“We won additional spend because of GDPR” says boss of digital advertising company

A company which helps advertisers better manage their campaigns using data has seen revenue and profits rise dramatically – and it says that some of this was down to GDPR.

The company

Trade Desk provides technology that helps advertisers better manage their digital campaigns. It says: “We and our clients collect and use data both to help ensure that the ads you see are relevant and to measure and report on their effectiveness.” Explaining further, it said: “Our AdBrain product, which is part of our platform, uses data to produce a mapping of devices that might be related to each other, meaning that they might be used by the same person or by people in the same household. This helps advertisers better target and measure their campaigns, as well as to try to limit the number of times the same person or household sees an ad.”

What’s happened?

The company posted revenues of $112.33 million for the quarter ending June 2018, compared with $72.8 million a year ago. Earnings were up 16% on a year ago and were 36% up on expectations.

The surprise

Given how the GDPR is meant to have a significant effect on programmatic advertising, making it harder for advertisers that rely on data, analysts greeted the results by surprise.

And when you consider that international revenue, emanating from Asia and Europe, was up 85%, bearing in mind that GDPR became enforceable during the middle of its latest quarter, the results are all the more surprising.

GDPR helped

Trade Desk’s CEO Jeff Green reckons that GDPR has been beneficial to the company.

He said: “GDPR did not diminish spend over the quarter. In fact, the trust we built with our partners and customers was massive and we even won additional spend because of GDPR.”

He also suggested that Google’s decision to close a programme using its DoubleClick ID system helped. Explaining he said: “In my view, Google’s decision to remove this ID offering is driven by their increasing need to remove risk against malicious data enablement.”

Pseudonymous

And this takes us to the nub of this particular issue. Mr Green contrasted this Google system with the approach taken by Trade Desk. He said: “Google, at the fundamental level of their business, transacts indirectly and identifiable consumer data – Google knows so much about billions of consumers because of their core product, their search engine.”

By contrast, Trade Desk says that its “platform is pseudonymous, which means that it does not directly identify people “meaning it doesn’t have names, email addresses, phone numbers, or the like.” It explained further: “We prohibit clients and partners from putting that kind of data into our Platform.”

How anonymous is pseudonymous?

In a nutshell, Trade Desk deals with pseudonymous data, unlike Google, and this, or so it claims, has become a big advantage.

But this begs the question, how anonymous is pseudonymous? There have been plenty of studies showing it is possible to reestablish customer’s data.

On this topic, Trade Desk said: “Our clients and partners may, outside of our platform, have access to information that directly identifies you, and they may combine that information with information that they collected from our platform, but if they do, that data is governed by their legal requirements, privacy policies, contracts, or other terms that they have in place.”


The inaugural Data Protection World Forum (DPWF) will be held on November 20th & 21st 2018 at the ExCeL London which will provide a broader focus across the data protection and privacy space amidst the progressive tightening of global data protection laws.

Ahead of the end of year event, DPWF has launched a series of intensive workshops.

Further information on the DPWF and workshop details are available at: https://www.dataprotectionworldforum.com/