A shared cookie-based ID used exclusively for campaign attribution, not for real-time targeting or audience profiling, bridges the key stakeholders of brands and publishers, said Victor Wong, Thunder’s co-founder and CEO. The idea resembles Facebook’s 2018 policy change that suspended third-party data for targeting but allowed tracking for attribution, he said.
The programmatic consultancy Labmatik is helping to develop the framework. And to fill out supply and ad tech, the group is working with a few large media and advertising platforms, including Hulu, Roku, Meredith and Xandr, which also sits on the advisory board.
Universal cookie consortiums and identity tactics have long been the domain of ad tech vendors, but as large brands add expertise and learn from direct-to-consumer startups, they’ll bring fresh legs to the effort, Rinaldi said. “At CES I was surprised that so many conversations with brand marketers were about these common themes of data-savvy practices in the mar tech ecosystem.”
Rutland said brands need to be more invested in topics that have to date been owned by ad tech, because brands can compel vendors to change more effectively than vendors can self-organize around a standard. Consumers also hold brands accountable for digital media practices, even those they may not even be aware of.
“Whatever happens the consumer holds the brand responsible,” she said. “Anything that hits the press or trespasses on consumer privacy isn’t your ad server or DSP – it’s the brand that screwed up.”