Ad vets to create universal ID and loyalty reward program to woo consumers
A cohort of ad industry veterans and tech platforms are launching BritePool, an identity solution for digital advertising that aims to provide consumers with some level of control over who uses their data. Along the way, it hopes to offer agencies and brands an alternative to the so-called duopoly of Google and Facebook.
Publishers such as CBS, Publishers Clearing House, as well as IBM, are already on board for BritePool, which will offer people who allow brands to use their data the ability to earn rewards such as free Uber rides, for example.
The move comes at a time when an increasing number of companies are attempting to create a standardized universal ID, one that preempts looming regulation while also providing marketers with a user base large enough to rival walled gardens.
Companies such as Google and Facebook hold significant leverage over marketers because both have massive amounts of logged-in users that enable marketers to target consumers with ads. Outside the duopoly, however, advertisers are often forced to use cookie-based solutions, which are becoming increasingly irrelevant given the fragmented landscape. Browsers such as Apple’s Safari are blocking them altogether.
BritePool, which is a commercial entity, has stakeholders that include industry veterans Bob Perkins, previously an executive at TBWA\Chiat\Day and a former Pizza Hut chief marketing officer, as well as David Moore, founder of 24/7 RealMedia, which sold for $650 million to WPP in 2007. Ad tech players MediaMath and Sonobi also have a stake in the effort, and are contributing engineers, tech and data, the company says.
“Cookies were very good for a while, but they’ve failed,” says Perkins, BritePool’s chief operating officer. “We are the only people trying to engineer a cookie-less world.”
BritePool points to research it conducted with the University of Southern California, where 9 percent of 1,500 people surveyed said they do not believe they are in control of their personal data. The report adds that 73 percent of consumers want control over who sees their data; 71 percent want to know how it is used and 61 percent desire incentives for their data, whether it’s cash or other perks, for example.
Perkins says BritePool intends to offer its users points that can be exchanged for various rewards. Although he said it’s too early to say what those rewards would be, they would be along the lines of free rides or a free pizza, for example.
Though it's a seemingly impossible task, Perkins says it’s critical to create an alternative to Google and Facebook.
“If the agency world decides it’s more trouble than it’s worth to compete with Google and Facebook they’ll just use them,” Perkins says. “We must convince advertisers we have a competitive ROI and that we need to level the playing field."
Even if consumers join BritePool, other companies that collect user data will continue to do so. Once regulations falls into place, however, BritePool will become more effective, Perkins says, because it will act as intermediary telling advertisers which consumers have (or haven't) given consent to use their data.
BritePool says it will have a sizable amount of consumer data when it launches in July thanks in large part to MediaMath and Sonobi. It hopes to attract new users through ads placed on publisher partner website once it goes live, Perkins says.