This week in digital



Be careful who you search for...

Cybersecurity company McAfee has scared us off Googling our favourite celebrities this week. The company announced a list of those whose names are most likely to be used by cybercriminals to lure us to dodgy websites.

Number one was Craig David, with more than one in ten search results that claim to offer free music or content leading to a malicious website.

Emeli Sande, Liam Payne, Adele and Ed Sheeran also appeared in the top five.

John Lewis trials new Facebook ad format

John Lewis has become the first retailer in the UK to trial a new 360-degree style Facebook ad format.

The ads are forming part of the brand's Autumn campaign, called Only Here, and allow Facebook users to click to buy the featured products.

The ads were created using multiple cameras to create a panoramic shot. 

Eva Bojtos, John Lewis’s Senior Manager for Social Marketing, said: “This trial forms part of our strategy to offer our customers more inspiring experiences both in shops and online.”

Spotify launches self-serve audio ads platform

Spotify has announced it is launching a self-serve ad platform called Spotify Ad Studio. The platform allows advertisers to create an ad by uploading a script and choosing background music.

The new tool will then produce an audio ad for review. Ads can be targeted by location, gender, age and music taste.

Spotify has around 90 million users who listen to its music for free by listening to adverts. 

Brian Benedik, Global Head of Sales at Spotify, said: "“Over the last few years, we’ve established Spotify as a trusted space for brands and marketers to reach a hyper-engaged, verified audience. Spotify Ad Studio opens that door to everyone. It’s an amazing opportunity for even more advertisers to build one-on-one relationships with our listeners.”

The new tool is currently in beta mode and is only available to US advertisers.

Facebook plays hide and seek

Another week, another Facebook test, and this time the social media network is trialling a new tool that allows users to hide alcohol adverts.

Whilst users can already hide individual adverts, it is the first time the social network has allowed users to block adverts based on a specific topic area. Users can block the adverts indefinitely or alternatively they can be blocked for a period of six months or a year.

And finally...

A story about an African Grey parrot, called Buddy, has gone viral this week. The family pet placed a £10 order for gift boxes from Amazon using the family's Alexa device. 

Buddy's owner, Corinne Pretorius, said: "On Sunday we had popped out of the house for a couple of hours, but when I came home, I could hear Buddy talking but couldn't quite make out what he was saying. Then I heard Alexa say 'sorry I didn't quite get that.' Buddy then said, 'Alexa' and some gibberish, and she replied, 'What is it you want to order?'". Corinne then received an email notification of the order being placed.

Naughty parrot!