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What was new in adtech, in May

The adtech Pac-Man gobbled up more tech companies last month as Twitter acquired mobile ad company CrossInstall. The mobile-only DSP was founded in 2012, has received no outside funding, and boasts gaming clients such as Machine Zone, Jam City, SGN, and PuzzleSocial, according to AdExchanger.

Following the acquisition, CrossInstall will operate as a stand-alone business which will be owned and operated by Twitter as all 70 of CrossInstall’s employees join the social media giant.

Yet in the same month, Kantar’s Dimension study revealed distrust from consumers in social media platforms. According to The Drum, social media – which takes $84bn of global ad budgets – is the least trusted source for news and information, as only 17% of respondents claimed Facebook and Twitter as reputable sources. In total, 70% of those surveyed said they don’t trust a lot of what they see on social media, including information from brands.

In other social media news, in the UK, Barclays has partnered with Nextdoor to help UK businesses communicate directly with new and existing customers. As a result of the partnership, companies will be able to publish two posts a month for free to disclose new opening hours, delivery options and special offers.

In news from the US, the Justice Department and a group of state attorney generals are gearing up to file an antitrust suit against Google. Much of the investigation will focus on Google’s online advertising business as well as concerns the company is using its dominant position in the search business to stifle competition, WSJ reports. The case is thought to be brought to call this summer.

From the US to Germany – DMEXCO is happening. As Germany slowly emerges from lockdown and other countries across the global start to open up again, it’s questionable how many will be traveling to Cologne to attend the trade show. As Digiday reports, DMEXCO had 40,000 attendees in 2019, 40% of which were international travelers. Organizers have promised new measures under health and safety guidelines, such as improved ventilation, cleaning stations and more flexible attendee admissions – still, it’s likely to look very different to how it has been before.

There are to be more investigations into the programmatic supply chain following a report which looked at how advertisers’ payments are distributed through the ecosystem caused a stir in the industry. The report from trade body ISBA and PwC found publishers receive only 51% of advertisers spend. According to AdWeek, advertisers and media owners with ISBA are appointing a task force to forge greater transparency. The report also found a disparity between ad tech vendors when it came to data capture, storage and sharing.

In other news, UK publisher Reach announced it has joined forces with IBM and Xandr to launch a new AI-powered tool – Mantis – to help advertisers get their message to readers alongside content which is deemed safe. Indeed, recent figures suggest the UK news industry is expected to lose £50 million alone due to keyword blocking against content related to coronavirus. With the use of Mantis, advertising can be contextually directed to appear alongside articles – including those which include words relating to coronavirus – that have been deemed neutral or positive in sentiment. This would include stories such as homeschooling, cooking tips, or how to stay fit and healthy at home. The inventory will be available across premium UK publishers so brands can achieve national scale, the Express reports.

And finally, VideoAdNews reports how trade associations including IPA, 4As, EACA, and 4As Malaysia have launched a new alliance dubbed ‘VocComm’ which will call out late payments. It comes as a number of advertisers are using the current Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse for late payments to their agencies.