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Tech Giants and Political Ads: The Hunt for Transparency and Accountability

week in review

Marketing campaigns, influencers, brands, and competitive strategies in the world.

Amazon unveils new features as it obscures old ones; Tinder and Peacock partner to help couples get lucky on Halloween; X is on the hunt for political advertising.

October 18, 2023

the most noteworthy celebrity of 2023, Taylor Swift

Welcome back, to start this week off let’s take a deep dive into Amazon’s hurdles as they launch new features on its app and attempt to downplay their previous projects.

Amazon is releasing a new “buy again” feature on its app test repurchases while dealing with last month’s Federal Trade Commission lawsuit along with 17 states filing anti-trust procedures. The lawsuit is attempting to prove Amazon held a monopolistic power over the e-commerce space and with its dominance began to test the price elasticity of items it held in its online market. ‘Project Nessie,’ which was redacted from the original FTC filing, was an AI program used through 2019 to measure the changes that Amazon competitors would make if Amazon raised their prices. Shows the elasticity and ways to increase their margins, which they claimed was a reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak, but what regulators and free market activists have pointed out is the mere ability Amazon has to begin raising prices steadily while controlling most transactions occurring online. “Amazon’s one-two punch of seller punishments and high seller fees often forces sellers to use their inflated Amazon prices as a price floor everywhere else,” the complaint says.

Tinder and Peacock have come together to launch a new “Horror movies” interest in-app. In anticipation for the Halloween season, and with new insights gained from a Tinder study showing how 69% of people reported to watch horror movies while on a date.

Singles have been taking to Tinder to find a plus-one for a spooky binge with mentions of "scary movie" (+42%) and "spooky movie" (+204%) spiking on Tinder profile bios during the month of October. More importantly, insights also show horror movies are one of the best forms of naturally creating physical proximity. It’s this partnership based on tangible insights.

Last, but not least...

"X" is searching far and wide for political advertisers.

Back in 2019, then Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey banned political ads, back in a time of heated discussions across social media on misinformation and fake news. Now X, under a new Musk leadership is seeking to reverse that decision, getting directly in contact with several politically connected advertising firms and top political donors, such as national party committees.

The company has now developed a dedicated team in charge of providing sales and support to political campaigns, a massive U-turn on what Twitter’s leadership originally intended for the platform’s purpose. Then again, many will also see this as a necessary step after a crippling revenue decline since the Musk takeover. As the United States rolls into a politically charged, divided, and some may say historical election cycle, X is seeking to be the real winner in 2024.


Well, that’s this week’s analysis!

We hope you gained new insights and perspectives into the market and players of the week, and we’ll see you again next week.



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