YouTube to stop supporting third-party ad serving in EU in May, citing GDPR

YouTube is closing off access to third-party ad serving and pixel tracking globally, just ahead of the date when the European Union’ s sweeping privacy regulation takes effect next month.

“ YouTube will no longer support third-party ad serving on reserved buys in Europe beginning May 21, and it will assess whether to extend that policy globally, ” a memo obtained by AdExchanger this week stated.

Advertisers who aren’ t using DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM) to host video are asked to “ retraffic their ads” by May 21 “ to avoid any downtime in delivery, ” according to the memo. Google owns YouTube and DoubleClick.

YouTube will also greatly limit third-party pixel tracking as of that date. The company first announced it might be limiting the use of pixels and cookies last January , the same time it announced YouTube’ s access to Google account data for ad targeting.

In the name of GDPR

The memo states that these changes are being made to plan the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation ( GDPR ). The deadline for GDPR — a sweeping group of new and enhanced data privacy rules for European citizens — is May 25, 2018. Google said that it was evaluating recertification of certain third-party vendors’ pixels.

A Google spokesperson said:

This past year, we announced that we would be limiting the number of vendors that can measure adverts performance on YouTube. Now, within our GDPR compliance efforts, we have been providing additional information about third-party ad measurement and changes to third-party ad serving.

The spokesperson also told Marketing Land:

Once the GDPR comes into effect, publishers will require the ability to choose the vendors they use to measure and serve adverts shown on their sites and within their apps. In coming weeks, we are giving publishers new tools they can use to choose vendors that have certified they are GDPR-compliant.

Marketers express concern

AdExchanger reports concerns that Google is using GDPR as a cover for favoring its own ad tech. The change would mean DCM will have a lock on serving and tracking ads on YouTube in the EU, and potentially, other regions. Additionally , sources said, Google is keeping third-party pixels from targeting Google audiences using DoubleClick Bid Manager.

Last year, Google introduced its own measurement system for tracking campaigns on  cross-device campaigns on YouTube, DoubleClick and Google Display Network called Ads Data Hub , which works with other approved measurement providers such as DoubleVerify, Moat and Integral Ad Science. It provides a paid solution for advertisers to be able to use their preferred measurement and verification provider, but again, it’ s a Google solution.


About The Author

Robin Kurzer started her career as a daily newspaper reporter in Milford, Connecticut. She then made her mark on the advertising and marketing world in Chicago at agencies such as Tribal DDB and Razorfish, creating award-winning work for many major brands. For the past seven years, she’ s worked as a freelance writer and communications professional across a variety of business sectors.

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