Cookies are here until 2024 – meaning more runway, more opportunity for telcos to get ahead of the curve

With summer in full swing, it’s time to take a break, sit in the shade and read this month’s issue of Spotlight. And what an issue it is. This month we’re looking at growing interest from telcos in the digital marketing sector. Telcos are always hungry for new business opportunities, and digital marketing could well prove to be one of the most profitable yet. All that remains is to ensure that consumers are always kept front of mind – read on to learn more.  

What we have for you today: The low down on telcos’ plans for advertising IDs, publishers’ ongoing challenges with regulators, and what European consumers really think about digital advertising.  

Missed our June’s newsletter? Don’t worry, you can read it on our blog here.

Digital advertising: what people want 

In early July, The European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA) published new survey data that revealed the attitudes of Europeans to the ad-supported internet and data-driven advertising.  

The findings suggest that European sentiment towards digital advertising is positive, so long as their privacy is respected. The research revealed five key touchstones for consumer sentiment: respect for what consumers expect from brands online; the relevance of advertising messaging to consumers’ interests and lifestyles; clarity around the entities and processes involved in delivering digital advertising; the practicality of content to make digital advertising useful; and the meaningfulness of brand-to-consumer interactions that occur through digital advertising. 

This research validates Novatiq’s own thinking in this area and underscores that our privacy-first approach to enabling relevant, personalised advertising at scale for consumers is the right one.  

Telcos spy an opportunity 

It’s with the needs of consumers in mind that we turn to our next story. Last month we reported on TrustPid, an initiative to create a cross-operator infrastructure for digital advertising and marketing. The story developed in July, with the news that more operators are signing up to the initiative. However, not everything is plain sailing, and regulators are already taking a close look at the initiative as the approach may breach privacy rules.  And with news that Google are set to delay the departure of third-party cookies on Chrome, it’s clear there are still challenges to establish a privacy-centric ecosystem with a viable alternative – enter the telcos! 

Across the pond, US telco T-Mobile is also looking to launch into the digital marketing space. Its approach uses information about apps downloaded onto phones to help target advertising. As with TrustPid, however, the approach raises concerns about privacy compliance.  

Taking these stories together, it’s positive to see that telcos recognise they have something to bring to the digital marketing sector. However, the devil is in the detail and it’s vital that telcos ensure their services meet the needs of all stakeholders – publishers, advertisers and consumers. As we have seen, meeting the needs of the latter group means ensuring privacy and transparency from the outset.  

July Spotlight

Publishers take note 

A similar lesson applies to publishers. This month there have been two noteworthy cases where publishers have fallen under the regulatory spotlight. In mid-July, TikTok paused changes to its privacy policy for targeted advertising to allow the lead European Union regulator to examine whether the changes comply with its data protection rules. The alarm was first raised by Italy’s data protection authority, which noted that TikTok had told users that it was going to deliver targeted advertising to them without requesting consent for using data stored on their devices. 

Google had run into similar trouble a couple of weeks earlier when consumer rights groups in Europe filed a series of privacy complaints accusing the company of deceptive design around its account creation process. The complainants say that the process steers users into agreeing to invasive processing of their data. 

Regardless of the various merits of these two cases, one thing is clear: consumer requirements must be hardwired into privacy approaches if they are to hold water.  

Regulators flex their muscles 

In addition to consumer rights groups, Google is also facing pressure from antitrust regulators. It’s reported that because of this pressure, Google is considering spinning off its adtech business into a separate company (although as this would be owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company, it’s unclear how it would address antitrust concerns).  

 There’s also speculation that Google might create a separate Google Analytics business based in Europe and with no server connections to the US to ensure compliance with data transfer rules. However, another school of thought is that some of the major tech companies like Meta and Google may withdraw from the market entirely rather than meet these data transfer obligations. If that is the case, then now is a particularly good time to invest in European adtech.  

More ways to get inspired  

If you’re looking for more stories, thoughts and comments on all things related to digital marketing then why not drop by our blog. This month, we’re looking at how advertisers can leverage the power of first-party data to survive the cookie winter, and we also ask what personalised advertising looks like in a privacy-first world.    

Circle back next month for more news and inspiration.  

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