When Google went on the record to say it did not approve of email-based identifiers last week, it drew applause, somewhat strangely, from one of its largest competitors.
“This will be remembered as a great day for the future of the open internet,” said The Trade Desk CEO, founder and chairman Jeff Green.
Green likened the ongoing cookies situation to a game of chess.
“In any chess match, eventually you have to let pieces go. You trade a less valuable piece for those that matter most. Google is making a trade. With this announcement, Google is doubling down on its own properties, such as search and YouTube and adding bricks to the walls around those properties,” Green said.
“The trade-off is that Google no longer values serving ads on the rest of the internet as much — certainly not as much as they once did.”
He argued that Google’s ad tech solutions DoubleClick and DV360 will be slightly disadvantaged in the future, as competitors will be using alternative identifiers – such as the Unified ID 2.0 – while Google will be sticking well and truly within its Privacy Sandbox.
We know that third-party cookies were imperfect, and the need for creating a new system of advertising that is privacy-centric, consumer-focused, and more effective is more critical than ever to the success of our industry.
Google’s suggestion that email-based identifiers would not be able to meet consumer’s privacy expectations in the long-run was a not-so-subtle reference to the Unified ID 2.0, which – up until recently – had been spearheaded by The Trade Desk.
But just because Google doesn’t believe in it doesn’t mean the Unified ID 2.0 is dead and buried. Green said that not only can the Unified ID 2.0 fix issues such as cookie syncing, it also exists as a solution that won’t be controlled by any one company, like Google has done with the cookie or Apple with the IDFA.
“Unified ID 2.0 has been designed with the consumer in the driver’s seat. The consumer’s information is not identifiable. The consumer controls how their data is shared,” said Green.
“And the consumer gets a simple, clear explanation of the value exchange of relevant advertising in return for free content. With this approach, Unified ID 2.0 has the best opportunity to become a new common currency of the open internet.”
A collaborative future
With independent industry organisation Prebid.org having recently taken over the operations of Unified ID 2.0 and with the likes of The Trade Desk, Criteo, PubMatic, LiveRamp and Nielsen all on board, the initiative promises to be one of the most collaborative efforts the advertising industry has ever seen.
And according to Index Exchange Regional Managing Director APAC Adele Wieser, these types of initiatives will be needed in order for the industry to survive in the future.
“Google’s announcement has a direct effect on every aspect of the advertising ecosystem from vendors, to publishers, and consumers,” Wieser told B&T.
“We know that in order to survive, publishers need options and that a competitive independent ad tech ecosystem needs to exist.
“The future of our industry lies in collaboration with partners in the open internet, that’s why we are continuing to collaborate with industry players, like Unified ID 2.0 that are designed to put the consumer in the driver’s seat.”
Although Google will not support be supporting the Unified ID 2.0, there is a belief that by not running this new identifier (and other similar ones), Google will become less competitive against various SSPs and DSPs.
Google has also reinforced the importance of first-party data in its tracking-free version of Chrome. Again, the Unified ID 2.0 provides publishers with the ability to maintain control over their first-party data.
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