Commerce media, meet … cannabis.

On Tuesday, Surfside, a cannabis-focused data and marketing platform with its own CDP and DSP, rolled out its commerce media platform nationwide after going live with its first clients in April.

More than 500 dispensary partners are using the platform, which allows brands, including Glorious Cannabis Company, one of Surfside’s early partners, to run ads on cannabis retailer websites.

Site owners get to monetize space that previously didn’t generate revenue, and advertisers get to reach in-market cannabis shoppers when they’re low in the funnel. The platform is also connected to the retailer’s point-of-sale system.

“We’re only rendering ads for brands that are in stock at the dispensary location,” said Michael Blanche, Surfside’s co-founder and co-CEO.

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Publicis Groupe Chief Commerce Strategy Officer Jason Goldberg often tells prospective clients, “Publicis itself is a retailer.”

Founder Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet opened the Publicis drugstore on Champs-?lys?es in Paris in 1958, originally modeled after Woolworths in the US, and it’s been in continuous operation ever since. The Parisian variety store, which features everything from a pharmacy to restaurants to cinemas, is located on the ground floor of Publicis’ corporate headquarters.

But it doesn’t stop there. When TikTok Shop launched in the US, Publicis tested it in beta alongside clients.

“For work, I try everything,” Goldberg said. For instance, he has shopped on Temu, Shein, Shop LC, with a variety of small businesses and Publicis clients like Walmart.

All that sampling means marketing and retargeting tools are wasted on Goldberg. And it also means he’s seen a lot of ads for products he’d never use.

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OPINION: Data-Driven Thinking

With the 2024 presidential campaign already underway, the year ahead is shaping up to be unlike any previous election cycle.

The rapid growth, nearly ubiquitous use, and public interest around generative AI – alongside a shifting social media landscape and divisive political issues – will present new challenges for voters, platforms, media and marketers. In particular, the use of generative AI to create and disseminate mis- and disinformation is likely to have profound impacts.

For brands, advertising amidst these challenges comes with renewed concern around platform trust and brand safety.

How and where will AI-generated misinformation thrive? What, if anything, are the tech platforms and governments doing to help curb AI-powered misinformation? And what are the political topics likely to drive misinformation?

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Ad Exchange News

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Instacart filed for its initial public offering (IPO) on Friday. Shares should start trading next month (under the stock ticker CART, of course).

Call it a thawing of the tech IPO market, which has been frozen for a year and a half. The marketing automation platform Klaviyo also filed for an IPO on Friday.

For Instacart, going public is a reinforcement that the company’s strategy as both a subscription and advertising business seems to be working, Eric Seufert writes.

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Data Privacy Roundup

In 1964, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously defined pornography by not defining it: “I know it when I see it.”

I’d argue that, at least from the consumer’s perspective, the opposite statement applies to contextual advertising. Because, online at least, the definition can be … rather fungible.

As the Federal Trade Commission noted in its 2009 report on self-regulatory principles for online behavioral advertising, “rapidly changing technologies and other factors have made the line between personally identifiable and non-personally identifiable information increasingly unclear.”

And that was way back in 2009, when ad tech was still a baby.

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Ad ops startup Aditude is carving out a niche in the pub tech market with its mix of header bidding solutions and managed services.

The 4-year-old company announced Monday it raised $15 million in Series A funding. It plans to spend the money doubling its headcount and enhancing its cloud-based prebid wrapper and other publisher tools.

The sole investor in the round was venture capital firm Volition Capital, which will gain a seat on Aditude’s board.

Prior to Volition’s investment, Aditude was 100% funded by its founder, Jared Siegal.

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Much ado is made about cluttered ads.txt files.

So UK-based ad network Publisher Collective decided to spend the last six months cleaning its up – in the midst of a demerger that put its files in disarray.

The network saw that ads.txt was weighing more heavily on buying decisions, and it considered the ads.txt 1.1 update last summer an opportunity to clean up its clients’ files. But can cutting entries from its ads.txt file really help a publisher court more demand?

While Publisher Collective didn’t see a positive or negative revenue impact, it learned a lot about which of its partners were valuable and the amount of waste hidden within unnecessary line items.

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Tracking Shot

The bad news keeps coming for YouTube.

The platform has been under intense scrutiny from research firm Adalytics. Its latest report, which accuses YouTube of serving targeted ads on kid-focused content, may have also uncovered evidence that YouTube has been violating Apple’s privacy protections by not asking for user consent when deploying an attribution tracker on iOS, Adweek reports.

Adalytics tested more than 300 YouTube ad clicks that could potentially identify users, and says the platform never asked for consent to be tracked, which is a requirement on iOS.

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CTV Roundup

Nielsen has been hard at work fleshing out its much-awaited cross-media measurement platform, Nielsen ONE, which is scheduled for release in its final form in 2024.

This week, the company finalized its plan to add big data sets, including second-by-second viewership data and census-level data from third parties, to its measurement currency offering for national TV.

Nielsen first started incorporating more granular viewing data into the Nielsen ONE Ads module in January, although that data was only available for planning, not transacting.

But the TV measurement industry is increasingly demanding the ability to transact on more than just Nielsen panels.

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PODCAST: The Big Story Podcast

Marketers have been through one surprise after another this year with YouTube inventory.

The latest surprise? The news that it’s possible to create a campaign that serves personalized as “made for kids” inventory on YouTube.

On this week’s Big Story, we bring on Adalytics researcher Krzysztof Franaszek who’s been diving into big brands’ log files, a project that’s unveiled some unexpected truths about where their YouTube ads appear.

Back in June, Adalytics revealed that advertisers who thought they were buying TrueView instream ads on YouTube were actually seeing their ads served outstream across its partner network off The report prompted calls to action from industry organizations, how hard it is to verify inventory and the importance of advertisers with clout to demand change.

The latest research, covering COPPA, is sure to attract the attention of the FTC, which fined YouTube and Google a record $170 million for violations back in 2019.

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 Surfside, a cannabis-focused data and marketing platform with its own CDP and DSP, rolled out its commerce media platform nationwide.  Read More