Media Insider: Meta fined over ad practices, Vox bans fossil-fuel ads, TipRanks acquires The Fly

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s roundup of media news stories from the week.

Meta’s Ad Practices Ruled Illegal Under E.U. Law
New York Times | Adam Satariano

Meta suffered a major defeat that could severely undercut its Facebook and Instagram advertising business after European Union regulators found it had illegally forced users to effectively accept personalized ads. The decision, including a fine of 390 million euros ($414 million), has the potential to require Meta to make costly changes to its advertising-based business in the EU, one of its largest markets. The ruling is one of the most consequential judgments since the EU enacted a landmark data-privacy law aimed at restricting the ability of Facebook and other companies from collecting information about users without their prior consent. The law took effect in 2018.

More on Meta: The company is expected to decide soon on the fate of Trump’s accounts.

Vox Media ‘formalizes’ ban on fossil-fuel ads
Marketing Brew | Ryan Barwick

To ring in the new year on a sustainable note, Vox Media said it will no longer run ads from fossil-fuel companies, or any companies that mine nonrenewable resources. The policy will also extend to lobbyist groups whose purpose is to support fossil-fuel companies. The announcement is part of a larger initiative that Vox Media, which owns publications including New York Magazine, SB Nation, and its namesake site Vox, will make to help address the climate crisis. Vox Media also announced it would pay the cost of offsetting the carbon emissions generated by the publisher’s new “carbon-neutral” advertising inventory for its Concert advertising network, Scope3, a company designed to help the ad-tech industry scale back its carbon emissions.

ICYMI: News engagement stabilized in 2022 as consumers returned to pre-pandemic news consumption habits.

Punchbowl adds text alerts as outlets seek Twitter alternatives
Axios | Sara Fischer

Punchbowl News, a Congress-focused media startup, will launch a text-based breaking news service this month to send real-time alerts to paid subscribers instead of relying on Twitter. Beginning in mid-January, premium subscribers will be able to add the text-based service at no additional charge to receive breaking news alerts. Punchbowl will send the messages using a platform called Subtext that works with dozens of media companies and thousands of creators to send users real-time news updates. The alerts will be used mostly to inform readers about news that breaks between newsletter updates. Punchbowl publishes three newsletters a day, five times per week. For now, the company doesn’t plan to offer service beyond its subscribers.

Speaking of Twitter, Elon Musk says he’s “open to the idea” of purchasing the subscription newsletter platform Substack.

For 3 big Alabama newspapers, the presses are grinding to a halt
NPR | Debbie Elliott

The Alabama Media Group says that after Feb. 26, it will permanently stop the presses for The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, and Mobile’s Press-Register. The company had already curtailed publishing from daily to three times a week in 2012, part of a restructuring by parent company Advance Publications that also affected New Orleans’ The Times-Picayune. The shift means closing a printing facility in Mobile and the loss of a little more than 100 jobs, mostly in production, circulation, and advertising. No newsroom cuts are expected, says Kelly Ann Scott, editor-in-chief and vice president of content for Alabama Media Group. Scott plans to add to investigative teams and other areas of focus.

In more closure news, Pop-Up Magazine, the “live magazine” show that brought multimedia storytelling to stages across the country, is suspending operations.

TipRanks to Acquire ‘The Fly,’ Digital Publisher of Financial News
MediPost | Ray Schultz

Financial analysis company TipRanks Ltd. is acquiring The Fly, a digital publisher of real-time financial news. Terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in Q1, subject to customary conditions. The Fly, founded in 1998, reports on news that affects publicly traded companies. Its live-streaming subscription service provides data sourced from analyst research notes, company press releases, SEC filings, newspapers, blogs, social media, and trading desks. TipRanks is a technology company that analyzes financial big data to provide market research tools for retail investors. 

Read next: US News & World Report is overhauling its “flawed” law school rankings.

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Maria Perez is director of web operations at Cision. In her spare time, she enjoys gaming, watching too much TV, and chasing squirrels with her dog Cece.

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