook says it doesn’t sell people’s data to advertisers or anyone else and that it doesn’t share personally identifying information unless given permission. It also assures that people’s text messages or phone microphones aren’t used to inform ads or change what content they see.

TikTok Explains Black Lives Matter View Count Display Issue

In the days following the murder of George Floyd by police, TikTok users were disheartened to discover that posts tagged with #GeorgeFloyd and #BlackLivesMatter were showing zero views in the Compose screen, where they prepare their video before uploading. Now, TikTok says the issue was due to inefficiencies in its data flushing system.

Why it matters: TikTok issued an apology to the black community when it first learned of the issue, noting that many assumed it was an intentional act to suppress black voices.

The details: TikTok says the hashtag count view piled up due to a data lagging issue which it says will be prevented moving forward via an updated design of the system.

Snapchat Announces Range Of New AR Features

At its virtual 2020 Snap Partner Summit, Snapchat said it plans to roll out a variety of new augmented reality features such as local lenses and visual and audio scan options, as well as micro-apps called Snap Minis, a Happening Now feature to keep users up to date with the latest news and millions of listings for businesses around the world with the ability to order food within the app.

Why it matters: Tapping into its users’ penchant for AR—over 170 million Snapchatters engage with AR daily nearly 30 times every day—will allow Snapchat to compete with Facebook.

The details: Snapchat’s new Local lenses will enable users to virtually paint and edit certain buildings and landmarks, with the same actions visible to other users in the app.

Snapchat has partnered with providers to expand its scan options with Lenses; Dog Scanner, for example, will recognize dog breeds, and Nutrition Scanner will rate the quality of ingredients in packaged foods.

A new Voice Scan option will also provide Lens results based on voice commands.

Snapchat is also giving developers the chance to reach Snap’s audience via Snap Minis, a micro-apps initiative from its SnapKit platform.

In addition to officially announcing a new function bar, Snapchat is rolling out a “Topics options for Stories, which serve the same function as hashtags but through stickers instead of words.

Launching in the US this week, a new “Happening Now” feature within Discover will deliver news stories from partners like NBC News, ESPN and The Washington Post, among others.

Snapchat is also highlighting popular stores and places with information about their location, hours of operation and reviews.

Snapchat has plans to add AR functionality to its original shows, allowing users to learn dance moves, for example, via custom motion tracking lenses that track a user’s every step.

Snapchat has partnered with Headspace to expand its mental wellbeing resource “Here For You” with new tools like meditations and resources.

Lastly, Snapchat introduced a new learning portal called Snap Focus featuring six courses to educate agencies and marketers about its suite of ad products.

Google Rolls Out New Tools In Response To Surge In Time Spent Watching CTV

Google is introducing a series of tools in Display & Video 360 to simplify how digital media buyers find and secure ad inventory as they quickly move to video streaming advertising.

Why it matters: Google says that as a result of lockdown, available connected television (CTV) inventory on Display & Video 360’s surged by 75 percent.

The details: Google has created a dedicated television section in Marketplace that enables marketers to find and negotiate deals via filter options based on geo or streaming device type. Through this new interface, which Google will roll out in the next few weeks, marketers can also send requests for proposals to publishers directly.

Google also announced two new ready-to-buy options. The first option, called auction packages, bundles inventory from top publishers into deals that don’t require negotiating. The second option involves the expansion of YouTube Select’s dedicated streaming television lineup to Display & Video 360 buyers in the US.

To accompany these updates, Google has also added a new workflow called the “OTT line item” for buying television ads across screens. The line item automatically picks inventory from CTV apps.

Facebook Continues Developing AI Tools To Create Personalized Shopping Experiences

New Facebook research that has been published details its new developments on enhancing personalized shopping experiences, including an algorithm that identifies fashion trends from images taken from around the world and a 3D-enabled tool that recommends clothing based on body types.

Why it matters: Facebook’s efforts contribute to its long-term vision to build an “all-in-one AI lifestyle assistant that can accurately search and rank billions of products, while personalizing to individual tastes.”

The details: To pinpoint a fashion trend’s origin, Facebook is working on an AI model that calculates the degree of fashion influence between cities from geolocated, time-stamped images of people, which can then predict future popular styles in any location.

Facebook is also working on a system called Animatable Reconstruction of Clothes Humans (ARCH), which would allow people to see how they look wearing clothes in a range of poses, environments and lighting.

