Apple’s privacy changes represent a ‘tectonic shift’ for the digital advertising industry

Business groups respond
Apple’s announcement drew criticism from both the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A). In a joint statement today, the groups said, “Apple’s actions appear to be continuing a damaging pattern that started with its Safari web browser and is now spreading to its mobile app ecosystem.”

Both groups said the changes will affect mobile app publishers and developers, adding that ad personalization, metering, and other capabilities that marketers require to reach consumers will “stop working.”

“Advertising revenue funds the collection of vital news and reports and supports the development of innovative products and services,” said Alison Pepper, executive vice president of government relations for the 4A. “Cutting this critical revenue stream for mobile app publishers and developers will hurt an already struggling news industry and countless small businesses and developers who will be forced to find new sources of revenue to finance their operations in order to survive.”

The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s tech lab recognized Apple’s intentions. “By moving IDFA to ‘participate’ and announce other privacy-related changes, Apple apparently aims to educate users and offer them options, rather than making decisions for them,” said Adnis Dench Buchheim, president of the Interactive Technology Lab. Advertising Bureau. Years. “But they are still taking a completely proprietary approach, and consumers need predictable privacy across all experiences, operating systems and browsers, which requires open standards.”

Impact on targeting

The IDFA feature is essentially a way for advertisers to target Apple users and measure engagement, says Brian DeCicco, executive director of customer strategy at Mindshare.

“What IDFA can do for vendors is twofold,” says DeCicco. “You can determine what actions a user performs in an application and connect those actions to an IDFA profile.” The second, DeCicco says, allows sellers to capture consumer interaction with digital ads and attach it to an IDFA. “This helps you understand engagement and measure the performance of an advertising campaign,” he says.

The changes in IDFA will affect even some of the bigger ad platforms. Facebook, for example, is widely regarded as one of the biggest and best when it comes to getting consumers to install apps. The company offers two technologies, App Event Optimization (AEO) and Value Optimizations (VO), to find new users for mobile vendors.

Without IDFA, however, brands will face an uphill battle to acquire iOS users through AEO and VO technologies, something Facebook has incorporated into a multi-million dollar business, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

“Will these specific product lines have an impact on Facebook? Yes, [IDFA changes] It will have an impact, “says Wagman, the MediaLink executive.

According to Wagman, direct-to-consumer brands hoping to go from being the 400th most popular app to 25th will use AEO and VO to capture that growth. “Or is it a tactic that agencies will use to generate more downloads for the Home Depot application, [for example]” he says.

A Facebook spokeswoman told Ad Age in an emailed statement that she is working with her partners to better understand the latest updates from Apple and how they affect businesses and people. “We share the industry’s desire for greater transparency and controls in the way ads are run online, while ensuring that personalized advertising continues to deliver value to both individuals and businesses,” Facebook said.