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TV has always been a cornerstone of advertising campaigns due to its unique ability to employ sight, sound and motion to grab viewers’ attention, and now, with new digital privacy regulations, it’s also important to know that TV can enable you to connect with households in a more privacy-compliant way.

The General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR, went into effect in Europe this year and fundamentally changed how marketers collect and use data for targeted advertising. In the U.S., the regulation led many global advertisers to take a hard look at data collection practices and about what information needs to be collected, and what can—and can’t—be shared with partners. And it looks like public sentiment will give way to more privacy regulation, whether it’s determined state by state or nationally. California’s digital privacy rules go into effect in 2020, and a similar privacy bill was introduced in New Jersey. A PwC survey found that just half of U.S. businesses affected by the California legislation expect to be compliant by the 2020 deadline.

Regulation is coming at the same time that interest in addressable TV is growing. And since addressable TV has natural safeguards built into it to protect privacy, now is the time for marketers that are reviewing their privacy practices to add addressable TV into their mix. Advertisers know that ultimately, reaching people with relevant messages is key to improving their television advertising ROI and enhancing the overall TV viewing experience, whether for live or on demand, in a home or on a mobile device. The challenge, then, is conducting addressable advertising in a way that completely safeguards consumer data and optimizes relevant ad experiences.

The good news is that TV provides more privacy-compliant ways to reach target audiences—now and for a long time to come.

How Addressable TV Safeguards Data

Addressable advertising, and TV generally, have built-in privacy safeguards. From the beginning, addressable TV advertising has been built to target at the household level, not the individual level. What’s more, addressable TV advertising doesn’t handle personally identifiable information (PII).

One way marketers could preserve customer trust while still delivering relevant ad experiences is by putting a standardized workflow in place between broadcasters and operators.

For example, Sky and Virgin Media work with a blind matching partner to create audience segments using first- and third-party data matched against Virgin or Sky subscriber files. The partner anonymizes those segments by turning them into a unique random identifier, which is then pushed into the Cadent Advanced TV Platform, which is running on premises at the operator. Cadent then matches addressable ad placement opportunities against that anonymous ID. Aggregated reporting is provided, and no ad requests or data leave Sky or Virgin’s network.

This is a more-privacy-compliant approach to TV advertising because persistent IDs and audience qualifiers aren’t propagated outside Sky or Virgin’s footprints—the companies retain control of their data at all times, even in anonymized forms.

In short, Sky and Virgin protect the commercial integrity of their data while maintaining the highest level of privacy for consumers. It’s also a win for broadcasters, content owners and advertisers delivering household addressable advertising to subscribers, who will receive a better, more relevant advertising experience.

There are no fundamental barriers to this kind of partnership; it comes down to simply putting a workflow in place.

It’s inevitable that change will come to data and privacy compliance in the U.S. Reaching customers could get a lot more expensive, complicated and challenging. Addressable TV offers a more privacy-compliant, effective alternative. And as sophisticated targeting continues to attract advertisers to the medium, it becomes an even more compelling alternative to digital advertising platforms.