Dec 22 2022
Clare McKinley

Read These Articles to Make Sense of Digital Advertising in 2022 (and Get Ahead on 2023)


The end of the year: It’s a time for reflection, planning, and…presents. Lots of presents. Preferably, presents we actually like, and will use, instead of stashing them in our regifting closets for the next holiday season (what, you don’t have a regifting closet?)

So, in the spirit of the season, we wanted to give our readers a little something that should fire on all those aforementioned cylinders. Not only is our gift to you useful for both reflection and planning, but it’s also categorically impossible to store in a closet, because it’s digital. We know, so on brand!

Now, without further ado, please accept this humble offering of 22 think pieces, explainers, and news stories that helped capture the past year in digital marketing. The best part? Regifting this list is not only allowed—it’s encouraged!

Privacy, Please!

2022 was a landmark year for consumer privacy. We saw a slew of new regulations introduced and passed across the globe, increasingly strident data privacy crackdowns from regulators, and yet another delay of third-party cookie deprecation in Google’s Chrome browser. Here’s what to read to make sense of it all:

The Era of Borderless Data is Ending

Advertisers may soon have to confront a new challenge in the realm of data privacy: “digital sovereignty.” But with the global digital economy built on a foundation of free-flowing data, could this concept break the digital supply chain and inhibit a seamless customer experience? 

Takeaways for Marketers From the IAB’s State of Data Report

Privacy regulations are tightening, third-party cookies are (eventually?) going away, aaaaaand it appears the advertising industry is largely underprepared. At least, that’s what new research from the IAB’s State of Data 2022 (Part II) reveals. Here, Adweek breaks down the biggest takeaways from the report, as well as what marketers can do to close the “gulf in preparedness.”

CMOs Are on Their Toes and Not Conducting ‘Business as Usual’ as Data Privacy Regulators Get More Assertive  

Data privacy regulators are not playing around: In September alone, Zillow, Expedia,, and Lowe’s were all fined for alleged data privacy breaches. In response, marketers are reevaluating their data practices and partnerships with renewed urgency—but that’s easier said than done, thanks to collection and sharing processes that are many-layered and difficult to audit. 

You’re Still Being Tracked on the Internet, Just in a Different Way

Privacy changes pushed by Apple and Google have made first-party data all the more important. But one side effect of this shift is that it tilts the playing field towards large digital ecosystems like Google, TikTok, Amazon, and Pinterest, who can easily gather information on their millions of users.

Three Things to Know About the American Data Protection and Privacy Act 

The American Data Protection and Privacy Act, which has been sent to the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote, would pre-empt state data privacy regulation if passed. Here are three big things advertisers should know about this piece of legislation.

‘Lack of Commercial Incentive’: Google’s Third-Party Cookie Delay is a Flip to Procrastinators

After Google’s announcement that it will delay third-party cookie deprecation to 2024, ad execs put the “pro” in procrastination. It’s understandable given everything on marketers’ plates right now, but the trend doesn’t speak well to our industry’s future-proofing abilities. 

Why Marketers Are Returning to Traditional Advertising

While traditional advertising formats like linear TV, radio, and newspaper have historically been on the decline, new data shows marketers predicting that traditional ad spend will increase in the years ahead thanks to benefits like breaking through digital clutter, tapping into consumer trust, and avoiding third-party cookies.

Law and Order: BTU (Big Tech Unit)

This past year was so dramatic for Big Tech, it could have been a soap opera. Here are a few of the biggest events and ideas to come out of a year in which lawmakers took some significant swings in service of keeping tech giants like Facebook and Google in check:

Meta Agrees to Alter Ad Technology in Settlement with U.S.

Meta’s housing advertising system has been under fire for discriminating against Facebook users based on demographics like race and gender. In June, they reached a settlement with the Justice Department that will compel the social giant to address algorithmic discrimination—a landmark decision for digital advertising regulation. 

EU Lawmakers Approve Sweeping Digital Regulations

European lawmakers approved two new pieces of sweeping digital regulation, paving the way for clashes between regulators and the world’s biggest tech companies over how those rules should be applied.  

Can a National News “Utility”—Funded by Taxing Big Tech—Help Save Local News?

In the past decade, newspaper ad revenue has dropped by an astonishing 50% as advertisers shifted their dollars to the internet. This Q&A explores some of the novel proposals aimed at propping up the news industry—including a “journalism tax” on digital ads.

