Are you ready for the new form of advertising on wearables? New programmatic ad platform seems promising despite early state of the category.

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Although this early stage of wearables and smartwatches is still questionable, mobile ad exchange TapSense has already announced “the industry’s first programmatic ad platform for Apple Watch” with full Apple Pay integration, new ad formats and “hyper-local targeting.”

“Wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) are the next frontiers in the mobile revolution. We are excited to announce industry’s first programmatic ad platform for Apple Watch developers and brands,” says Ash Kumar, TapSense’s CEO. “While most of our competitors are focused on banner ads and legacy platforms, we are focused on innovation and next generation platforms. Apple Watch has the potential to be a category disruptor similar to iPod or iPhone and we believe that it provides great opportunities for brands and developers to deliver engaging experiences to consumers.”

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Everything seems quite promising. However, the consumer smartwatch adoption is still not enough with waning consumer interest according to some surveys.

There are numerous Android Wear devices in the market already including watches from Motorola and LG that have gained critical favor. Yet Apple is really the market maker — even if Apple Watch 1.0 doesn’t sell very well it has raised awareness and increased interest to the category.

According to a recent survey from Quartz, about 80 percent of respondents said they were not intending to buy the Apple Watch, while 20 percent of respondents were potentially interested in it. It could still mean millions of Apple Watch sales. Also, there is a huge possibility that consumers’ interest will increase once they see and touch the Apple watch.

So it sounds reasonable for companies like TapSense to step forward and try to figure out what’s likely to work and what won’t with ads. There is no doubt that it would create another platform for ads with many different formats and context like smartphones.

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Google has announced a change in its AdWords rules in that businesses can no longer include their phone number in the advertisement’s text starting in April. The company has updated its policy, which now states that its call extension feature, must be used. Here’s what’s changing:

In the next few weeks, Google will no longer allow phone numbers to be used in the ad text of new ads. Advertisers who still want to promote phone numbers in their AdWords advertising can use the call extensions feature. This feature lets advertisers add a phone number to their ad so customers can call them directly as well as tracking how many calls they receive. Google is posting this alert now to provide adequate lead time to make ad changes.

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pay_per_click_advertising_agencyIn April 2013, ads that are using phone numbers in their ad text will be disapproved before the March 2013 policy change. Although Google monetizes all those clicks and taps on phone numbers, the company is making this change mainly to foster a safer, more consistent user experience across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. After all, with the increase in mobile usage, many people search on Google for a business with the sole intention of calling them. So this change affects not only anyone advertising on Google, but also users.

When a customer clicks the phone number (call extension) on a mobile device which is capable of making a phone call, advertisers are charged the same as for a standard click on the ad. Note that phone numbers are clickable only on devices that allow a user to click and call (so, for example, ads will not show a clickable phone number on iPod Touch devices).

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It should be taken for granted that 9 of 10 phones sold are high-end devices. There is a growing number of smartphones in today’s fast-moving world. Each passing day more people are accessing the web through a mobile device than through computer and more Android mobiles are activated than babies born. So mobile search queries has grown five times more in the past two years. According to statistics, almost quarter of all searches comes from mobile devices (20% of all telecom, 30% of all restaurant, 25% of all movie searches).

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A recent survey of global TV habits has indicated that nearly one in five people uses a smartphone to watch television in the toilet. The researchers also has revealed that consumers are increasingly watching programmes ‘on the go’ : 16% use smartphones in the bathroom and 10% watch shows on a tablet in the toilet.

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Apple filed a lawsuit against Amazon for false advertising. Their claim was that Amazon was improperly using the App Store trademark to promote Amazon’s Android Appstore and misleading users by branding the Appstore for Android. On Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, Amazon won the battle over the term “app store.” According to U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton, Apple did not provide enough evidence for their claim.

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Judge Hamilton wrote, “Apple has failed to establish that Amazon made any false statement (express or implied) of fact that actually deceived or had the tendency to deceive a substantial segment of its audience.” The judge continued with, “The mere use of “Appstore” by Amazon to designate a site for viewing and downloading/purchasing apps cannot be construed as a representation that the nature, characteristics, or quality of the Amazon Appstore is the same as that of the Apple APP STORE.”

However, this is only a part of the whole story, just one claim out of six that Apple has against the major online retailer. Apple’s complaint has been going on since March of 2011. The rest of the claims are in regards to trademark infringement and those claims have not been decided on yet.

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The Android Appstore began when Amazon started selling applications for the Kindle Fire and other devices running Google’s Android software. According to Apple, they filed many complaints to Amazon before taking legal action. They reached out three times, but Amazon did not respond. This led Apple to file the claim in the courts.

Whether it’s when buying clothes, food or cosmetics, shoppers are learning a cool new buzzword, says Jasmine Gardner…

Surely, you are conscious if you are reading this. However, here we are talking about buying “conscious”, eating “conscious”, dressing “conscious”. In the worlds of fashion, food and cosmetics, conscious means far more than just aware and responsive. More specifically, it means that you are ethically and environmentally aware. It is the new way for brands to show they have a social and environmental conscience.

