Posted by & filed under PPC Chat.

Hosted by Julie F Bacchini, this week’s PPCChat session discussed about concerns of PPCers regarding privacy and digital advertising, their views on ad bollocking technology, platforms that handles privacy and advertising best and worst and more.



Here is the screencap of the discussion:


Q1: Is privacy something that you or your clients think about when it comes to digital advertising? If so, why or if not, why not?


In 2018 more so than ever due to the GDPR rollout. It made a lot of clients take stock of how they handled and collected data. – @scright

We as an industry have done a good job of training folks to see tightening privacy restrictions as a net negative. – @ferkungamaboobo

I have not had clients bring it up very often at all. I will broach the topic if I think they want to do something that might not be the best choice or is something shady… I think about it a lot, though. – @NeptuneMoon

Only from a legal front with GDPR compliance. But honestly, people have been complaining about “creepy ads” for years and they just keep buying soooo. I once had a client that I realllyyyyy wanted to segment their past customers by name and call them out BY NAME in the image or copy. They didn’t want to go that far. I’ve had success with ABM on LinkedIn and FB calling out their company name. – @markpgus

not really with our Paid Search clients. We assume (wrongly, if we’re to believe the latest lawsuit) that Google sorts that out properly on our behalf. – @mindswanppc

It’s not something we’ve had to deal with much. Our clients have dealt with the GDPR rollout etc on their own. – @adwordsgirl

It’s not something we or our clients tend to address, but it has come up when we’ve discussed such things as remarketing/retargeting lists. – @marccxmedia

Yes, but government regulated clients (ie Pharma and Finance) get special white glove treatment. – @JonKagan



Q2: Are there any particular methods or practices that you will not use due to privacy concerns (as an advertiser or on behalf of a client advertiser)?


Buying email lists or pixel audience sharing. – @scright

I mean, the biggest thing as a marketer is to be transparent. I don’t think there’s anything in particular the average marketer can do to avoid privacy concerns at a platform level. But it’s incumbent on us to explain “which way the wind blows” to our clients – @ferkungamaboobo

Honestly not really. 1. If it’s against the law then don’t do it. 2. If it doesn’t help make more money then don’t do it. If it complies with the law and I’m making money, I don’t really think there is a problem at all. – @markpgus

There are no particular methods/practices that we explicitly avoid because of privacy issues. If anything comes up privacy-related, we address it with the client. – @marccxmedia

Depending on the vertical we stay away from remarketing and CRM integration. We will never host client CRM data on our own devices/drives either. – @JonKagan



Q3: Which platform(s) do you think handle the precarious balance of user privacy and advertiser desire for targeting data the best?


Rather than generalize & praise one over all of them, I go case by case, seeing if they let bad actors through. If I spot a shady competitor in their inventory, that’s a strike against the platform. – @heyglenns

I think Google is perceived as handling data and privacy better than Facebook, but I really don’t think they actually do, they just have less info about us than Facebook does… – @NeptuneMoon

I think people lean towards Google on this because 1. They have less data on you (As you said, it’s not because they’re saints, just it’s not available) 2. They have higher minimum audience thresholds. – @markpgus

They’re all intentionally terrible, at so many levels. The only bright spot is that the rhetorical tide from marketers is shifting. – @ferkungamaboobo

Google Ads (in our experience) handles sensitive customer e-mail lists well when it comes to setting up retargeting lists. – @marccxmedia

none of them really prove to be good at it. They all have way too much more data than they should – @mindswanppc

God I would love to know that. Still looking. – @JonKagan



Q4: Which platform(s) do you think handle the precarious balance of user privacy and advertiser desire for targeting data the worst?


We can’t speak to this currently, as our platform experience has mostly been Google and Facebook, and both appear to handle the balance well – at least when we’ve dealt with privacy-related things. – @marccxmedia

FB is an obvious one: great targeting features from the past undermined by horrible user transparency and constant controversies – @timothyjjensen

It has obviously been a really bad year for Facebook, with all of the revelations about things they were doing that most people would find objectionable and in some cases clearly shady. Has not stopped clients from wanting to advertise there though! – @NeptuneMoon

Honestly, I think Google is probably the worst offender – they have hands in every aspect of the ads process, own 85% of search share, ~65% of browser share, ~95% of display ad share, ~90% of web analytics share, and ~60% of smartphone share. – @ferkungamaboobo

As a marketer I want as many targeting options as possible. If I’m not gaining PII from a platform, I don’t see a problem. I think the big privacy issue is with data breaches. LI did a good job of preventing email scraping recently. – @markpgus

we find them all pretty similar, Google does put a lot of blockers on healthcare, so that is probably the best – @JonKagan



Q5: What is your biggest concern regarding privacy and advertising?


My big concern is that I think the PR machines of the ad providers blinded us — I’m not sure hyper-targeted ads actually work better, I’m not sure that web analytics gives you much more info than just tracking forms/calls from a site. I think we played ourselves. – @ferkungamaboobo

Purely from an advertiser standpoint, not knowing if a targeting feature that’s available one month will be around the next if a privacy controversy results in features being axed. Makes it tough when pitching ideas to clients – @timothyjjensen

My biggest concern, as an advertiser/working on behalf of advertisers, is having targeting data that is available now go away due to GDPR lawsuits and future regulation. Especially with regs being made by people who do not understand the industry at all. – @NeptuneMoon

Government fines – @JonKagan

I think some privacy concerns are overblown. “Amazon knows my purchase history” – so did your grocery store checker in 1950. “My phone is tracking my location” – private investigators have been tailing people, legally, for a long time. – @robert_brady

My attitude is generally use everything the platforms make available. But now that you mention it, I guess my biggest concern is whether that approach could ever end up coming back to bite cme – @JasonStinnett

People blocking ads or switching to browsers/search engines like Duck Duck Go is a concern, as it muddles the tracking waters, so to say. – @marccxmedia



Q6: Do you think ad blocking technology should be of concern to digital advertisers? And, do you use it personally?


