It’s been a big week for the ad tech industry around the world, but here in Australia, it could just be getting started.
In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) last week handed down a scathing review of the current online advertising industry, arguing the industry in its current shape is operating illegally.
“The ad tech industry appears immature in its understanding of data protection requirements,” says the ICO’s report.
“Whilst the automated delivery of ad impressions is here to stay, we have general, systemic concerns around the level of compliance of real-time bidding (RTB).”
The review followed multiple complaints to European regulators that argued real-time bidding is in breach of GDPR regulations, introduced by the EU last year.
Among one of the key findings is the conclusion ‘dropping trackers’ like cookies, which track user behaviour online, are being obtained without consent, thus making them illegal.
There are also concerns around the potentially sensitive information being collected in the process of RTB.
“The creation and sharing of personal data profiles about people, to the scale we’ve seen, feels disproportionate, intrusive and unfair, particularly when people are often unaware it is happening,” said the Commissioner.
The industry has now been given six months to clean up its act, during which time the ICO will consult with the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and Google to ensure they become compliant.
A local perspective
And while the British regulator’s report has no direct impact on the Australian industry, it could soon prove to be part of a global trend.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) long-awaited digital platforms inquiry is due to be handed to the Treasurer on June 30.
Released in December last year, the preliminary report pointed to problems with digital platforms like Google favouring their own business interests through their ad tech services.
More recently ACCC chair Rod Sims suggested “the lack of clarity around ad tech” disadvantages online media businesses’ ability to monetise their content via advertising opportunities.
“The argument that has been put to us is that the opacity around the delivery of programmatic advertising may make it difficult for advertisers to effectively value and compare the price of advertisements placed next to premium media content and advertising opportunities on other websites,” he said at a ThinkTV & ANAA event earlier this year.
While the ACCC’s digital platform inquiry will no doubt place the emphasis on how these technologies impact competition, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has welcomed the preliminary report and will no doubt examine how the findings relate to the privacy protections of Australia, as the ICO in the UK has.
Leading Australian market research data brand, RDA Research, provides actionable consumer intelligence to help businesses inform decision making and growth strategies. RDA Research wanted to make its unique consumer data available for addressable digital targeting and required a data onboarding partner to help activate their data in an online environment.
Storytelling agency Enthral has appointed Channel 7 reporter and sports presenter Sean Sowerby as its new senior PR and content manager in Melbourne. Sowerby (pictured) started his award-winning career at 3AW before spending more than 15 years in television. Enthral founder and manager director, Cameron Smith, spoke of the significance of Sowerby joining the agency. […]
This week Nova’s Fitzy & Wippa are celebrating 10 years of their iconic radio show and plenty of famous faces have weighed in on the feat! For Fitzy & Wippa’s 10-year anniversary show they were joined by a bunch of special friends who shared their messages and favourite memories over the last decade. The guys […]
Ever since Google first announced it would be getting rid of third-party cookies on Chrome, digital advertising businesses have been actively sharing their plans for life after cookies. And now programmatic advertising company Blis might have come up with the most creative way to get the message across, in a new video which sees company […]
Integrated Melbourne agency Icon has taken top honours in the 2021 SABRE Awards, winning the coveted Australasian Consultancy of the Year for 2021 along with a host of category and craft awards. Icon led a large field of Australian agencies with a total of three major and seven minor awards, including gold in the cause-related […]
Former agency executives Tim O’Neill and Tim Fouhy have launched the auto technology startup Summon. Australia’s first full e-commerce service for prestige cars. O’Neill and Fouhy both founded Reactive, a digital agency, which was bought by Accenture in 2016. Following the deal, O’Neill and Fouhy ended up leading the company’s digital marketing arm, Accenture Interactive before […]