Winds of Change for Publishers With EU Visitors

We keep saying this, but it’s true: hold on to your hats as the winds of change once again blow through the online advertising business.  Industry groups trying to improve the online ad ecosystem have already made a dent in viewability, which is apparently at its highest rate in 18 months,  and 55 companies have already self-attested and been certified for the new Trustworthy Accountability Group designation. Many others, including us, are in the pipeline, slowed only by the manual process TAG is now using to make sure the self-attestation matches up with what can be observed.

Our compliance officer has already been trained in the new guidelines for internet quality advertising, and we are in the process of completing the remainder of the steps. At the end, we will receive two tags, one being a payment ID, the other an assurance that we are a TAG certified company.

Why are we doing this? Because we want everyone who does business with us to feel comfortable that our platform is safe and secure, and that we are not serving ads to sites that have only bot traffic or doing business with publishers whose sites are not brand safe.

We must convince consumers that we, as an industry, are more than just invaders in the digital world. Too many of them have given up on digital advertising, and have downloaded ad blockers, endangering free content.

And there’s another piece to this. After four years of discussion, the EU has passed a pretty strict data privacy regulation, according to Digiday.

While the law gives European citizens more control over what happens to their data, it also means headaches for publishers and advertisers, who are increasingly relying on data for ad targeting.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), all companies will be required to gain consent from individuals before collecting their data. Users will be notified that the company wants to use their data and what they want to use it for. They will be told that they have the right to refuse parting with their personal information.

The new laws will go into effect in 2018, and companies that fail to comply will face eye-watering fines of €20 million ($28.4 million) or up to 4 percent of global revenues.

Although some might think this law only applies to the EU, it is bound to have a global impact, because even if you are not a European publisher, if you are doing business with a citizen of the EU, you fall under the new regulation.