Advertising Spending and Media Bias: Evidence from News Coverage of Car Safety Recalls | Beattie, Durante, Knight, Sen

Graham Beattie, Ruben Durante, Brian Knight, Ananya Sen; Advertising Spending and Media Bias: Evidence from News Coverage of Car Safety Recalls; Some Working Paper; 2017-02; 43 pages; paywall.

tl;dr → [Question:] Do media outlets bias news content in favor of advertisers?
Answer: Yes. Though, technically, Betteridge’s Law does not apply because the question is in the abstract, not the title.

Abstract

Do media outlets bias news content in favor of advertisers? We study this question by examining the relationship between advertising spending by car manufacturers in U.S. newspapers and news coverage of major safety recalls issued between 2000 and 2014. Examining car safety recalls allows us to separate the effect of advertisers’ influence from that of readers’ tastes which, in this case, should lead to more coverage as owners of recalled vehicles demand more information about the safety risks associated with the recall. Consistent with the predictions of our theoretical model, we find that recalls involving a given manufacturer receive significantly less coverage on newspapers in which that manufacturer advertised more over the previous two years. We find that pro-advertiser bias is more pronounced in markets with a single newspaper, which indicates that competition – and the related reputational concerns – mitigates capture by advertisers. Finally, increased competition for advertising revenues from online platforms makes newspapers more vulnerable to the pressure of advertisers.

Voice-First Technology Is About To Kill Advertising As We Know It | Forbes

Voice-First Technology Is About To Kill Advertising As We Know ItBrian Roemmele (expert); In Forbes; 2016-12.

rebuttal: there can be no ads in “voice first?”  Silly wrabbit. It will be like AM radio.  Want to turn on a light?  First listen to this ad.

Demystifying Location Data Accuracy | MMA

Demystifying Location Data Accuracy; Mobkie Marketing Association (MMA); 2015-10; 18 pages; landing
Teaser: The new frontier and biggest mobile opportunity

Table of Contents

A Mountain of Location Data

  • Introduction
  • Location Data Uses
  • How Location Data Is Collected
  • Data Passed in an Ad Request
  • Device Location Services
  • Location Data Flow
  • Factors Impacting Accuracy
  • Current Solutions
  • More Quality Efforts Underway
  • MMA Overview

Referenced

Is this really the beginning of the end for web ads? | The Guardian

Is this really the beginning of the end for web ads?; John Naughton; In The Guardian; 2015-08-23.
Teaser: Users complain about load times and third-party scripts, but if ad-blocking continues to rise, what happens to the web’s business model?

tl;dr → milled content riffing against Ashley Madison; 729 words; no new information; namedrops Edward Snowden.

Betteridge’s Law: no, of course not, ads will abide.

Mentioned

Media companies just closed the web gap, and now there’s a mobile chasm | Fortune

Media companies just closed the web gap, and now there’s a mobile chasm; ; In Fortune; 2015-08-25.

tl;dr → a repeat for the generalist audiences

Original Sources

iOS 9 Content Blocking Will Transform The Mobile Web: I’ve Tried It; Some Cub Reporter (SCR); In The Next Web (TNW); 2015-08-24.

Mobile Readers Abound; the Ads, Not So Much; Jack Marshall; In The Wall Street Journal (WSJ); 2015-08-24.

Mentions

Selling Off Privacy at Auction | Olejnik, Tran, Castelluccia

Lukasz Olejnik, Minh-Dung Tran, Claude Castelluccia; Selling Off Privacy at Auction. In Proceedings of the Network and Distributed Systems Symposium (NDSS); 2014-02-23; 15 pages; landing, slides.

Abstract

Real-Time Bidding (RTB) and Cookie Matching (CM) are transforming the advertising landscape to an extremely dynamic market and make targeted advertising considerably permissive. The emergence of these technologies allows companies to exchange user data as a product and therefore raises important concerns from privacy perspectives. In this paper, we perform a privacy analysis of CM and RTB and quantify the leakage of users’ browsing histories due to these mechanisms. We study this problem on a corpus of users’ Web histories, and show that using these technologies, certain companies can significantly improve their tracking and profiling capabilities. We detect 41 companies serving ads via RTB and over 125 using Cookie Matching. We show that 91% of users in our dataset were affected by CM and in certain cases, 27% of users’ histories could be leaked to 3rd-party companies through RTB.

We expose a design characteristic of RTB systems to observe the prices which advertisers pay for serving ads to Web users. We leverage this feature and provide important insights into these prices by analyzing different user profiles and visiting contexts. Our study shows the variation of prices according to context information including visiting site, time and user’s physical location. We experimentally confirm that users with known history are evaluated higher than new comers, that some user profiles are more valuable than others, and that users’ intents, such as looking for a commercial product, are sold at higher prices than users’ browsing histories. In addition, we show that there is a huge gap between users’ perception of the value of their personal information and its actual value on the market. A recent study by Carrascal et al. showed that, on average, users evaluate the price of the disclosure of their presence on a Web site to EUR 7. We show that user’s browsing history elements are routinely being sold off for less than $0.0005.

Referenced

Juan Pablo Carrascal, Christopher Riederer, Vijay Erramilli, Mauro Cherubini, Rodrigo de Oliveira; Your browsing behavior for a Big Mac: Economics of Personal Information Online; In Proceedings of the Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (CHI); 2011; arXiv, 2011-12-28.