Adtech firms are failing to contextualise keywords, leading to “overblocking”

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
January 21, 2020, 12:13 PM UTC

Some of the “best and most trusted content” is getting blocked inadvertently.

Merrick School of Business’ study highlights the inaccuracy of keyword blacklists when determining the online content where ads are permitted to be shown. The inability to understand the context in which a given word or phrase appears has resulted in “overblocking”.

This has led to an estimated loss of $3.2 billion in digital revenue for publications in the UK, US, Japan and Australia in 2019. CHEQ’s Jonathan Marciano said that they were “entirely unable” to monetise from articles on Game of Thrones due to “unsafe” keywords like “death”, “shot” and “kill”.

ICO’s Simon McDougall said that the justifications for using “legitimate interests” as the lawful basis for processing personal data in real-time bidding were inadequate. Further, basic data protection controls regarding security, data retention and sharing are insufficient.

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