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We are so proud of our very own Chris Lucas who has been shortlisted for Thinkbox Young TV Planner of the Year.  A fantastic achievement and so well deserved.  Standing strong as a truly independent media agency alongside the networks. Best of luck for the awards ceremony in July! See the full shortlist here Thinkbox TV Planning Awards 2021 shortlist revealed

Our Digital Team have put together a brilliant guide to Privacy Sandbox, Googles alternative to 3rd part cookies…..

Privacy Sandbox – what is it & what does it all mean?

With so many up-coming changes road mapped by Google for 2021, we have put together the following guide to help advertisers and brands de-bunk the tech chat and help paint a clear picture of what Google is trying to achieve over the coming months.

The end is nigh for 3rd party cookies on Chrome…

With Safari & Mozilla already phasing out 3rd party cookies, Google have said that they will do the same by 2022: “Users are demanding greater privacy–including transparency, choice, and control over how their data is used – and it’s clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands.”

But what is it getting replaced with?  The answer is far from simple.  Google needs to find a way to offer users greater privacy without a negative impact on advertisers’ online business.

Operation Privacy Sandbox

Historically, websites have relied on 3rd party cookies to track interactions, ad views, clicks and conversions on other websites.  This gives advertisers the ability to track user intent & interests to serve them more targeted and relevant advertising.

All seems great, right?

Wrong – the 3rd party supply chain can often be intricate, and users are sometimes not aware of who has access to their data and what it is being used for, which is giving Google a privacy headache…

Google are pitching its Privacy Sandbox as an alternative to third party cookies, replacing them with 5 application programme interfaces (API’s); Trust API, the privacy budget API, Conversion Measurement API, Federated Learning of Cohorts & PIGIN (private interest groups, including noise).

Advertisers will receive anonymised signals from each API from within a user’s Google Chrome browser based on an individual’s browsing habits.  Storing and processing all user data in the browser means it will stay on the user’s device and is privacy compliant.

One of the biggest changes we are anticipating with the roll-out of Googles Privacy Sandbox is the switch from third party data (data sourced from other websites) to first party data (data sourced on your own website), and how valuable that then becomes to advertisers and publishers.

FLoC (Federated Cohorts of Learning)

The Privacy Sandbox initiative is still having its substance tested and that will continue until it is rolled out in 2022.  The latest API to come under scrutiny is the Federal Learning of Cohorts; Google has claimed that FLoC has the ability to drive 95% of conversions compared with cookie-based advertising.

Chetna Bindra, Google’s senior product manager has said that “the performance we’re seeing with FLoC shows that it’s nearly as effective as third-party cookies.”

Privacy is also not an issue.  FLoC groups users into cohorts based on their browsing behaviour so that individuals are, at least theoretically, indistinguishable from the other people in their cohort.

Testing will continue across all aspects of the Privacy Sandbox – The Chrome 90 release in April will see the first controls for the Privacy Sandbox implementation and FLoC-based cohorts will be available for the public in March.

What does this mean for consumers, publishers & advertisers?

The reality is Google cannot please everyone with these changes.  There are obvious flaws & loopholes that are being exploited through third party cookie tracking and the tech is old and tired.

For consumers, the changes are very much welcome – better privacy of their data (in theory) and no annoying privacy policy pop-ups to accept.

It is unclear at this stage what exactly will change for advertisers, only that there will almost certainly be changes.  Any data sourced from third party cookies will naturally be removed from advertising platforms.  The switch to first party data is significant though and advertisers could end up with a much more stable and reliable view of user behaviour across the ecosystem.

Many publishers are well ahead of Googles proposed plans and have already made changes to start collecting their own first party data, preventing such a reliance on third party cookie tracking and it gives them a far more accurate set of data.

However, Google’s motives are coming under fire about why they are now choosing to change the way we collect and use people’s data; if the industry is dependent on Google creating this solution, it gives them control over an important element of the advertising ecosystem.  And by forcing the ad market to adopt Chromes first party solution, spend on third party platforms is likely to dry-up and get moved across to Google.

So, is this a change that benefits Google or the end-user?  

The next few months will be very interesting.  Testing will continue (Google are openly asking for input & feedback from publishers/advertisers), and the first roll-out on Google Ads in Q2 will give advertisers, brands, and publishers some important insight into how things are developing.

