LONDON: From the 21 May, ahead of the GDPR’s enforcement date, YouTube has told brands it will no longer support third-party ad serving on reserved buys in the continent, it told advertisers.

This is according to a memo obtained by AdExchanger, which advised that any brands not currently using YouTube’s DoubleClick Campaign Manager that they must “retraffic their ads” by the deadline date in order to “avoid any downtime in delivery”.

On the same date, the video streaming service will also bring into force a policy that it had announced over a year ago to discontinue support for third-party pixel tracking – at the same time it announced that it would be integrating Google search data into YouTube’s targeting capabilities.

Both policies, the company said, are to form part of the company’s preparations for GDPR.

“Last year, we announced that we would be limiting the number of vendors that can measure ads performance on YouTube”, a spokesperson told AdExchanger. “Now, as part of our GDPR compliance efforts, we are providing additional information about third-party ad measurement and changes to third-party ad serving.”

However, the move takes on a slightly different hue when read in light of the criticism YouTube (and other platforms) have received for marking their own homework – some will say that the GDPR is something of a ruse.

Advertisers tend to use a variety of ad servers to track performance, and the consolidation is seen in some quarters as a way of bolstering its own ad tech services.

“These changes are being wrapped in the veil of privacy, which just feels disingenuous, because for conversion tracking, you don’t have visibility into specific targeting criteria for that user base,” said John Nardone, CEO of ad server Flashtalking.

Adding to a general lack of clarity around GDPR is the problem of companies that have no touchpoint with the consumer, and therefore no way of securing first-party data and the consent to use it. For some companies, the cost of adapting have proven insurmountable in the short-term. Others have recommended a collaborative, industry-wide approach to this new regulation, as an opportunity to clean up an industry that appears to many murky and confusing. 

Sourced from AdExchanger, WARC