Fix Friday — March 12

6 min readMar 12, 2021



The ramifications of the Google statement on tracking continues to occupy Adtech minds. Share prices tumbled — but most have recovered much of the fall.

The big issue is around how actively Google will impose their view on the rest of the market. When they say practices will not be supported — does that really mean they will block them? This is a good breakdown of the more technical issues and our friends at Arete have written a great paper AdTech Earthquake where they cover the challenges for the Adtech players and the questions Google still need to answer. It is shared in our Guild group

A senior Oracle exec is very clear that he believes Google is going too far. And in a positive WSJ piece on Trade Desk — terming them as the best hope to challenge the tech giant (Google) — if it manages to keep up its momentumtheir CEO suggests Regulators need to take a look.

Smart people are thinking ahead — I had a long conversation with Fospha over how their approach to cross channel measurement will adapt and Hybrid Theory shared a good paper on the tests they have been doing with FloCs and Turtledove. Our friends at Permutive continue to be in the vanguard — here arguing for direct relationships between brands and publishers.


Jeff Green wants regulators to get involved and they are. In the UK the CMA have been looking at the Google plans for a while and the Biden administration is putting some interesting people on to his team. Tim Wu has been very vocal on big tech and Lina Khan made her name with a paper on Amazon.

The Curse of Bigness by Tim Wu is now required reading. And you can read the Amazon article Lina Khan wrote, whilst at Yale here.

Privacy legislation continues — Virginia now has a data protection law.


In this weeks Deep Dive we looked at Sports, the latest ITV results and some of the good research published recently. Catch up here.

In the Morgan Stanley interview the Disney CEO was very positive about Hulu ad sales and here we see they are poised to pass sibling ABC — a really significant moment for Disney.


Snap has its swagger back. Business Insider has a very positive piece on how Snap was almost left for dead and how it staged a comeback and got advertisers to fall in love with it. Their London based International Chief has written about the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’

And they are being bullish about how the Apple changes impact them — leading off their resources and advice with the headline Privacy by Design

If you missed their recent research on the efficacy of 6 second ads, it is well worth reading.


The FT nail it with their piece asking If Big Tech has our data, why are targeted ads so terrible? Which ends with the line The dirtiest secret about targeted advertising could be that it doesn’t work.

Harvard Business Review add their 2 cents, telling us what digital advertising gets wrong.

We all know that it actually does work — when done right — and many businesses and brands are built using digital.

But we have to accept the good stuff is surrounded by a lot of rubbish.

We used to say much of the problem is down to a missing metric. No one measures how much people are pissed off by these crap ads.

I pointed out last week the crap ads that blighted an Adweek article — I clicked through to the Google ad settings and you realise that the data is all about quantity rather than quality. Amongst my long list of interests I see Bridal Wear, Condiments and Sauces and Classical music. Really? Check how well they do with you.

So the data is (often) wrong, the ads are rubbish and the publisher is being paid pennies.

Bring on a new way of doing this, built around what we know works now; rewarding publishers who have built valuable audiences, using great creative that tells the brand story whilst enhancing its context and measure this in a way that rewards the true effects.

This new paper Inside Google Marketing: 3 steps to master digital advertising goes into this, with some good advice derived from their own experience.

In the meantime TMobile is to enroll its 80m US customers into an advertising programme where their web and app browsing data will be used to target ads. They are quite late to this, but none of their competitors have been able to crack what should be a lucrative business. Neither AT&T or Verizon has made a huge success, despite spending heavily on content to carry the ads.

The infographic we lead with comes from a Raconteur paper making the case for creativity in advertising.


Deliveroo have announced plans to float their business in London in the next few weeks. The valuation is muted to be $10bn; quite a lot more than the $2bn it was valued at before it took the Amazon investment last year. In their Investors site Deliveroo acknowledge that business will slow when lockdown ends, but talk up their innovations with dark kitchens etc.

JustEat also announced their latest performance — with great growth and more losses. They also signal a price war — they subsidised UK offers with the more profitable German business. And their CEO made a point of saying We are now much cheaper than the competition,”

With a slowing market, increased focus on price and what seems like dozens of start up grocery firms offering super fast delivery ( the latest Deliveroo ads promote their Grocery deliveries) it’s going to be a tough market. We will see consolidation. In the meantime we can all ( as someone on Twitter pointed out) get really cheap groceries and food by playing with all the discounts and deals flying around. Just remember to toast the VCs subsidising your shopping.


IAB and PwC Outlook 2021 — Report Urges Digital Ecosystem to Reset Consumer Value Exchange

Inside Facebook Reality Labs: The Next Era of Human-Computer Interaction

Trapital on why Jack Dorsey bought Tidal. ( Trapital is a great resource on the business of Hip-Hop)

Google and Facebook Killed Free — the NYT on why subscriptions are so popular. Not sure I agree with the binary view — the NYT could have a thriving ad business and still have a subscription strategy.

The story of YouTube: Recode’s Land of the Giants Google podcast

What Is Everybody Doing on Discord? A Social network without ads

What Are the Big Payments Opportunities in 2021?- from VC LocalGlobe

VC Chris Dixon — NFTs and a Thousand True Fans and Seth Godin on why NFTs are a dangerous trap. It’s good to remember all these NFTs are being bought with Crypto profits from the recent run up, rather than real money. So it’s not really a multi million $ market. And my house Artist points out how poor most of the art is.

Best known for WeChat, Tencent is the worlds biggest game producer ( by revenue) and also a formidable deal doer. The company is valued at around $900 billion and has around $250bn of investments in other companies. This WSJ article is a good summary of both their Chinese investments and those in the West — like Snap and Spotify.

The Information note that these investments grew by $120bn from the market rally last year.

Our latest GoodTikTokCreative focused on a brilliant Pepsi campaign that uses duets to make the most of their Lionel Messi and Paul Pogba sponsorships.




Pattern Recognition / Strategy / Consulting / Creative Thinking from Simon Andrews — Sharing knowledge through our email newsletter Mobile Fix every Friday