There’s a battle brewing at the intersection of digital advertising and privacy. Why now and what lessons does all of this hold for marketing leaders? Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.
- This past week, Google doubled down on their anti-behavioral targeting stance with this announcement: “Once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products.”
- The cries of alarm were immediate. Digiday called it a “drastic shift” and Ad Age proclaimed that it will “upend the industry“.
- And some adtech companies also took a serious beating in the markets.
- This latest development is part of an ongoing series of shifts being driven by pressure from regulators, negative public opinion and—most notably—a handful of tech giants jockeying for dominance.
- In addition to Google’s anti-cookie decisions, this clash of the titans has also featured full page newspaper ads from Facebook and plenty of shade-throwing from Apple.
- There’s self-interest on all sides here, of course. But the weight of public opinion clearly rests with the pro-privacy team. In their announcement, Google cited this study from 2019. Its conclusions are clear—most people are fed up with all of the tracking.
- Personalized ads have always forced marketers to walk the line between effective and annoying. Things are coming to a head now because we’ve drifted too far into annoying-town.
- Also, growing associations between behavioural targeting and hate speech, misinformation and societal decline haven’t helped much.
- Many leading brands have been steering away from targeted digital for the last few years.