Comment: Adtech industry on Google’s Sandbox Android move

google sandbox - image copyright mark johnson

The adtech industry has been giving its reaction to Google’s announcement on Wednesday that it plans to add its privacy Sandbox to Android devices.

One thing that is clear is that the global advertising ecosystem is changing and the lucrative mobile space is now on notice.

It will present challenges for brands and advertisers as they struggle to find new ways to target ads effectively to audiences in the new age of user privacy.

So we’ve been asking some of the leading lights of the adtech industry for their take on Google’s Sandbox move…

google sandbox 1

Adtech industry reaction

Lloyd Davies, Managing Director UK, Making ScienceLloyd Davies, Managing Director UK, Making Science

“Google’s announcement that it will be introducing an Android Privacy Sandbox emphasises the digital advertising ecosystem’s shift away from individual personalised data and towards aggregated cohorts based on current interest data and historical contextual data; the Android version of Topics and Fledge. 

“Also, Google is rightly looking to close the door on ‘covert data collection’ that enables probabilistic fingerprinting as a privacy-evading workaround. 

“While the immediate and obvious impact will be that ads are less targeted and there will be a decline in acquisition-focused efficiency, counterintuitively the move might see an improvement in the total impact of digital campaigns as focus starts to shift to incremental growth.”

Andrew Carmody, CMO, ViewersLogic

Andrew Carmody, CMO, ViewersLogic

“While we applaud and support any activities that enhance consumers’ privacy, security and right to consent, we recognise that this action presents significant challenges to brands and advertisers in their quest to understand and reach a target audience. 

“This move will accelerate the adoption of a new generation of data sources that preserve user privacy while enabling marketers to draw a direct line between media spend and consumer action. 

“In this instance, we’ve seen marketers shifting to deterministic, single source data to understand the path to purchase and assess media effectiveness across channels. 

“Keeping up momentum towards the use of empirically accurate and consented data is imperative if advertisers want to succeed in a world where data is shrinking.”

Smart - Romain JobRomain Job, Chief Strategy Officer, Smart AdServer 

“The announcement of the deployment of Google’s Privacy Sandbox within its Android ecosystem was indeed predictable. 

“The announcement of the removal of the IDFA was more surprising, but finally in line with the expected schedule of the disappearance of third-party cookies. 

“Google would therefore impose its framework on Android even more aggressively than Apple does on iOS – it has full latitude in the application market and does not have to embrace the W3C and third-party browsers. 

“It remains to be clarified whether Google reserves access to proprietary identifiers in parallel.”

Chris Hogg, EMEA Managing Director, LotameChris Hogg, EMEA Managing Director, Lotame

“It has been heavily predicted that Google would follow Apple and restrict the use of the Android ID, so this news comes as no surprise. 

“Google has encountered ongoing confusion and indecision in its attempts to create alternatives to third party cookies and it continues to generate controversy in the industry, recently drawing an antitrust complaint filed by the European Publishers Council claiming that it violated EU competition rules by favouring its own online display advertising technology services. 

“This latest move to an Android Privacy Sandbox, will no doubt cause additional concern and provides even more evidence that innovation is needed to remove the industry’s reliance on Google and Apple to navigate ad campaigns effectively.”

Paul Wright, AppsFlyerPaul Wright, Managing Director UK, FR, MENA & TR, AppsFlyer 

“The announcement of the deployment of Google’s Privacy Sandbox on Android is an expected continuation of an ecosystem that continues to prioritise user privacy. 

“Since Apple’s ATT Framework set the tone for these changes last year, the mobile marketing landscape has continued to innovate and embrace privacy-privacy preserving ways to drive mobile marketing performance.

“For Android mobile marketers, having the right technology in place will be crucial in order to continue generating valuable insights without compromising on privacy. 

“For example, the use of predictive measurement solutions in conjunction with creative approaches will be vital to retain, engage and monetise users while providing personalised user experience in a privacy-compliant environment. 

“In addition, the development of data clean room technologies will offer a neutral, safe space for multiple entities to collaborate using 1st-party user data’’

Alexander Azarov, CEO, Clickio 2Alexander Azarov, CEO and Founder, Clickio

“The focus on user privacy is industry-wide, and no channel will escape changes. The question is not if, but when. 

“It makes sense for Google to go step-by-step and phase out the cookies first, as this experience will inform the design of the Android roll-out. 

“At the same time, the app sector will now have to pay close attention to what is happening with cookies.”

Leonard Newnham, Chief Data Scientist, LoopMe Leonard Newnham, Chief Data Scientist, LoopMe

“Google’s update will no doubt lead to a certain amount of disruption as advertisers adjust to new targeting methods, but the move shouldn’t come as a surprise – being the logical next step in the tech giant’s phasing out of third-party cookies. 

“To avoid any potential negative impact to campaign performance, advertisers should continue to build their data and predictive capabilities in line with privacy-centric technologies. 

“For example, AI-driven predictive modelling, that adapts and learns at scale to deliver against brand goals, is a key alternative solution for identifying users – one that puts the user first while optimising campaigns to deliver effective media performance.”