If your advertising strategies are heavily reliant on third party data, start considering alternatives now – contact Mostly Media and speak to our Digital team today on 01225 302270.

We’re very excited this week at Mostly Media as our lovely client thortful.com, launch their Valentine’s campaign.  The brilliant TV ad was created by Happy Hour

See the TV ad here

Mostly Media have welcomed Group Account Director, Kieren Mills, to the company’s board.  Kieren joined the business in February 2020 from Bray Leino, where he was head of broadcast.  Managing Director, Stuart Smith said ‘following what can best be described as a turbulent year, we absolutely believe that Kieren adds a huge amount of value to our management team.  Thankfully, we appear to have bucked the trend in 2020 with several fantastic new business win’s including Look After My Bills, Thortful and Oak Tree Mobility and Kieren has been instrumental in this process.  Our staff and clients alike are starting to reap the benefits of Kieren’s considerable experience and ability’.

Kieren Mills commented ‘I am really happy to have been promoted to the board at Mostly Media.  I joined a year ago and it has been a real rollercoaster of emotions with all that has gone on in the world.  As a new starter, it would have been very easy for them to have let me go when the world was crashing all around us back in March, I am glad to say that they kept the faith in me and it has been great for me to be able to repay that by playing a part in the success of the company this year.  Mostly is a fantastic company to work for, has a great reputation and I have been amazed by the talent, dedication and positive attitude of everybody here and I am really excited to help shape this rapidly growing company’s future.’

Mostly Media has recently been appointed by Cornwall Air Ambulance to launch their new TV campaign showcasing the charity’s hard work and dedication to saving lives.

To coincide with the charity’s appearance in the documentary series ‘Cornwall Air 999’, the supporting TV ads have been ensuring that viewers of the programme are reminded of the significant work the charity does on a daily basis.  The documentary, narrated by Cornwall resident and national treasure Dawn French, gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the charity as cameras followed the dedicated crew of paramedics and pilots on their missions during the Summer of 2020 – a year that has provided the charity with many unique challenges.

Since its launch in 1987 as the UK’s first air ambulance charity, Cornwall Air Ambulance have flown over 28,000 missions, saving thousands of lives in the process; but their valiant efforts require donations from the public.  Thanks to the documentary, the charity hope that this will increase awareness of their work and encourage anybody who loves Cornwall to keep the helicopter flying.

Stuart Beveridge, Communications and Marketing Manager at Cornwall Air Ambulance, said “In a year when all of our lives have changed, something that hasn’t changed is the impact of people’s support.  As a charity we rely on public donations to save lives.  With traditional fundraising events cancelled, we’ve had to look at new ways to spread our message and reach wider audiences.  Working with Mostly Media, we’ve been able to position our advert alongside our new TV series, maximising the potential for viewers to give.”

Kieren Mills, Group Account Director at Mostly Media, said “At a time when a lot of charities are struggling and every penny counts, it has been a real honour to be chosen by Cornwall Air Ambulance to deliver their TV activity.  We look forward to helping them raise much-needed funding so they are able to continue their amazing work.”

You can watch the new TV ad in the latest episodes of ‘Cornwall Air 999’ every Tuesday and Sunday on Really at 9pm.

If you would like to donate to the charity directly,  you can do so here by visiting https://cornwallairambulancetrust.org/donate/

Mostly Media are delighted to announce they have been appointed by thortful.com to manage their offline media planning & buying.  thortful is a creative card marketplace supporting a community of designers, illustrators and photographers who create beautiful, unique greeting cards (most of which you won’t find anywhere else!).

Alexandra Tooher, Head of offline advertising said “Next year will be a hugely important year for thortful, and our offline media strategy will be a big part of this.  From my first meeting with the Mostly Media team, I knew they would be the perfect fit for us.  Their years of experience with direct response media, combined with their data driven approach makes them our perfect partner, and we’re really looking forward to working with them, and all the exciting things we will be able to achieve together.”

Stuart Smith, Managing Director at Mostly Media said ‘the entire team are absolutely thrilled to work alongside such a wonderful brand and are extremely excited to be involved at such a critical time in the business’ development.  It’s not often that every member of our team is already a customer of the brands we work with but with thortful this was the case.  From our first conversation with Alex we were positive that our track record in helping digital native brands scale at pace using offline media would be the perfect fit and we now just can’t wait to get going.”