The Publisher’s Pragmatic Case for Privacy-Focused Ads

After a long hiatus on the conference circuit, the ad tech hordes are coming together again with the IAB Tech Lab’s annual executive meeting taking place in New York City this week.

From the boardroom, the debate seems healthy, but a sense of urgency underpins the gathering as privacy requirements across the world slowly limit the free flow of internet user data that has fueled the rise of the $455 billion global ad economy with the subsequent impact for ad targeting and user-tracking: a recurring topic of conversation since 2020.

The trade organization was keen to highlight its efforts to develop privacy-enhancing technologies, or PET, but the IAB also warned conference attendees that the industry would face a loss of $10 billion in annual sales unless it solves omnichannel measurement issues.

need for foreknowledge

The sense of urgency has been heightened in light of Google’s confirmation that it will withdraw support for third-party cookies in response to such regulation and that it has abandoned federated cohort learning in favor of topics like means of advertising targeting in its Chrome browser.

Speaking during a session dedicated to implementing addressability solutions in today’s environment, publisher-side panelists spoke about the confusion that many of their peers feel about data regulation.

This case has only been confounded by turnover after years of being deeply rooted in the substance of the opaque wording of laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), according to some.

IAB Tech Lab CEO Anthony Katsur highlighted the need for publisher ad teams to not only take a privacy-first approach to their ad-supported monetization policies, but also educate other departments. of their organizations on these issues, as well as their technical partners on the sales side. .

“Playing the Balancing Game”

Another panelist, Stephanie Layser, vice president of data, identity and ad tech products at News Corp., said, “You really have to see what privacy looks like today, and also think about what what it will look like in three, four or five years.”

Speaking from the same scene, Jana Meron, Insider Inc. please programmatic data and strategy, noted that this includes data sharing between different properties, such as the publisher of multiple websites sharing data between their different titles – another issue thorny issues that large-scale publishers need to solve.

News Corp’s layer. highlighted how publishers are “in a unique position in the advertising ecosystem” given the challenges of balancing their own audience’s privacy expectations while meeting advertisers’ performance requirements.

“We have to serve both the consumer and the advertiser,” she added. “Everyone is either focused on their particular platform or on the advertisers and their needs. We have to play this balancing game.

Seller-defined audiences

Preparing for third-party cookie removal will involve kicking the tires of various solutions – from Unified ID 2.0 to Privacy Sandbox proposals. Several publisher sources told Digiday that their respective legal teams must constantly assess whether these technologies are legally defensible under laws such as GDPR when they do.

That said, publishers, speaking from the conference, expressed enthusiasm for so-called “vendor-defined audiences” — a draft unveiled for public comment by the IAB Tech Lab early last year, and whose official release is scheduled for the coming weeks.

Vendor Defined Audiences marks a collaboration between IAB Tech Lab and to help publishers improve the addressability, and therefore profitability, of audiences through data and audience transparency agreements.

Speaking on the sidelines of the IAB conference, an ad tech source familiar with the development of vendor-defined audiences told Digiday that the rollout will be even more important given the recent decision by European authorities to data protection who questioned the validity of the IAB’s TCF.

“His importance is increasing considerably,” said the source, who requested anonymity due to his employer’s public relations policy. “Publishers now need to both capture their own internal consent, model and enrich that data so they can communicate targetable attributes without actually sending user data through the supply chain.”

News Corp’s layer. explained to participants how the process involved greater collaboration among publishers to reconcile past differences in how they define certain demographic indicators. “The idea is that we would align with the taxonomies as publishers and rather than having an identity [as the targeting criteria] entering the auction stream,” she explained.

Layser then presented an example of how this could work: “So if you want to buy a senior business decision maker, then maybe 30 publishers can all come together, define our segments, and then we have it in the stream. so you can access our first-party data at scale.”

Meron of Insider Inc. further expressed his opinion that “ids have no place on the open web”. She said most internet users won’t want to connect to multiple places on the internet. “I love vendor-defined audiences and all of these different things, but really the ID belongs where you need to log in and I’m very committed to that,” she said. “Publisher data is the most valuable to an advertiser.”

Discussions at this year’s IAB ALM indicate the magnitude of the chasm that must be addressed between the various levels of the online media industry if current growth projections are to be realized. For example, issues such as the handling of Unified ID 2.0 — arguably the most high-profile identifier that seems to irritate many publishers — remain unresolved, while regulators continue to undermine its attempts at self-regulation.

After all EU data protection authorities decided last week that the IAB’s Transparency Consent Framework, the way to pass user consent through the middle layers of the technology ecosystem advertising, the development of which was led by the commercial organization, went against the spirit of the GDPR.

So, with billions of dollars at stake in such a short period of time, the need for progress is critical with phrases such as “PET” “attribution” and “transparency” frequently echoing through the halls of this event. week.