Exclusive – Generation Media on YouTube targeted advertising

Published on: 27th August 2019

Josh Quirke, associate director of Digital at Generation Media, discusses YouTube’s plans to stop targeted ads on kids’ content.

Josh Quirk.

Last week, Bloomberg reported that YouTube is gearing up to stop ‘targeted’ ads appearing on kids’ videos across their platform, following the Federal Trade Commission’s investigation into whether YouTube breached the Children’s Online Privacy Act (COPPA). This has led to a flurry of speculation on the impact that this change will have on our industry.

YouTube has been accused by several consumer groups of regularly collecting data on minors to use in targeted advertising. However, the company has long maintained that its platform is not aimed at children, despite cartoon and nursery rhyme videos racking up billions of views.

There are two broad types of targeting across YouTube; the first being contextual targeting and second using an array of digital signals, including demographic, Google search and browser history. The recently proposed change would only affect the latter by removing the option to use this data when running ads across kids’ content.

At Generation Media, we have long recognised the limitations of Google’s targeting data. Over the past two years, we have worked to design a variety of buying models that focuses purely on the content that we serve our campaigns across. All our buying routes are compliant with the current COPPA and GDPR-K regulations with a focus on contextual targeting which will not be affected.


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