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The Guardian unveils contextual ad model in Australia as a post-cookie solution


By Shawn Lim, Reporter, Asia Pacific

November 25, 2021 | 3 min read

British media publisher The Guardian has launched machine learning models in Australia to evaluate the context of thousands of articles on its website to deliver contextually relevant ads that are not reliant on cookies or personal identifiers.


The Guardian hopes this innovation will improve its audiences’ experience with advertising

With the help of Google and Essence, the production of hundreds of ads was automated, with each ad customized for contextual relevance on individual article pages.

The Guardian hopes this innovation will improve its audiences’ experience with advertising, enhance advertisers’ campaign performance results and power an advertising solution that does not use cookies.

It will also address the ways advertisers and agencies in Australia are looking at how to deliver impactful advertising in a future-proofed way.

This was launched in Australia with a Google Nest campaign to promote the Nest Hub after successful campaigns by The Guardian in the United Kingdom and the United States that saw strong lifts in brand metrics such as purchase consideration and category understanding.

“I am excited about this project - working alongside Google and Essence, we can launch this technology here in Australia,” said Mason Rook, the commercial director for Australia at The Guardian.

“This innovation brings the opportunity for the Guardian to offer renewed levels of relevance to brands through their advertising placement while maintaining a seamless personalized ad experience.”

Rob Maddison, the media lead for Australia and New Zealand at Google explained the tech giant prioritizes reaching its audience in a privacy-respecting manner.

“By coupling this with machine learning-powered ad technology, we can demonstrate the benefits of the Google Nest Hub in a relevant environment based on the context of articles and editorials people are reading. We are thrilled to have worked closely with The Guardian as a partner that can enable innovation within a premium and trusted news environment,” he says.

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