Bits and Bobs from around the industry:
This article shares that Walmart’s U.S. advertising division, Walmart Connect, grew 41% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, according to an earnings statement.
Walmart joins other retail companies, including Amazon, in putting a finer point on their ad sales expansion. An explosion of retail media investments has contrasted with the performance of more conventional digital players like Meta Platforms and Google, which are contending with weakening advertiser demand, sharper competition and a flurry of privacy-related challenges.
Criteo has laid off roughly 8% of their workforce as of last week. It is important to note that this round of layoffs is due to their recent M&A and not due to financial solvency issues like we’ve seen with EMX.
The article shares that “amid speculation over its future, Criteo made cuts to its headcount last week, adding to a wave of cutbacks across the sector. This round of layoffs could serve as a prelude to a potential sale, according to some.”
From EMX filing for bankruptcy to Criteo’s recent layouts, some may say this culling can be expected to continue “as more ad tech players get squeezed ahead of cookie deprecation, especially if the tech vendors that package and sell publishers’ inventory to advertisers can’t meet new industry expectations, more than half a dozen industry sources told Adweek.”
With Google’s anti-trust case and the European Union’s AI Act, it looks like there’s no end in sight for privacy and policy issues in the ad tech industry. Here’s what is going on with privacy and policy in ad tech:
- The FTC announced a new Office of Technology to bolster the agency as it looks to further regulate Big Tech with new resources for everything from investigations and enforcement to research and stakeholder outreach.
- The U.S. House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the CEOs of five major tech companies to testify before the GOP-controlled committee’s investigations into free-speech issues.
- The U.S. Dept. of Justice was reportedly considering an antitrust case against Apple.
- Members of the European Union are also attempting to regulate AI-related issues with a proposed AI Act that would govern how companies develop artificial intelligence.
- Section 230 – The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments for two separate cases related to Google and Twitter that could have a major impact on the future of free speech on the internet.