DigiTrust returns to the fore with a renewed pitch to publishers

The ongoing IAB Tech Fronts this week is geared towards progressing the wider marketing industry’s understanding of ad tech, and yesterday saw Rubicon Project give airtime to the thinking behind a proposed way of coming up with a unified ID.

A key point of yesterday’s showcase (15 March) was Rubicon Project donating part of its time in the limelight to highlight the reemergence of a coalition of ad tech companies collectively known as DigiTrust.

Initially launched midway through 2014, this alliance is geared towards creating a standard ID for web users, so individual ad tech companies won’t have to overload their publisher-partners’ pages with multiple pieces of software, or pixels.

The initial charge towards encouraging a widespread adoption of the DigiTrust ID was driven by ad tech companies (*a more comprehensive list of the companies involved in the coalition can be seen at the bottom of the page) but the second iteration of the nonprofit will be publisher-led, according to Jordan Mitchell, VP of product at Rubicon Project, and de facto CEO of DigiTrust.

During his presentation he appealed to those publishers present to adopt the proposals put forward by the collective, which would then require them to request that users opt-in to the terms and conditions put forward by DigiTrust.

Speaking with The Drum, Mitchell said that up to 40 publishers across the US and Europe, including a number of the rising publisher consortia, are looking at the proposals.

“There had been some problems in terms of deployment,” said Mitchel talking about the previous efforts to encourage uptake of the unified ID, which had been hampered by altering regulatory restrictions over user privacy.

However, the renewed approach is more likely to achieve success, given that publishers have a more direct-to-consumer relationship with audiences.

“There will be similar challenges in terms of deployment, but what you really get is the benefit of the [consumer] opt-in, and the publisher is better placed to explain that the value to the consumer is under the hood,” he added.

This value is provided by reducing the number of “ID requests” from ad tech companies on a publisher’s website, which then generates a third-party user ID for said tech providers. These ID requests then significantly diminish the audience experience, as the process of syncing these multiple ID requests can significantly reduce page load times.

The theory of the DigiTrust leadership is that consumers will opt-in to the unified user ID request, which can be collectively used by the constituent members of the collation to monetise publisher inventory, if publishers can articulate the benefit to them.

Mitchell is hopeful that consumers will opt-in once the benefits are explained to them.

“This should alleviate anxieties around things like page load times, etc… The [EU] cookie notice is something they are used to,” he added.

“The ad ecosystem has been poor when it comes to including consumers in how it evolves, and that’s what we see as the opportunity.”

Mitchell was unable to talk publicly if any publishers have signed up to the pivoted proposals, but was able to confirm that negotiations are ongoing.

*33Across, Index Exchange, Centro, Dstillery, Neustar OpenX, PubMatic, Rubicon Project, RUN, Sizmek and SpotX.