An automatic approach to recommending clothing to people based on their body shapes, called VIsual Body-aware Embedding (ViBE), is also in the works.

Hilton Chief Marketing Officer Kellyn Smith Kenny Departs

This week in leadership updates, Hilton CMO Kellyn Smith Kenny steps down following company-wide furloughs, Estée Lauder names Jane Lauder as executive vice president, enterprise marketing and chief data officer, Yoshinoya hires Kim Freer as CMO and more.

Hilton Chief Marketing Officer Kellyn Smith Kenny Steps Down

According to Adweek, Hilton CMO Kellyn Smith Kenny is departing just two days after the company furloughed nearly 2,100 employees.

Kenny Smith joined Hilton in 2018. Prior to that, she served as CMO of Uber from 2016 to 2018.

Estée Lauder Names Jane Lauder As Executive Vice President, Enterprise Marketing And Chief Data Officer

Jane Lauder will assume the newly created role of executive VP, enterprise marketing and chief data officer for Estée Lauder.

In her new position, Lauder will be tasked with leveraging strategic insights to drive the personalized marketing for the company.

Lauder has been with Estée Lauder for over 23 years and was most recently global brand president of Clinique. She will be succeeded by Michelle Freyre, who will join Clinique as senior vice president, general manager.

Yoshinoya Hires Kim Freer As Chief Marketing Officer

Yoshinoya brought on Kim Freer, Blaze Pizza’s former vice president of brand marketing, as CMO in March, QSR Web reports.

Freer will be responsible for launching the company’s digital expansion including its first loyalty program.

Kimberly-Clark Names Zena Arnold As Chief Digital And Marketing Officer

Kimberly-Clark has appointed Zena Arnold to the newly created role of chief digital and marketing officer, which will require her to oversee the company’s global marketing teams and drive digital transformation of its brands.

Arnold was most recently global head of growth of Google’s Chrome OS business. Prior to Google, Arnold held global and US brand management positions at Kellogg Company and Procter & Gamble.

Buffalo Wild Wings Chief Marketing Officer Seth Freeman Steps Down

Buffalo Wild Wings CMO Seth Freeman is departing after two years with the company, citing no reason for his departure.

Freeman joined the company six months after it was acquired by Inspire Brands in February 2018.

According to brand president Lyle Tick, the company is actively seeking a replacement.

AT&T Chief Brand And Advertising Officer Fiona Carter To Depart

According to an internal memo obtained by Axios, AT&T chief brand and advertising officer Fiona Carter is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.

Carter joined AT&T in 2015 from Omnicom where she served as chief operating officer of advertising, branding and research.

Rakuten Rewards Names Dana Marineau As Chief Marketing Officer

Dana Marineau has joined Rakuten Rewards as CMO, with the responsibility of strengthening Rakuten’s consumer recognition and launching new loyalty programs.

Marineau comes from Credit Karma where she was VP of brand, creative and communications.

Prior to that, Marineau served as a marketing executive at Electronic Arts for over 15 years in the global advertising, design and creative space for video game brands.

NASCAR Hires Brandon Thompson As Vice President, Diversity And Inclusion

NASCAR has appointed Brandon Thompson to the newly created position of VP, diversity and inclusion. Thompson will expand the company’s diversity efforts and oversee an existing team of employees responsible for multicultural programs including the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, and partnerships with the Institute for Sport and Social Justice and the Diversity and Inclusion Sports Consortium.  

Thompson was previously managing director of the NASCAR Touring Series.

Merrell Promotes Janice Tennant To CMO Position

Merrell, an outdoor footwear brand in Wolverine Worldwide’s portfolio, announced the promotion of Janice Tennant to chief marketing officer. Her appointment to senior leadership was announced in April and made effective just last week, according to Grand Rapids Business Journal

Tennant’s previous roles include serving as CMO for Cat Footwear, global footwear licensee of Caterpillar, Inc. She was also previously director of marketing at Kimberly-Clark and PepsiCo.

Universal Music Group Nashville Promotes Leigh Parr Malleus To VP Of Media Marketing

Leigh Parr Malleus has been promoted to VP of media marketing at Universal Music Group Nashville, where she will oversee the publicity department including Capitol Records Nashville, EMI Records Nashville, Mercury Nashville and MCA Nashville.

Before joining UMG Nashville in 2013, Malleus was a publicist with Essential Broadcast Media and worked in artist management for McGhee Entertainment, respectively.