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Restoring Trust in Digital Advertising

  • 2 min read

The theme of this year’s RampUp on the Road London 2019 zeroed in on the relationship between publisher and advertiser.

Among many lessons learned, this year’s conference main themes revolved around privacy, consumer trust and first-party data and ultimately, how all of these components affect the relationship between publisher and advertiser.


Privacy in the Era of Big Data

As consumers become more curious about their digital data footprint, concerns have increased around privacy and how advertisers and publishers utilise personal data. Because of these concerns, browsers have (rightfully) taken action against opaque tracking behaviours.

Perhaps the most severe change came with Apple’s announcement last March regarding its Intelligent Tracking Prevention program (ITP), which involved removing the ability to track cookies within Safari as well as the reduction of the lifespan of permanent cookies. Google has also announced its own desire to strengthen its privacy policy in Chrome, allowing users to more easily block the use of cookie tracking – with more changes likely to come.


Regaining the Trust of the Consumer

The browser changes highlighted above emphasise the need to grant greater control to the user, as well as the understanding of and the ability to opt-out of advertising if they so wish. To do this, platforms need to be Identity-first, while also focused on choice, transparency, privacy and control.

To allow for these functionalities, the industry needs to shift towards building and delivering people-based solutions. Becoming people-based will create a more addressable advertising world that will transcend both channels and devices. Giving users the option to opt-in or out will lead to better attribution for marketers and more control based on the users on-page.


Embracing First-Party Data

Publishers can prepare a path towards trust and transparency with a concentrated focus on user consent, which is the foundation by which people-based solutions are built. First-party data can originate in publisher logins, free-walls, newsletter sign-ups – any form where a user authenticates. In exchange for a minute or so of attention, users give explicit consent and receive an engaging online experience. The open web then shifts to a more trusted environment based on user choice.

As an industry, we have the opportunity to push ourselves into a better, more transparent and compliant ecosystem. Although there is a lot of work ahead, and difficult conversations to be had, we believe that we are better together. From our end, we’re eager to see what the future has in store when it comes to privacy, consumer trust and data, and already looking forward to RampUp London 2020.