March 27, 2023

The Drum: Publishers demand advertisers stop harvesting their data and IP

March 27, 2023

With the demise of third-party cookies in the post, publishers are finding themselves under more pressure to protect their unique audience data.

Richard Reeves, the president of the Association of Publishers (AOP) has issued an open letter on behalf of digital publishers urging advertisers and agencies to stop scraping publisher sites for more data than they bargained for.


Taking the first steps to address an endemic problem

This is undoubtedly an endemic problem that places the entire digital media space in jeopardy. With their competitive advantage depleting, many publishers are struggling to secure crucial ad revenue; leaving them less able to support premium content environments where advertisers can reach desirable audiences, safely.

As part of our mission over the past two years to interrogate, evaluate and address this issue, the AOP has collaborated with the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), which has now released an updated version of its Brand Safety Certification, setting out clearer definitions around publisher data applications.

Effective from January 1, revised wording specifically differentiates between legitimate and illegitimate data use. By removing previous grey areas, it gives publishers improved scope to ensure tools are being deployed for their declared purpose, rather than running unsanctioned IP collection.

This latest development represents sizeable and positive progress, but more action is urgently required. As the unifying voice of online publishers, we are issuing a call for advertisers and agencies to join us in pushing toward the following goals:

  1. Help publishers act against bad actors: Buyers are in a unique position to influence verification intermediaries. As contract holders, they have an opportunity to demand valid proof that intermediaries have obtained official licenses before collating publisher IP, as well as the ability to decline partnerships with those unable to do so.

  2. Engage in unified discussions: advertisers and agencies must take a seat around the consultation table. Participating in open discussions with TAG and bodies such as the AOP will enable them to better understand risks posed to every area of the ecosystem, and investigate mutually beneficial measures.

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Topics: News