The TikTokification of…Everything

Social media’s golden child continues to dazzle users and advertisers alike. Here’s what you should know:

How TikTok Ate the Internet  

TikTok has changed the way people search, buy, watch, communicate, and advertise. Not too bad for a platform once written off as a “silly video-dance fad!” So, how did it grow so dominant, and what are the consequences of that dominance? This in-depth piece touches on all the details. 

As TikTok Takes Over From Facebook, ‘Non-Perfect’ Advertising is Here

In this op-ed, George Sharpe argues that as TikTok comes closer to surpassing Facebook’s viewership, viewers will come to prefer “non-perfect video” over produced, polished media. The era of the Instagram filter is coming to an end, and advertisers would do well to consider the cultural shift towards TikTok-style, “real-life” video.

Gen Z is Increasingly Using TikTok Videos Instead of Google Search, But 1 in 5 of Them Contain Misinformation, a New Study Says

It makes sense that the DTC MVP would encroach upon the territory of social platforms like YouTube and Instagram…but Google, too?! According to the New York Times, many Gen Z TikTokers are now using TikTok as their primary search engine—and that may be kind of a red flag, given that one-fifth of the platform’s search results have been found to contain misinformation.  

Stream On

What a year for connected TV advertising and digital video as a whole! These were a few of the biggest pieces of news in the streaming arena:

As Netflix Dives into Advertising, Media Buyers Watch the Clock 

All eyes were on Netflix when their ad-supported tier launched on November 3. Though their COO and chief product officer told investors there has been “very strong” demand for ad inventory leading up to the launch, only time will tell if the platform will be able to give advertisers what they want.

Why Big Tech Is Making a Big Play for Live Sports

Hut, hut…hike! In an effort to expand their streaming audiences, Apple, Amazon, and Google are competing for the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket (with Apple the current frontrunner). See what Big Tech’s dominance of live sports could mean for media companies, leagues, and streamers. 

Streaming Claims Largest Piece of TV Viewing Pie in July

It wasn’t the first time monthly streaming exceeded broadcast in terms of viewership, but it was the first time that streaming also surpassed cable. The downturn in both sports programming and new content on traditional television likely contributed to the shift. Just another day in the rise of OTT and CTV… 

Annnd… Everything Else

The economy. Climate change. In-game advertising. Misinformation. Overwhelmed yet? Never fear—these articles will get you up to speed on all the other big topics 2022 threw our way:

Our Prices Are Going Up, But We’re in This Together

As brands continue to grapple with inflation and economic uncertainty, more and more of them are having to raise prices just to stay afloat. How are marketers approaching inflation-borne challenges? Here, the New York Times explores the “new playbook” for weathering the storm. 

As Global Emissions Keep Rising, Advertisers Grapple with the Industry’s Role at UN Climate Talks

Plenty of marketers have worked with their company and/or client on campaigns focused on climate change, but what about the impact of the ads themselves? Between greenwashing, funding climate misinformation, and the media creation process itself, advertising-related emissions have reportedly increased by 11% since 2019—leading some agency leaders to call this moment a “wake-up call.” 

Your In-Game Advertising Cheat Codes: Everything Marketers Need to Know to Play

As hype around advertising in the metaverse builds, many brands seem to have forgotten all about gaming—a channel that’s intimately connected to the metaverse, but largely untapped (plus, it actually, you know…exists?) This deep dive covers all the bases on how to tap into gaming’s vast and diverse audience. 

Misinformation is Thriving—and What Brands Should Do About It

In the wake of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover—and the subsequent blue checkmark debacle in which several brands were impersonated on Twitter—online misinformation is top of mind for digital advertisers. New research, outlined here, shows how consumers feel about mis- and disinformation, and how they think brands should address it. 

Where Exactly Are Twitter’s Lost Ad Dollars Going?

As advertisers pull money out of Twitter due to aforementioned brand safety concerns, where exactly are those dollars going? While some marketers are reallocating spend to social platforms like Snapchat and TikTok, others are saving them for a rainy day (we are in an economic downturn, after all). What’s certain? Media organizations are making their plays for advertisers’ newly available cash. 

Inside the Tensions Countering Advertisers’ Latest Quest for Programmatic Transparency

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA)’s effort to audit the US programmatic advertising industry has been rife with complications and controversy (and understandably so, given the nature of programmatic advertising itself). Here, peek behind the curtain into the ANA’s attempt to give marketers some transparency into their programmatic budgets. 

Did you like our present? Did you?! If you didn’t, we’ll be so sad we might just go hide in our regifting closet…

If you did, we’ve got another to share: Each month, our team of digital marketers rounds up the all the best news, tips, and insights from around the adtech industry, and delivers them straight to marketers’ inboxes. Want in on the fun? Sign up for Basis Scout today!

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