Initial impact of GDPR on publisher alliances

Just as we were putting the finishing touches on our report about Publisher Ad Alliances, which has just been published, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) kicked in on Friday, 25 May. And the uncertainty of just what impact it might have on all players involved reared its ugly head immediately.

by Brian Veseling | May 30, 2018

Our new Publisher Ad Alliances report is available to WAN-IFRA Members to download free of charge, and available for purchase to non-members. For details, and for Members to download, click here.

This piece in Digiday paints a worrying picture of how GDPR chaos hit the bottomline. We reached out to the alliances we profiled in our report to find out what they have experienced so far. Granted, it’s very early days, and each of the alliances we profiled works differently from the others, but here is what four of the alliance heads told us they’re experiencing:

Pangaea Alliance (global)

“Statistically it is too early to give a definitive answer as we have only had a weekend and a Bank Holiday to review, and that can always be unpredictable,” says UK-based Pangaea Alliance General Manager Fiona McKinnon. “However, on ‘GDPR Friday’ we saw our revenue dramatically decrease, by over half, driven mainly by a decrease in PMP/direct deals. That said, spend returned to normal levels, almost immediately, over the weekend. Today, Monday we are actually pacing positive. We haven’t seen any particular DSP or buyer drop off and open marketplace spend has remained consistent.”

Buymedia (Belgium)

“GDPR has not affected how we operate,” says Founder and CEO Allan Segebarth. “Buymedia is a transaction platform, so we don’t gather end-user data ourselves. The data segments available via buy-media are based on first-party data, made available by the publishers with user consent.”

KPEX (New Zealand)

“The short answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ – KPEX has taken steps to ensure we’re compliant at an exchange level, but because EU based demand/EU based audiences are such a fractional part of our business, the impact (so far) has been minimal,” Rogan Polkinghorne of New Zealand-based KPEX told us. “We’re working with publisher partners to build a robust consent eco-system in the NZ market, to ensure we’re all ahead of the curve if/when similar legislation is enacted in NZ (or other markets of more significance to our business).”

TrustX (USA)

“We are currently (and temporarily) blocking traffic outside North America. US user traffic accounts for about 95% of impressions and almost all of TrustX ad spend to our publishers,” says David Kohl, Founder and CEO of TrustX. “So the economics favour a crawl, walk, run approach. Further, TrustX is responding to widespread agreement among our pubs and many buyers that we must be 100% GDPR “safe” before we access and pass through EU-defined PII. Over the next month or two, we’ll start to roll out safe zone products.”

And on stage in Portugal…

WAN-IFRA will also be featuring a session about Industry Alliances during our Congress this week in Estoril, Portugal. The session starts at 14:30 on Friday, 8 June. Click here to see the programme.

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