International round-up: US internet privacy bill faces backlash, Chevrolet focuses on ‘meritocracy’ in Argentina

Plus Asia-Pacific’s advertising market to grow 5.6% this year, Thai police raid a click fraud farm.

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US internet bill looking to ‘give consumers control’ faces backlash

There’s a new internet privacy bill in US Congress, and the digital ad industry says that if it passes it could mean “Facebook won’t be free”.

Tennessee congresswoman Martha Blackburn says she wants to give consumers control of their internet experience, which is why she has introduced a bill — the ‘BROWSER Act’ — that would require internet users to actively opt in to any sort of ad tracking or online data collection.

For the digital ad industry, what Blackburn is proposing could drop a huge hammer on business. And, experts say, consumers would be hurt.

“It means Facebook won’t be free,” says Scott Howe, CEO of the data company Acxiom. Acxiom collects consumer data on millions of Americans, including where they live and the products they shop for, that marketers and media companies use to target consumers and deliver more relevant ads. So it is looking out for any legislation in this realm closely.

READ MORE: There’s a new internet-privacy bill in Congress, and the digital-ad industry says that if it passes it could mean ‘Facebook won’t be free’

Chevrolet focuses on ‘meritocracy’ for its Argentinian campaign

Chevrolet looked to target disgruntled Argentinians in a new campaign seeking to generate a “public conversation around meritocracy”, by making its new ‘Cruze’ model the embodiment of this principle.

In Argentina, half the population is dissatisfied with the government, with one part becoming increasingly in opposition to the other, leading to a conflicted social context that is known as ‘The Gap’ (La Grieta), with the country’s political scene divided in two.

Chevrolet decided to side with and address one half of the group, to target potential buyers through a campaign that was able to “make them feel reflected and recognised by their efforts”. Interestingly, the ‘Meritocrats’ campaign never actually mentioned the car.

The campaign had strong results. It reached almost 30 million impressions, skyrocketed Google searches around the term meritocracy to over 5,000% during the campaign’s airing, and made Chevrolet Cruze the most internet searched car in the country.

The campaign also offered an online pre-sale, in which 200 units of Chevrolet Cruze were sold in less than two hours, without its buyers getting to actually see the car.

“We may say half of the population hated the campaign, and half of it feel in love with it. Having half of Argentina enthusiastically engaged with our message was no small thing”, says Rodrigo Polignano, Commonwealth McCann creative director in Argentina, who created the campaign.

Asia-Pacific’s advertising market to grow 5.6% this year

Asia-Pacific’s advertising market will grow by 5.6% in 2017 to $156bn (£122.3bn), according to Magna’s latest global advertising forecast report.

This figure is marginally ahead of its previous forecast (5.4%). APAC managed to keep hold of its position as the second largest region for advertising spend, behind North America’s $196bn (£153.7bn). Growth is expected to slow down slightly next year (5.1%).

Digital is set to become the biggest channel in the APAC region, representing 37.8% of spend, or $59bn (£46.3bn). This is slightly higher than television’s share of 37.7%. TV is still growing in APAC by 2.2% this year to $59bn, and will continue to grow through 2021, despite gradually losing share to digital media.

China remains the largest market in APAC, and the second largest market globally behind the US, with $62bn (£48.7bn) of advertising sales expected in 2017. That represents 7.3% growth, slightly higher than last year’s 7% growth.

Globally, media owners advertising revenues are projected to grow by 3.7% in 2017, to $505bn (£396bn). This is a noticeable drop compared to 2016, which displayed a record 5.9% growth rate. Magna claims, however, the spike in media spend was due to big news events such as the US elections and global sports tournaments such as The Olympics.

Mat Inset launches print ad that transforms into a fly-killing device

In 2016, Brazil experienced a major outbreak of dengue fever, zika and chikungunya, and the entire population was mobilised to fight the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which is the transmitter of these diseases.

In this context, WMcCann launched a special ad to present the new ‘Mat Inset’ fragrance-free insecticide.

By following the directions printed on the ad and rolling the magazine, it transforms into a packaging of the new fragrance-free ‘Mat Inset’ and, at the same time, a stick to hit insects. To conclude, the text adds in a humorous way: “Discover two ways to kill insects. Both are fragrance-free.”

READ MORE: This magazine ad for insecticide kills bugs the old-fashioned way

Thai police raid ‘click fraud’ farm

A recent police raid has given a rare insight into the intricate workings of a click fraud business worth AU$6,000 (£3,586) per month.

After raiding a rental property in Thailand, police arrested three individuals, accusing them of being the masterminds behind the fraudulent internet enterprise.

Discovered on the property was a makeshift rig holding 500 smartphones that were all connected to a computer monitor.

It was later discovered the operation was for sock puppet accounts — multiple accounts controlled by the same user for the purpose of fraudulently gaming internet forums and social media websites.

The immigration officer claimed a Chinese company supplied the three men with the technology and paid them £3,586 per month to run the operation.

READ MORE: A rare look inside a ‘click fraud’ business worth $6,000 per month

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