International bulletin: France passes new ad transparency law, Lyft takes on Uber

Plus Alibaba’s counterfeiting concerns, why Amazon is the most mobile-ready brand in India and Samsung execs’ bribery charges.

France passes new ad transparency law

Most people probably haven’t heard of Loi Sapin – an anti-corruption law that was introduced in France in 1993 in order to make the business of media-buying more transparent.

It states that media-buying agencies are not allowed to work as both the buyer and seller of advertising for their client. The law also requires that the agency can only be paid by the advertiser — meaning they can’t receive rebates from a publisher or media owner.

On 9 February, a new Loi Sapin decree was passed, which now includes digital advertising services. Specifically, it covers: “Any medium connected to the internet, such as computers, tablets, mobile phones, televisions, and digital panels.”

The decree comes into force in January 2018. Agencies will no longer be able to to buy and resell digital media to their clients and media owners will be required to send invoices and detailed information about the services they performed directly to the advertiser.

Given issues found in the ANA’s recent report into rebates and recent comments from Procter & Gamble’s Marc Pritchard on transparency, no doubt advertisers elsewhere will be paying attention.

READ MORE: France passed a new advertising transparency law the entire global ad industry should pay attention to

Lyft looks to take on Uber with $500m fund target

It seems Lyft is looking to capitalise on the recent negative headlines around its competitor Uber, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that the company is trying to raise half a billion dollars.

The company has reportedly quietly been pitching the new funding round at a valuation between $6bn to $7bn, according to the Journal. However, Lyft has declined to comment on the report.

Uber, meanwhile, is facing a battle on all fronts as it tries to win back customers, its employees, and even its own investor base, which has started speaking out against the ride-hailing giant in the wake of a sexism scandal and investigation into its workplace.

READ MORE: Lyft is trying to raise $500 million in its fight against Uber

Samsung troubled by bribery and embezzlement charges

The indictment of Samsung Electronics’ de facto chief Jay Y. Lee and four other top executives on bribery and embezzlement charges threatens the company’s ability to make major strategic decisions, including acquisitions and management changes, AdAge reports.

While Samsung will continue to roll out new products and expand the business, any acquisitions, major management shuffles and changes to the corporate structure will probably have to wait until Lee’s legal issues subside.

“Samsung will choose to stay conservative in planning business strategy rather than implementing aggressive management decisions, such as cutting big overseas deals or making huge investments,” says Park Ju-gun, president of Seoul-based corporate watchdog CEOSCORE.

READ MORE: Samsung heir’s indictment could put deals, big decisions on hold

Amazon most ‘mobile ready’ brand in India

Amazon, Tata Motors and Hyundai are the most “mobile ready” brands in India, a new study by IPG Mediabrands, YouGov and Google has found.

It determines each brand’s mobile performance against five dimensions: discoverability, mobile optimisation, navigation and content, utility and usability, and driving desired actions.

Amazon took the top spot, closely followed by Tata Motors and Hyundai. In total, more than 2,000 brands were reviewed across 15 countries (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, UK, Uruguay, and the US) against 60 separate criteria, producing more than 240,000 data points.

READ MORE: Amazon, Tata Motors, Hyundai top the list of ‘Mobile Ready’ brands in India

Alibaba calls for Chinese government to crack down on counterfeiters

Following pressure from the US government and vendors in various markets, online marketplace Alibaba has called on the Chinese Government to crack down on counterfeiters.

It wants clearer laws and higher penalties, with the company saying that current Chinese counterfeit laws are ‘ambiguous’.

“Law-enforcement agencies often found it difficult to classify and quantify incidences of counterfeiting and also had difficulties building legal cases due to ambiguous counterfeiting laws,” the Chinese retail giant says in a statement, which claimed that the company’s strenuous efforts to curb counterfeiting have been often stymied by an inadequate regulatory framework in the country.

The authorities investigated only 1,184 cases of 4,495 possible leads on counterfeiting submitted by Alibaba in 2016. Only 33 or 0.7% of the cases resulted in convictions.

READ MORE: Alibaba calls for tougher Chinese laws against counterfeiters

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