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ROB Insight

Fresh, focused analysis of today's business news
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Entry archive:

With ad-blocking software, readers have declared war on publishers


We now have the perfect riposte to the tiresome dinner party guest who insists that she is never influenced by advertising. Good news for bumptious Mad Men but the bad news is that the big influence of web advertising is mainly to provoke consumers to switch it off.

Advertisers know that popup ads, banners and videos annoy web users, and for several years the technology to block irritating advertisements has been available. For media companies and Internet publishers who rely on advertising income, the emergence of browser applications that filter out advertisements was a worrying development.

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Ottawa (quietly) does the right thing with supplier integrity rules


Here’s a tricky communication challenge: How does a tough-on-crime federal government water down controversial supplier integrity rules without appearing soft on corruption?

The easy answer is to quietly make the changes in the dog days of summer, when Parliament isn’t sitting and Canadians aren’t paying attention.

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The Pope, the environment and the saving grace of fossil fuels


Thanks to his recent encyclical Laudato Si, passionately defending humanity’s duty to protect the environment, the world’s eco-warriors are rushing to beatify Pope Francis as a key ally in their crusade to remove humanity’s footprint on nature. First, however, they might want to read what he said. Moreover they, and the Pope himself, might want to consider what else Catholic doctrine might commit them to, rather than thinking they can pick and choose what suits them.

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OECD warns as pensions shift to private equity investing


Major public-sector pension plans are criss-crossing the globe looking to buy private companies in key strategic sectors. And while each deal is being justified on its various financial and tactical merits, the broader result is a significant ratcheting up of potential risks as pension plans become owners of hundreds of companies in a diverse array of industries.

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