Ad Consent Now A Top Issue For Publishers

Consent will be a critical issue for publishers next year, according to Richard Reeves, managing director of the Association of Online Publishers (AOP).  

Specifically, Reeves means informed programmatic ad consent, as opposed to, say, email opt-in. Publishers are seeking tech solutions that “do not rely on personally identifiable information,” Reeves said in an interview with the UK’s PressGazette.  

In the marketing world, that requires anonymized data solutions and reliance on first- and zero-party data. 

“You might think AI-powered personalization engines would clash with editorial curation, but publishers have described how they are actually helping to bridge the gap between content and commercial teams,” Reeves continues. 

He adds, “Data flows both ways, and the insights gleaned from interest-based personalization engines allow editorial teams to better cater to specific audiences within and across their properties."



Given the EU’s  GDPR, consent may be understood differently in Europe and the U.S. Reeves admits that the creators of the Transparency and Consent Framework have been criticized for “bundling together too many permissions.” 

Marketers seeking to engage customers are all too familiar with this problem: They face a plethora of regulation on the international front, including GDPR and national laws in the UK, Canada, United Arab Emirates. 

“A fragmented privacy regulatory environment has encouraged rent-seeking behavior from unscrupulous groups looking to maximize this complexity to their advantage,” said Mark Pilon, vice president of business development at ITI, Canada, a firm that offers a new privacy module, PrivacyOps, at no cost to help firms comply with privacy laws on the state, national and international levels.   

In the end, Reeves says, the goal is to help publishers serve ads and derive revenue in a safe and compliant way. 

He cites a 2020 study titled, "Programmatic Supply Chain Transparency Study," which is now being updated.  It  found that “only 51% of spend reaches publishers, with 15% entirely unaccountable."


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