Clip Service: News for Busy People

The optimists here at Team Spot-On like to point out that this is the first year since 2004 – that’s 12 long years – where political spending hasn’t been hampered by a real or feared economic recession. Which probably explains why everyone is busy, earlier and faster than some anticipated.

Not a lot of time for newsletters! But there are still events and trends that affects the political ad markets. So this election year, Spot-On will revive our short and sweet “Clip Service: News for Busy People” pointer to things we think are important as you and your clients move through the year. You hipsters can think of it as ICYMI.

First up this month, our two favorites: data and ad targeting.

– The FCC is talking about letting cable TV customers buy their set-top box either from independent vendors or the cable companies. Why is that important? It will cut down on the type of data that cable companies can collect – and use to direct ads – about customers. If you place a lot of faith in the growth of “addressable” set-tops for ad targeting this is bad news.

– The discussions and disagreements about the use of voter data are a little quieter as we move into Spring but they’re not going away. The LATimes took a look at what campaigns know (but not, unfortunately HOW they know it). This is important if you place a lot of “targeted” online ads. Our bet? It’s not the data that’s under attack it’s the sale of that data that’s the problem.

– As a companion to that idea – data is the backbone of ad targeting – here’s a look at why advertisers – NOT online news publishers – should take MORE control of where ads appear. If you’re online ad budget relies heavily on any sort of automated buying, this is an early warning that things are changing. The author makes a good point – one that will appeal to political folks – but our bet is that the growth of walled gardens with more supervision over advertisers is growing.

These are the most recent highlights for issues and trends we think are worth noting. If you’d like to see what we think on a more timely basis, follow us on Twitter. Or hang with us on Facebook.

And, of course, we’re always happy to talk online trends and strategies. Just give us a shout.