Street Fight Daily: Google Debuts ‘Auto Ads,’ Digital Media Titan Vox Cuts Staff En Masse

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…

Google Debuts AdSense ‘Auto Ads’ with Machine Learning (TechCrunch)
Google is debuting “Auto Ads” — not commercials for cars, but a new ad unit that uses machine learning to “read” a page to detect and place what kinds of ads might be appropriate to place there, including where to place them, and how many to run.

A Vision for One of Tech’s Most Valuable Startups: The Airbnb Card (Street Fight)
Andrew Shotland: Airbnb has already created a trusted network. It now merely needs to extend that trust to get local hosts and merchants working together to create great experiences for their mutual customers.

Vox Media Cuts About 50, Scales Back Social Video (WSJ)
Vox Media is laying off about 50 employees, making it the latest digital publisher to scale back on social video in the wake of Facebook’s decision to reduce publisher content in its news feed.

Local Media Consortium Partners With IAS to Fight Web Ad Fraud (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: To fight the pervasive web fraud crisis, the Local Media Consortium, which represents more than 75 local news media companies with 1,700+ digital publications, is partnering with the global data firm Integral Ad Science (IAS), which each day measures and analyzes the quality of 500 billion media metrics.

Pursuant Health, Vistar Media Look to Change How Brands Connect In-Store (Street Fight)
In a move that could impact the way marketers connect with more than 30 million shoppers inside physical stores around the country, Pursuant Health is partnering with the location-based advertising technology firm Vistar Media to provide better access to its digital advertising inventory.

Snapchat’s E-Commerce Strategy Hit a New High (AdWeek)
Snapchat’s latest viral filter didn’t include a puppy face or a dancing hot dog. Instead, it focused on a life-size Michael Jordan augmented-reality filter promoting the new, unreleased Air Jordan III Tinker sneakers, which went on sale exclusively via a special QR code within the app.

The Atlantic to Expand, Adding 100 People (Axios)
The Atlantic, one of the oldest print magazines in America, is adding 100 staffers (a 30% staff increase,) as a part of a 12-18-month expansion across all divisions, with roughly half of the additions going towards editorial, announced executives on Wednesday.

Declining Facebook Reach Squeezes Publishers’ Branded-Content Business (Digiday)
The decline of organic reach on Facebook is affecting publishers’ branded-content studios, too.

Apple Apparently Adding Voice Activation to New AirPods (Verge)
The Cupertino company is said to be planning to refresh the AirPods, first released in late 2016, with a new model this year, whose highlight changes will be an improved wireless chip and the ability to activate Siri voice commands just by saying “Hey Siri.”

How Everlane Is Building the Next-Gen Clothing Brand (Fast Company)
Five years after Everlane founder and CEO Michael Preysman declared that he would rather shut down his company than open a store, some 75 people are lining up outside of a minimalist glass storefront in Manhattan’s fashionable Nolita neighborhood.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]