Centro CEO Shawn Riegsecker On Why The Ad Industry Needs To Check Itself Before It Wrecks Itself

Social Distancing With Friends

The pandemic has turned Centro CEO and founder Shawn Riegsecker into a slipper-wearing night owl.

When Slack and email goes quiet, Shawn gets busy, staying up until the wee hours. Working from home can do that to you.

“There are too many pings throughout the day, too much mental confusion,” he says. “When everybody shuts off late in the evening at 9 o’clock, my brain turns on.”

Centro CEO Shawn Riegsecker hits the road on his motorcycle.One topic that’s on his and the collective mind is the third-party cookie question. The big fear, he says, is that the loss of third-party cookies will concentrate yet more power in the hands of the people who’ve already got it.

That’s a legitimate concern. But the ad industry is facing another challenge that’s even closer to home: a serious case of head-in-the-sand syndrome. “We spend so much time trying to figure out ways around the legislation vs. understanding as an industry what it’s intended for, which for the most part is respecting the consumer’s privacy,” Shawn says.

The same syndrome is evident in ad industry self-regulation, which historically has no teeth. When doctors commit malpractice, their license is taken away. When lawyers commit an offense, they’re disbarred. Not so in the ad industry.

Until there’s a governing body with the power to hold companies accountable, bad actors will keep on doing as they do.

“If there is no penalty for breaking the T’s and C’s and/or the conditions, OK, what’s the incentive not to step over the line in our industry?” Shawn says. “And we’ve seen that happen quite a bit.”

Also in this episode: why centrism will save political discourse; Shawn’s virtual happy hour drink of choice and using VR as a way to stay active during the pandemic.

 

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