Love it or hate it, the arrival of the General Data Protection Regulation became the biggest topic — and cause of hand-wringing — for advertising companies across Europe in 2018.
One of the biggest challenges facing publishers, agencies, advertisers and ad tech vendors has been the breadth of the law’s interpretation, which has, in turn, resulted in a chaotic and confusing online experience for European users.
Here are five things we learned about GDPR in 2018.
It highlighted Google’s power
If the law was partly an attempt by the EU to reduce the power of Facebook and Google, we can safely chalk that up to a hard fail. Google’s relationship with major publishers became deeply fraught in the weeks around the law’s arrival. The tech giant’s failure to inform publishers (and media buyers) of its own strict interpretation of the law until the ninth hour caused massive issues that reverberated across the whole digital ad ecosystem. Unsurprisingly, volumes on AdX surged in the few days after May 25, while other ad tech vendors saw their volumes drop hard, according to ad tech and agency executives.