For example, H&M launched its 2012 Conscious Clothing collection – an eco-friendly fashion line made using organic cotton and recycled polyester, with styles that have already been worn by celebrities including actresses Michelle Williams, Kristin Davis and Amanda Seyfried. The famous brand has decided that “Conscious” will be the name it gives to all of its work on creating a future of sustainable fashion.

“Sustainability is very much about being provident with the Earth’s resources and recognising how people and the environment are affected by our operations. Hence the name ‘Conscious’ is a natural choice,” says an H&M spokesperson. Of course, just recognising is not enough to be truly “conscious” in that you need to know about the impact of your actions and accordingly buy the good stuff.

“We offer our customers a permanent range of various ‘conscious products’ with added sustainability value,” says H&M. “Clearly labelled, we make better choice accessible and affordable to all our customers.”

H&M is not the only one at it. The icecream maker, Ben & Jerry’s prides itself on its environmentally and financially sustainable values. Moreover, a few months ago it launched a competition to find new organisations in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands that are creating new models for sustainable business. At the same time, in the US it is taking part in a project called the Campus Consciousness Tour – a circuit around American universities encouraging students to take action for the environment.

In the cosmetics industry, Kiehl’s, which produces luxury skincare products in recycled and recyclable packaging views itself as a conscious company at the core. “The Mission of Kiehl’s is a tribute to our belief in giving back, in supporting both the local communities in which we serve and the global community in which we live and thrive,” says its UK general manager, Victoria Campbell. As a result, it supports charitable organisations in Aids research, environmental conservation and supports children and communities.

“The words ‘ethical’ and ‘eco’ have gone out of fashion”

But if what all these companies mean is that they are ethical, environmentally friendly or sustainable, why do they choose “conscious” instead of just saying so?

“There are a couple of factors at play,” says Camilla Grey at branding consultancy Moving Brands. “First, we’ve moved into a new phase where being ethical and eco is integrated into our lives – it is embedded into our psyche. As a result, people now see themselves ‘conscious’. Secondly, [the words] ‘ethical’ and ‘eco’ have gone out of fashion. They imply a certain aesthetic – ‘knitted muesli’ as Mary Portas used to describe it. No matter how hard brands tried, they never could shake off that image. ‘Conscious’ gives them a bit more room to break free from all the white, green and hessian weave.”

Have you ever made a mix tape for your loved one? MixPixie is trying to bring the romance back to the digital world and keep memories alive by allowing music lovers to do the same thing on CD.

Newly established, London-based business is the world’s first personalised CD service. It allows customers to create bespoke albums by choosing artwork from over 500 designs and picking favorite songs from its library of over 8 million tracks. In addition to designing, buyers can include text and personal photos. A ten-track album costs about £15.

Adam Goodyer, James Perkins and Buffie du Pon launched the company a few months ago after spending a year negotiating music catalogue licences. The trio target the gift market and aim to sell 75,000 albums in their first year. They have signed deals with artists including Westlife, Justin Bieber, Jason Donovan and Lionel Ritchie. Former Universal marketing boss Miss du Pon got the idea after a misdirected parcel came through her letterbox containing a homemade CD and a message to a valentine. She said: ‘It brought home how music provides a soundtrack to life.’ As Pon put into the words, CD sales still make up 70% of all the music bought.

‘The problem with compilation albums is they can have scores of tracks but you may only like a handful of what’s an offer.’ Added Pon.

Mr Perkins, who set up the award-winning Concert Live business with Mr. Goodyer, said: ‘We are supporting CD sales and hope to show that downloads aren’t the only profitable revenue stream in the music industry.’

Software giant Microsoft triggers the compettion by challenging Apple with sleek gadgets.

Microsoft has unveiled its own line of tablet computers which it expects will be an “iPad killer”. Hoping its Surface tablets will take on both Apple and Google in the market; Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft Windows division president, called the new device a “tablet that’s great PC – a PC that’s a great tablet”.

Speaking at a press launch, Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer said the two new tablet PCs were part of a “whole new family of devices” the company is developing. They will run versions of Microsoft’s new Windows 8 software because the company wants to “give Windows 8 its own companion hardware innovations”. Although the company has not given any pricing information, Mr Ballmer said that they will be “comparable” to current tablet prices when they go on sale later this year.

Microsoft traditionally relied on others to make computers and phones that run its software. However, the company now offers both gadgets and software and hopes to take on Apple. “We believe that any intersection between human and machine can be made better when all aspects, hardware and software, are working together.” added Mr Ballmer.

The Surface is 9.3mm thick, with a magnesium case and a 10.6-inch HD widescreen display. It also has an integrated kickstand, and weighs less than a kilo (1.5lb). A slightly thicker version – still less than 14mm thick and under 2lb – will work on Microsoft’s Windows 8 Pro operating system. Both devices comes with a detachable keyboard and trackpad that attach magnetically to the tablet.

However, according to experts the company faced a tough battle. IDC analyst Al Hilwa said: “It raises the bar on how Microsoft executes on this, because now Microsoft’s name is on it. They’ve got to get it right – they’ve got to really hit it out of the ballpark.”