Apple doubles its advertising options on the App Store; Amazon is coming for food delivery and mobility ads

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Break the bank

Last year, when Apple introduced the AppTrackingTransparency framework, mobile analyst Eric Seufert described it as akin to “robbing the mob’s bank” – an allusion to “The Dark Knight”, when the Joker takes half the mob’s money and most of their territory.

It was a fair point, and it presaged that the mobile economy would collapse by about half after the ATT rollout.

Seufert just released the third in what is now a series of “Apple Robbed the Mafia Bank” Mobile development memo posts, now that Apple says it will run ads on the App Store Today page (alongside organic placements on the homepage) and a new section called “You might also like.”

The “The Dark Knight” reference has lost its edge, it seems.

In the film, the Joker robs the mob’s bank to prove to the mob he could, to cripple potential competition, and because Gotham City’s bad guys ostensibly deserve a better class of criminals.

With the expansion of Apple’s own advertising ambitions, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Apple didn’t rob the crowd just to burn out and start over with something new. Apple robbed the mob bank to run the bank itself. So where is Batman in this scenario? And who is he?


The day every business dreads: when Amazon enters the category. That day has come for cloud services, for healthcare, and now Amazon is coming for deliveries to physical stores.

Prime members can now order same-day delivery from Amazon’s new physical partners, including PacSun, Diesel and GNC. Amazon plans to add Sur La Table in the coming weeks, Tech Crunch reports.

The move underscores Amazon’s infatuation with in-person shopping and delivery. In June, Amazon developed technology to track the performance of brands’ products in Whole Foods and other places with Amazon Go self-checkout, making sense of how many times people inspect items and re-shelf. And in July, Amazon announced Grubhub Subscriptions with discounted delivery for Prime members.

Amazon’s gluttony will annoy competitors, but it won’t sound antitrust alarms with its partnership-focused approach. Amazon can score 15% stake in Grubhub down the road if it contributes enough to parent company Just Eat Takeaway’s sales, but for now Amazon owns 2%. Similarly, Amazon took a 12% stake in Rivian after pledging to build an electric fleet of Rivian vehicles.

Liquidated Nation

In Scranton, Pennsylvania, coal mines have been overtaken by shipping warehouses, since the area has become an e-commerce distribution center for the New York and Philadelphia markets. And the next big boom in Scranton, apparently, is coming from retail liquidation services. (I promise it’s relevant.)

home office supplies, garden fireplaces, pizza ovens, mountains of clothing; the “flotsam and jetsam” of quarantine consumerism has swept through Scranton, as retailers and online sellers simply dump goods that take up far too much valuable warehouse space, The New York Times reports.

Some products are resold to manufacturers or sellers of second-hand goods at reduced prices, some are given away and sometimes they are incinerated to generate electricity.

Selling at a discount to liquidators hides a failure. Imagine a store full of 70% off items. Additionally, liquidators are also taking returns, which have surged during the pandemic. Space is another factor. When retailers sell their products to liquidators at a steep discount, it’s often because they need to make room for new or seasonal items. Selling to liquidators also frees up warehouse space for online merchants. Amazon, for its part, judges whether to display certain products in part based on ratings of warehousing and shipping efficiency.

But wait, there’s more!

Brandtech Group enters talks to acquire Jellyfish from French parent company Fimalac. [The Drum]

How the recession is affecting independent agencies. [Digiday]

TikTok is planning a “TikTok Music” app to make it a contender in the audio space. [Android Central]

How inflation is changing retailers’ brand messages. [WSJ]

Mediaocean and Integral Ad Science expand campaign automation partnership. [release]

Antenna Group, a Greek broadcaster, appears as a bidder for Vice Media. [NYT]

You are engaged!

Upwave taps Joseph Zahtila as CRO. [release]

Acast appoints Christiana Brenton as Director of Sales and Brand Partnerships and promotes Elli Dimitroulakos to Global Head of Advertising Innovation. [blog]

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