UK brands unite to test privacy-enhancing tech amid cookie changes

Prominent UK brands, including the Guardian, the Independent, Bauer, and Haymarket, have come together to launch a comprehensive test of nearly 40 privacy-focused technologies for advertising, especially in a future without cookies. These leading brands are all part of the UK Association of Online Publishers (AOP) and have partnered with Publicis Media for this significant project. Regulatory agencies, such as the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), have also expressed interest in this initiative. 

The advertising industry has been waking up to the fact that third-party cookies and mobile identifiers are disappearing. It’s been three years since the industry began recognizing this shift, but there’s still no widely accepted way to track and measure advertising effectiveness without compromising user privacy.

This collaborative project, set to continue throughout 2023 and early 2024, aims to assess nearly 40 solutions that don’t rely on cookies. It includes participation from companies like Anonymised. The initiative follows the CMA’s blueprint testing framework, which was developed for Google’s Privacy Sandbox (introduced in February 2021). The results of this extensive testing will be shared with the CMA and the ICO in the second quarter of 2024.

“Third-party cookies were never a great deal for publishers because they leak first-party data into the ecosystem, which largely benefits adtech companies and made-for-advertising sites” stated Richard Reeves, MD at the AOP. “Technology like Anonymised gives publishers an opportunity to monetise audiences without disclosing data, enabling direct relationships with advertisers – which aligns with our members’ vision for an equitable exchange between publishers and advertisers.”

“The market needs a new generation of technology providers that can help publishers and advertisers transition to a cookie-less, privacy-first internet,” said Dr Mattia Fosci, CEO of Anonymised. “Google’s Privacy Sandbox may well be the new baseline for open-web advertising, but innovation is needed to make sure the open web remains a competitive advertising destination in a privacy-centric world”.

This project represents a joint effort by major UK brands to proactively address the changing landscape of digital advertising. Its goal is to ensure effective ad targeting while safeguarding user data privacy in a world where cookies are no longer the norm.

Earlier this month, White Bullet announced its partnership with Sharethrough aiming to revolutionize the digital advertising landscape, ensuring enhanced cyber safety, sustainability, and efficiency.

Written by Gizem Yılmaz


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