Sphere or Cube?

In continuation of yesterday, we have today. This is a direct consequence of time. Yet, that is not how some spin it and it is about spinning. In this we introduce Australia’s own spin master ACCC. They decided to inform us via the Guardian with ‘Google’s dominance of Australia’s online advertising needs to be reined in, says ACCC’, I personally wonder who they are speaking off (plenty of volunteers) but the article struck a chord, especially after what we saw today. I am not stating that limits should be drawn, I am not stating that the article is completely wrong. Yet the stage as it is painted does not add up, especially as some of the stakeholders are now in a stage where they painted themselves into corners. There is no real timeline here, because the article is actually quite good, but I am better (and a lot older). So let’s take you through the threads unravelling them one by one. Let’s be clear, there is no real lying here by the article writer. Yet when you see the unravelled strings, you might wonder how they got to this article. Time is the first element. The article is spun like it was a continuation of events, but it is not and more importantly the weavers seem driven to keep larger players Microsoft, Amazon and IBM out of the limelight. In light of this lets take a look at the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/sep/28/accc-calls-for-new-powers-to-rein-in-googles-dominance-of-australian-online-ads) and look at that first thread. 

The first thread is “Google’s takeover of ad companies, including DoubleClick and Admob, as well video platform YouTube, have helped to further solidify its position, the ACCC said” the fact that these companies became part of Google is not in question, the statement “takeover of ad companies” however is. You see, YouTube was bought in 2006. In 2005 it was launched as a “an American online video sharing and social media platform owned by Google”, the players here namely Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim became multimillionaires overnight. After a golden idea a year later was tossed for a little over $1,500,000,000. In this we get from Steve Chen himself “he was inspired by how the search giant monetised without hurting their users. “It translated over to Youtube as well. There are people that create content, view content and pay for content,” he said.” Take here that the operative part was “without hurting their users” and it is important. Look at personal video’s, look at reviews of hardware (Hero 10, PS5) review of books, games and music, even video’s of songs. It all benefits the people, all the people. It was created in 2005 and sold in 2006. It was not until 2008 when they gained 480p videos, AFTER Google acquired it. Thanks to GoPro and DJI we now see 4K movies of cities. In all this time there was no mention of advertisement, the corporate world was not ready and not prepared for YouTube. 

Double Click was pure advertisement, and even as it was founded in a basement (behind the washing machine) by Kevin O’Connor and Dwight Merriman. It offered technology products and services for a mere handful of advertisers that included Microsoft, General Motors, Coca-Cola, Motorola, L’Oréal, Palm, Inc., Apple Inc., Visa Inc., Nike, Inc., and Carlsberg Group, and this is important! So why is this important? You see DoubleClick was acquired by an equity firm named Hellman & Friedman. Basically a greed driven Wall Street player who saw that this would be worth something over time. And the two clients that DoubleClick had (Microsoft and Apple) never saw the potential, even as they were trying to break through in all the markets that Google had created, we see things like MSN Search, aQuantive and adCenter (renamed to Bing Ads) as well as Search Alliance (renamed to Yahoo! Bing Network). Microsoft used a 20 year old tactic, why create when you can acquire. Google acquired too but evolved the segments into behemoth, all whilst there is every chance that the Bing Network would be unable to properly identify the word ‘Behemoth’. A stage we do not see in the Guardian article because it raises too many questions. The one given part here is that only Google knew what it was doing, the rest merely tried to invoke invoices on the corporate world, Google tried to cater to the greatest denominator here, they tried to adhere to the needs of the seeker, the searcher, and as Steve Chen states “without hurting their users”, a stage that was a winning mixture and we do not see that in the ACCC spin, do we?

Then we get thread two “Rod Sims told Guardian Australia a key issue facing news sites and other users of ad tech is they did not know how much revenue ad tech providers like Google were making from each advertisement served up to readers”, in this I find ‘a key issue facing news sites’ as well as ‘they did not know how much revenue ad tech providers like Google were making from each advertisement’. It’s almost like hearing a toddler ask “these juggling tits, do they always provide milk?” In all this does it matter how much the advertiser makes? How often was this asked of Yellow pages or the advertisement moguls in New York? And it is important, because this hits Microsoft as well (Bing Ads, or Microsoft Advertising) Google was upfront in this, they even made it public in their documentation. “No matter how much you bid, you are only charged $0.01 more than the previous winner”, so if we see the bids $12, $9, $2.36, and $0.99 number three pays $1.00, number two pays $1.01 and number one pays $1.02, not $12. A setting NO advertisement company EVER offered, it was all about how much they could rake in and in their defence a system like this was not possible before the digital age. More important, the digital innovators (Google) took that step from day one (well, almost day one). A customer facing setting that prolongs the visibility of marketing departments because they can advertise more and longer, a stage they never faced before, yet the Guardian never touches on that, do they? It was all about the threat that the friends of the ACCC see, not what we actually experience. Oh, and when it comes to advertisement. Why is there no mention of Facebook, or Amazon for that matter? 

The article gives us that there needs to be a border and there should be limits, but is that up to the ACCC? 

So when we see “if you want to block certain companies advertising on your website, it’s very hard to do that through Google” there is a choice, do not advertise on your website, or get your own channel, and, oh…. Here is a thing, Google states “To give you editorial control over the ads that may appear on your site, AdSense offers several options for reviewing and blocking ads. There are various reasons why you might not want certain ads to show on your site. You may have content or business reasons, or philosophical issues. Maybe you have a vegan food blog and you don’t want to show an ad for a steakhouse”, as I personally see it Sims engaged in some forms of non truths (aka lies). And that is the beginning of a much larger station. The ACCC is the BS caterer of their friends and the Guardian did exactly what it was told to do, not inform us but to perpetrate issues that are not really there. And the entire article gives no mention of AdSense at all, why is that? It might not fit the needs of the ACCC, does it?

Consider what you are offered and vet the information, it is important that you do, you are given a pile of goods that are glued together, a setting of 10.000 cubes, glued together so that we see a sphere, but is it a sphere? I will let you decide.

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