Programmatic technology is now at the forefront of data-driven advertising, indeed, half of European display ad revenue is now traded programmatically and programmatic in Europe has reached a market value of more than €8bn according to IAB Europe’s 2016 Programmatic Market Sizing study. However, with regulatory challenges drastically questioning how the digital advertising ecosystem operates, programmatic trading needs to show that it can adapt to meet the evolving needs of the industry.
In this blog series, IAB Europe’s Programmatic Trading Committee and its members assess the impact and the opportunities of the GDPR on Programmatic Trading. In the first blog MediaMath and Sublime Skinz look at the unique opportunity that the IAB Europe Transparency & Consent Framework (the Framework) presents for the publisher community.
You can read the first blog in this series here.
We are now a few days away from GDPR coming into effect and some industry publications are calling GDPR a “reckoning” that is creating fear and panic for many companies. The prevailing sentiment is that the data on which our industry relies are being threatened by increased regulation. While we can appreciate the concern, it is important to remember that GDPR builds upon existing EU privacy laws in which PubMatic has been involved in for years. With a little preparation and additional understanding, we can all be ready for 25 May.
Two key elements to being prepared are understanding the important roles played by ad tech companies under GDPR and understanding how consent requirements are being addressed. PubMatic is typically a controller (not a processor) because of the role we play in data processing. For example, we may choose to pre-filter impressions for RTB auctions with third-party buyers, or to analyse or track data for ad delivery and reporting.
With regard to user consent, PubMatic supports IAB Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework, which allows user consents to be passed with bid requests to DSPs and buyers. In addition, PubMatic supports contextual, non-targeted ads for DSPs.
Even when a user does not consent, buyers and publishers still have options. When there is no historical cookie data to rely upon when serving an ad, contextual advertising will still be available. With contextual advertising, brands can serve ads to consumers based on the content they are engaging with at the moment. For this to work well, buyers and publishers will need to work together. Buyers will likely need to work with solutions that serve ads based on semantic or contextual factors. While this provides a viable means of advertising, it could lower fill and monetization rates.
PubMatic is ready for 25 May and we are dedicated to working with our partners to also prepare.
MediaMath has committed enormous resources to readying itself, and the industry, for the GDPR, which comes into force on Friday 25 May. While anticipated regulatory scrutiny plays a part in these efforts, it does not tell the whole story. Namely, that MediaMath believes in the spirit of the law, that Internet users have rights to better understand, and make informed decisions about, the use of their personal data. To that end, MediaMath’s Data Policy & Governance, Legal, Product, and Engineering teams are working cooperatively with partners and competitors, publishers and advertisers, to assess and address the GDPR’s requirements from administrative and technical standpoints. We have designed, built, and deployed products and services that help our clients comply with European regulations, while achieving successful marketing and business outcomes.
It is certainly true that every company in every industry that handles the personal data of Europeans has had a great deal of work to do. However, the advertising technology ecosystem has had more. MediaMath took on an industry leadership role early on, as chair of the IAB Europe’s Working Group on Consent, to bring together advertisers, publishers and technology providers to develop effective compliance solutions for the entire digital marketing industry, the result of which was the IAB Europe Transparency and Consent Framework (‘the Framework’). The Framework has been designed to offer all players in the advertising ecosystem a transparent and auditable chain of communication surrounding the use and processing of consumer data. We encourage both advertisers and publishers to adopt the Framework for the benefit of themselves and Industry.
Many see 25 May as a finish line, but the reality is that the day the GDPR comes into force is just the start. Businesses will need to continue adapting as data protection authorities, courts, and consumer advocates begin weighing in on what the GDPR means to them. And no one should forget about the ePrivacy Regulation just around the corner. I suspect this paradigm shift in the way personal data is regulated is not confined to Europe, that we will see a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape around the globe. Whatever may come, MediaMath will be ready, and will have benefitted tremendously from the technology its partners and IAB Europe have helped develop.