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A Penthouse Made for Instagram

AdvertisementSpotless walls, a “millennial pink” sofa, and a spa-style bathtub that’s waiting to be filled with flowers. And every inch of its 2,400 square feet is free from the clutter of everyday life.ImageThe living room area of Village Marketing’s penthouse photo studio in SoHo that has been crafted for influencers.CreditCreditAmy Lombard for The New York TimesSept. 30, 2018This penthouse apartment in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood is awash in natural light, with high ceilings, gleaming hardwood floors and a rooftop deck. The living room area includes a sofa in the rosy hue known as millennial pink, the kitchen comes equipped with a floor-to-ceiling wine fridge, and the library nook…

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Advertising: Role Models Tell Girls That STEM’s for Them in New Campaign

Bonnie Ross, head of Microsoft’s Halo game studio, says, “You have the power to bring new worlds to life.” Maya Gupta, a Google research scientist, advises, “Don’t just solve the problem, write the code.” And Lisa Seacat DeLuca, a distinguished engineer at IBM, suggests, “If you can imagine it, it’s possible.”They are among the women featured in a public service campaign, debuting Monday, that encourages girls ages 11 to 15 to get involved in science, technology, engineering and math.The “She Can STEM” campaign was put together by the Advertising Council in collaboration with General Electric, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Verizon.The companies advised the Ad Council and the…

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Amazon Sets Its Sights on the $88 Billion Online Ad Market

Last year, the jeans maker Levi Strauss & Company shifted some of its advertising spending away from YouTube to Amazon, where it sharply increased its use of display ads, according to a May report by Gartner L2. In doing so, Levi’s increased the brand’s visibility in Google searches, driving shoppers to an Amazon page with Levi’s merchandise, the research firm said.In an emailed statement, a spokeswoman for Levi’s said the company had increased its marketing investment across all channels, including television, traditional digital and newer digital platforms, including Amazon.For some brands, the increased spending is most likely directly linked to increased competition on Amazon’s platform from Amazon…

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The Hot College Gig: Online Brand Promoter

Noah Lamfers, a senior at the University of Northern Iowa, had never tried a 5-Hour Energy drink. But he still signed up to promote the brand online, getting paid to post images of himself and bottles of the product on his personal Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts. He tagged each one with #5houruintern.Elizabeth Gabriel, a recent graduate of the University of Texas, posted a photo on Instagram of herself relaxing in her last year with a glass of wine and gazing at the latest Samsung tablet. It was one of 12 similar photos she posted for AT&T over 12 weeks. Her payment: a Samsung Galaxy smart watch…

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Netflix Tests Promotional Videos but Users See ‘Commercials’

It’s easy for a Netflix subscriber to watch one episode after another of a favorite show: A viewer makes a selection and lets them keep on coming.Netflix might interrupt a binge after several hours of inactivity by asking “Are you still watching?” and a user has to respond to keep the episodes rolling.But now subscribers face a different interruption: promotional videos, which can last from 10 to 20 seconds. Almost like a commercial, they appear between episodes, reminding viewers not to miss a different show on Netflix.Netflix users were not happy.Netflix users complained they could neither skip nor mute the videos.But Netflix said on Sunday the company…

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Tech Fix: Are Targeted Ads Stalking You? Here’s How to Make Them Stop.

Online ads have always been annoying, but now they’re worse than ever.Consider what happens when you shop online for a wristwatch. You peruse a few watch websites and the next thing you know, a watch advertisement is following you everywhere. On your computer, it’s loading in your Facebook feed. On your phone, it’s popping up on Instagram. In your web browser on either, it’s appearing on news sites that have nothing to do with watches. Even if you end up ordering the watch, the ads continue trailing you everywhere.They’re stalker ads.And they are a symptom of how online ads are becoming increasingly targeted and persistent. Tracking technologies…

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Advertising: Google-Facebook Dominance Hurts Ad Tech Firms, Speeding Consolidation

Online advertising companies have struggled for several years as Google and Facebook solidified their grip on digital dollars, slowing revenue for the others.Now, many ad tech companies and their investors are throwing up their hands.Venture capital money going into ad tech start-ups is falling sharply, helping push a wave of consolidation. Financing reached a high of $2.92 billion in 2015, but this year, it is on pace to be less than half that, according to CB Insights, a financial research firm.The number of independent ad tech companies has fallen 21 percent since 2013, to 185 as of the second quarter of 2018, according to LUMA Partners, which…

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For Sale: Survey Data on Millions of High School Students

“The harm is that these children are being profiled, stereotyped, and their data profiles are being traded commercially for all sorts of uses — including attempts to manipulate them and their families,” said Joel Reidenberg, a professor at the Fordham University School of Law who was one of the authors of a recent research report on the student data market.Paul Weeks, ACT’s senior vice president for client relations, said his organization allowed only colleges, universities and scholarship organizations to use its database, which includes details like students’ family income, religious affiliation and test score range. ACT also prohibits clients from sharing students’ data with third parties, he…

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Facebook Shares Plunge After Earnings Fall Short

Facebook shares plummeted more than 18 percent in midday trading on Thursday, erasing over $110 billion from the social media giant’s market value.The sharp stock decline came a day after Facebook, one of the largest publicly traded companies in the United States, reported disappointing second-quarter earnings.Of particular concern to investors was Facebook’s warning that revenue growth rates would continue to slow sharply in the coming quarters.[Facebook said an accumulation of issues was starting to hurt its multibillion-dollar business.]“Management commentary about decelerating topline growth during a quarter where the company fell short of ad revenue for the first time is what has led to the stock’s after-hours performance,”…

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Inside the Mating Rituals of Brands and Online Stars

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Recently at the Anaheim Convention Center, about 50 people entered a room decorated as a stylish lounge for a speed dating event. They moved from table to table every 20 minutes, exchanging small talk and getting to know each other.But the participants were not looking for love. They were YouTube stars and marketing executives from companies like Uber and Amazon seeking an advertising union.Deals between big brands and viral online video performers, once an informal alternative to traditional celebrity sponsorships, are quickly maturing into a business estimated to reach $10 billion in 2020. Some brands pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single…

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