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Marketers weigh down the downsides of working with Google Ad Manager in new DOJ lawsuit

Marketers weigh down the downsides of working with Google Ad Manager in new DOJ lawsuit


Advertisers may find it difficult to turn their backs on Google completely, but it’s getting much easier to look away these days.

Antitrust allegations by the US Department of Justice tend to have such an impact, especially when they are more likely than usual to actually overturn Google’s influence over advertising dollars.

This is Google’s most serious antitrust violation to date. The fact that Google’s advertising business has imposed heavy taxes on his struggling digital publishers is not only tied to real damage, but also outlines how this action is hurting users. I’m here.

The latter point is reminiscent of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, an article DOJ and eight attorneys general filed last week in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in a 139-page lawsuit.

Here’s the short version: It targets Google’s sell-side tools. The DoJ is seeking a sale of Google’s sell-side advertising assets, or the Google Ad Manager suite, which includes both Google’s Publisher Ad Server (DFP) and its Ad Exchange (Adx).

But the lawsuit doesn’t want the same to happen to Google’s buy-side advertising business, which covers paid search, YouTube, and demand-side platform Display & Video 360.

Marketers must weigh the cost of learning other platforms against the value Google offers today

Jay Friedman, CEO, Goodway Group

Unsurprisingly, marketers don’t say much. They rarely get involved in such sensitive issues around Google. Not because they don’t necessarily have an opinion.

Given that we’ve probably seen enough over the years to have at least a basic understanding of how Google beat its competitors to build a world-dominant advertising business, they’re not. There is likely to be. Any opinion they had of Google’s practices was long overturned by the reality of being a marketer. It happens to be viewed as evidence of monopoly by antitrust authorities.

Regardless of what aspects of Google’s business are in the crosshairs, it’s hard to think of spending money on a platform that looks like it could become increasingly fragmented. Not to mention what is (or was) the subject of other investigations. Even if there are many marketers who have settled with the more domineering aspects of Google’s business, the Justice Department lawsuit will put some of them on hold.

Goodway Group CEO Jay Friedman said, “We expect Google to fight this lawsuit, which will result in significant changes to the way Google operates and the impact it has had on users over the years. In the meantime, marketers should weigh the switching costs combined with the learning delays of other platforms against the value Google brings to them today. need to do it.”

No one knows what this period of reflection will actually look like. Especially since resolution can take time, the potential for action from this lawsuit could take years and also depends on the priorities of the particular administration. This is before taking into account the . This complicated lawsuit has always been a slow flame rather than a flame.

make a case

Much of the lawsuit is rooted in how Google was able to maintain the 20% revenue-sharing fee it has charged ad exchanges since 2009. data that tells it.

It’s hard to tell the public why this matters, said Ana Milicevic, co-founder and principal of Sparrow Advisors, explaining how Google claims to dominate such ad auctions. One potential way to demonstrate, he added, is to compare it to how Big Tech dominates. tangible market.

For example, Google’s control over both the buying and selling sides of an advertising auction is similar to Amazon’s visibility into the activity of both buyers and sellers in a marketplace for physical goods. The fact that Amazon has this ubiquitous visibility and introduced its own Basics line in certain categories to the detriment of third-party merchants is one parallel.

We need to prove the loss of dollars due to press freedom, Milicevic added.

Marketers’ slow reaction to the lawsuit makes sense. It’s the moment you really understand what it means and what it doesn’t mean. For this story, he told Digiday that his four agency execs have been working on it for days since the announcement, and they said they have a lot to work out.

Need to prove dollar loss due to press freedom

Ana Milicevic, Co-Founder, Principal, Sparrow Advisors

One of them is whether this lawsuit will change everything and nothing about how Google sells ads.

why? Let’s say this lawsuit was settled by not forcing the advertiser to use his Google bidding technology to buy from his marketplace online. If the real impact is that Google attracts more money from publishers to assets it owns and operates, does that really get to the heart of the matter?

Advertisers weigh the odds

This move by the DOJ has been around for some time and creates an industry mandate for the independent ad tech employed by advertisers, Mediaocean CEO Bill Wise said in a statement to Digiday.

And over time, advertisers began to consider the true cost-effectiveness of working with Google and whether it made sense to invest so much in Google’s technology. In some cases, we even address those concerns.

For example, British Gas ditched the search giant’s ad server for an independent server in 2018, and the utility hasn’t regretted that decision since. Perhaps unsurprisingly, other advertisers have explored similar moves in the meantime.

Clients don’t want to put all their eggs in one basket, so holding groups and independent agencies are coming to us looking for a second alternative to the Google ad tech stack, says the ad tech company. The managing director must keep a record of confidentiality concerns with clients who have declined to remain anonymous.

There’s enough analysis to make it hard to ignore open questions about how Google’s advertising business operates.

Anonymous ad tech exec

There are enough lawsuits, investigations, and analyzes in the media on both sides of the Atlantic that it’s hard to ignore the open questions about how Google’s advertising business operates.

While this may be true, don’t expect this lawsuit to breathe new life into the saga of breaking up with Google, at least just yet. You’ll feel justified by what the Ministry is trying to do.

The lawsuit follows a series of growing concerns and increasingly hefty fines for opaque practices not only in the United States, but also in the United Kingdom and Europe, Adform’s general counsel said. said Anders Pilgaard Andersen,

If DOJ wins the lawsuit, the move DOJ is demanding will unleash a new wave of innovation and competition in the advertising industry, marking a landmark moment in the move toward re-establishing a fair and open Internet. may become.

Will Google actually make a profit?

Aside from the debate over which sectors of the media industry would benefit most from such a split, some are pondering the potential benefits of Alphabet-owned entities?

Renowned ad tech commentator (and former Googler via DoubleClick) Ali Paparo argued to Digiday that the company’s ad stack would become the albatross of the online giant’s head, leading to a leaner, smarter company. .

According to Paparo, CEO of Marketecture, by deprioritizing the ad tech business, the margins are low compared to core competencies, and the fire is coming from different areas, making Google a more profitable venture for the future. You will be able to concentrate.

He concluded that with fewer conflicts of interest and fewer regulatory and antitrust worries, you can instead focus on what you’re really good at: search, the cloud, and other initiatives.




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