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Amazon pulls ad spend from Bloomberg, ads still running on site



Jeff Bezos
Amazon CEO and founder
Jeff Bezos.

Cliff Owen/AP

  • Amazon pulled its fourth-quarter ad spend with
    Bloomberg after a controversial tech story about the Chinese
    government hacking its hardware.
  • However, the ads in question were those purchased
    directly between Bloomberg and Amazon. Programmatic
    ads are still appearing on Bloomberg’s site.
  • It’s the latest example of how brands continue to
    struggle with control of their programmatic ad buys.

Amazon pulled its fourth-quarter advertising spend from
Bloomberg, but the company’s ads are still being served on the
publisher’s site.

According to
a report from BuzzFeed News,
Amazon pulled ads from Bloomberg
on October 16 after the site published a
controversial story
 alleging the Chinese government
hacked Amazon and Apple’s hardware by embedding microchips into
third-party motherboards. A source familiar with the advertising
relationship between the companies confirmed to Business Insider
that Amazon stopped its “pretty significant” fourth-quarter ad

Bloomberg has stood by its reporting but numerous tech executives
— including Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy and Apple CEO
Tim Cook — have denied the story and asked Bloomberg to retract

“They offered no proof, story kept changing, and showed no
interest in our answers unless we could validate their
theories,” Jassy
“Reporters got played or took liberties. Bloomberg
should retract.”

Programmatic ads continue to plague brands

While Amazon’s media buyer —  Initiative, owned
Interpublic Group — did in fact pull the brand’s
fourth-quarter ad spend from the site, Amazon later purchased a
smaller ad buy with Bloomberg TV for the rest of the year, the
source told Business Insider.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But when Business Insider looked at Bloomberg’s website on
Friday, an ad for Amazon Prime promoting the upcoming show
“Homecoming,” starring Julia Roberts, appeared at the top of an
article page from a story published on October 24 about Uber.

Screen Shot 2018 10 26 at 12.33.49 PM
Amazon’s ads on
Bloomberg’s website


The ad was placed through Google’s
so-called programmatic pipes,
which power ads on hundreds of
publisher websites, meaning that it was not a direct buy between
Amazon and Bloomberg.

It’s the latest example of how brands continue to struggle with
control over their digital ad buys when technology — not humans —
targets ads all over the web based on someone’s browsing

Amazon is no stranger to the perils of programmatic advertising.
Its native shopping ads have continued to appear on Breitbart

as recently as April
at the same time that hundreds of brands
have cut Breitbart out of their programmatic

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