Publicis Media & Top UK Publishers Announce Test of Innovative Privacy-Enhancing Cookieless Technology

Publicis Media and the UK Association of Online Publishers (AOP) have announced today (September 19th, 2023) that they will conduct a large-scale test of Anonymised — a new privacy-enhancing technology (PET) for cookieless targeting and measurement. 

The test, which has been discussed with the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), aims to demonstrate that PETs can support open and healthy competition in programmatic advertising to the benefit of publishers and advertisers, without compromising user privacy. 

Publicis Media sees the test as an opportunity to strengthen its leadership role in the transition to a cookieless internet. “We currently are conducting a comprehensive testing programme across nearly 40 cookieless solutions, and our clients understand the need to use data responsibly in a way that respects consumer privacy..” says Ed Pizey, VP data & technology consulting at Publicis Media. “Our testing programme provides the opportunity to measure how technology partners like Anonymised can deliver reach and performance to our clients in a privacy-centric way. This collaboration is one example of Publicis Media’s commitment to uncovering new cookieless solutions for our clients – inclusive of working closely with Epsilon to test and learn”.   

For AOP members, which include publishers like News UK, The Guardian, the Independent, Bauer and Haymarket, the test presents an opportunity to build a more publisher-friendly advertising ecosystem. “Third-party cookies were never a great deal for publishers because they leak first-party data into the ecosystem, which largely benefits ad tech companies and made-for-advertising sites” explains 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,” says 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”.

The test will take place through 2023 and early 2024 and will follow the CMA’s blueprint testing framework for Google’s Privacy Sandbox. Results will be shared with the CMA and the ICO in the second quarter of 2024.