To me, ad blocking gives end-users false sense of security. Like an iceberg, tracking can exist under the surface, whether the ad is visible by the user or not. – @heyglenns

Yep. Software like is growing rapidly, and if you’re in the ad buying space and aren’t considering it’s impacts (particularly in tech verticals and younger demos) you’re gonna have a bad time – @GarysBasement

I do think it is a potential growing concern, although there’s still certainly plenty of ad inventory out there. I don’t use it because I want to keep tabs on ads being targeted to me from clients’ competitors and such. – @timothyjjensen

In theory yes, but unlike the pop up blockers of the 2000’s, the adoption rate is negligible, so it doesn’t get much thought – @JonKagan

Ad blocking tech has been around for ages and Google/Facebook still has plenty of ways to get around it. I use ad blockers as well – but i still see some ads. Not sure they work properly. – @mindswanppc

HAHAHA YES I use an ad blocker… and yes I see it being a problem potentially. I love not waiting for my youtube video to load. I love not getting a million pop-ups. The bad ad experiences are awful… but I probably shouldn’t use one – @markpgus

I will selectively block ads, but I generally don’t – mainly because I am always looking to see if my clients’ competitors are remarketing and what their messaging is! – @NeptuneMoon

I do on Edge on my phone because it’s built-in, and it saves data and decreases page speed. I think the use-cases for ad blocking should be front-and-center for advertisers: WHY don’t folks want ads on the web? Because the ad networks are nefarious. – @ferkungamaboobo

It’s only a concern because people are encouraged to use ad blockers as a result of bad advertising annoying them! I have faith that it eventually means only good advertising will survive (which hopefully means the crew are safe) – @marcusknight

I personally use it, but I do exclude some sites. It still should be a concern to digital advertisers. – @marccxmedia


Q6.1: Is GDPR a bigger concern, both where it is directly the law and for ripples it might cause globally?


I’ve definitely bumped into concerns with clients who target internationally, with actions taken at the advice of legal teams that have limited our ability to track. – @timothyjjensen

actually having a debate on this. With London being one of the biggest ad markets in Europe, it’s huge. If UK does the Brexit, then the question of if the GDPR becomes null and void, since that is applied to the EU. Anyone else have a thought? – @JonKagan

I see GDPR as a huge concern IMO. It can potentially ruin how marketing has evolved into a funnel the last few years. We’ll go back to straight cold targeting. If this gets bad enough companies will need to deny content unless they accept tracking – @markpgus



Q7: If regulation will be coming to the digital space regarding people’s data, what do you think is the most important aspect to address?


Regulation could require advertisers/platforms to let en-users choose what they should see. It’ll be tough balancing this with fact that sites are paid for by ads, but regulators should try – @heyglenns

I think transparency is the most important aspect to tackle if regulation is coming. Letting people really see what any platform has on them and then being able to delete it or opt out of aspects of tracking if they wish to. – @NeptuneMoon

I don’t have an answer to the problem, but the question is “Can we have the current paradigm of behavior-based targeting without individual user data?” I think the answer is a resounding “No,” which means there’s something huge on the horizon. – @ferkungamaboobo

I’m a firm believer that a set of standards & practices needs to be established. There’s to many “guru experts” (you see them on your FB feed), that are in reality hacks, that devalue our industry, share disinformation, and prey on SMB’s that dont know better – @JonKagan

The most important aspect to address regarding privacy in the digital space is the security of PII. – @marccxmedia



Q8: Are your views on privacy and advertising different as an individual and as a digital marketer? If so, where do they diverge?


Completely conflicting feelings. Professional side wants more data-based functionality & capability. Personal side wants less data collected. – @SEM_PPC_MattV

You have to be a human first; let that steer your decision of how you’d market. Look no further than titles of these 2 books just out. – @heyglenns

If I lost targeting options in the name of improving an individual’s privacy; I’d be fine with that. – @Gooselessgander

Knowing the level of tracking that platforms like FB do, I’m certainly quite wary of sharing much of the same info that I’d tell clients we could use for targeting – @timothyjjensen

I definitely feel like I am of two minds when it comes to personal data collection and tracking! Advertiser loves all the data – give me more! Personally, I’d like a little more control over the process… – @NeptuneMoon

You mean, do I have looser morals at work? Honestly, no. Might be why my credit card was stolen 4 times last year.  – @JonKagan

I know a lot of people care about privacy… but I don’t. I assume that if someone realllllyyyy wanted to know something about me they could. Any data FB has on me is really nothing. I can see some people being concerned about message content but that’s about it IMO  – @markpgus

can’t lie – yes it is different. Even as an advertiser, I don’t like seeing a lot of the ads that i see and i try to use blockers as much as possible. But it’s mainly because i thinks it isn’t done properly – people still need a lot better retargeting strategies! – @mindswanppc

I have the same gut reaction that a lot of people do when you learn just how much is being tracked. E.g. phone regularly recording your location. BUT, I do occasionally see ads where I genuinely think “wow, this is so cool!” And personalization probably enabled that – @JasonStinnett

It used to be. Then I realized that I was making the world worse bit by bit by being a digital marketer. Now, when I’m seeing big brands like P&G see benefits of using other strategies, seeing NYT get more money from ads by leaving programmatic exchanges? – @ferkungamaboobo


PPCChat Participants:


Related Links:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Website Protected by Spam Master