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July 14, 2021updated 30 Sep 2022 10:27am

Bauer and News UK develop first-party targeted data for advertisers as industry prepares for cookie-less web

By Charlotte Tobitt

Bauer Media and News UK are the latest publishers to launch new first-party data platforms as the industry prepares for an internet without third-parties cookies.

Bauer Media has launched Bauer Illuminate, which will provide data-led targeted advertising across its magazine and radio brands. It aims to beat growing regulations facing third-party cookies and privacy in the advertising industry and heightened awareness of the importance of first-party data instead.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is currently investigating Google’s proposals to remove third-party cookies, which help publishers such as Bauer make money from personalised and targeted advertising, from its Chrome browser and replace them with a privacy-first alternative.

The changes had been expected to roll out next year but Google announced last month they would be delayed until the end of 2023 to allow more time to get the ecosystem right.

Bauer is one of a growing number of media companies not waiting for the changes to be thrust upon them and instead trialling their own alternatives.

[Read more: Charts show Bauer domination of consumer magazine industry]

Bauer Illuminate is running in an initial phase that allows advertisers to buy Bauer’s digital consumers across key audience segments based on their online behaviour.

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The first four segments available to advertisers are auto intenders, entertainment enthusiasts, fashion and beauty, and parents and families, featuring brands like Empire, Grazia, Motor Cycle News (MCN), car review site Parkers, Mother & Baby, Absolute Radio, Kiss and Magic.

Clare Chamberlain, Bauer’s magazines sales director, said: “Bauer Illuminate offers a new exclusive gateway to Bauer’s diverse and scalable audiences, drawn from a wide range of consumer lifestyles and interests powered by Bauer’s influential magazine and radio brands.


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“Developed with privacy at its core and built using Bauer’s first-party data, Illuminate was created as a solution to the increasing governmental and browser regulations and the detrimental impact it has had on marketeers’ ability to target important and valuable audiences across Bauer’s websites.”

[Read more: UK publishers face losing hundreds of millions in display ad revenue when Google switches off third-party cookies]

As brand safety has become an increasingly important feature of the marketing sector, Bauer said Illuminate would also give advertisers the guarantee that their campaigns would be placed within high-quality, safe content as they would know in advance exactly which audiences they were targeting.

Real-time targeting means advertisers can reach customers at times when they are most likely to respond, maximising their return on investment.

Bauer’s head of programmatic, Elliott Donnelly, said: “Advertisers will have access to a high-quality content environment where data is protected and respected, and safe. It is accountable and transparent so our advertisers will be able to know who their advertising is reaching, where it appears and what the outcomes of that advertising is in terms of results and effectiveness.

“The launch highlights Bauer’s ongoing desire to find a long term, scalable new digital currency for targeting and measurement and we look forward to working with our industry peers across the ecosystem to deliver and improve first-party data-led solutions.”

[Read more: How G/O Media and the New York Times plan to use first-party data to entice advertisers]

Meanwhile, News UK has launched Nucleus, a first-party data platform giving advertisers access to, it says 36.5m online users across the Times, Times Radio, Sun, Virgin Radio and Talksport brands.

Nucleus combines rich first-party demographic data with unique declared and contextual targeting information so advertisers can benefit from both traditional user metrics and newer insight such as opinions, preference, and emotions.

Commercial director Ben Walmsley said using emotions to target consumers can increase advertising consumption by up to 45%.

“The power of emotion as a targeting mechanism is becoming ever more important,” he said.

“Emotions drive actions and the rich storytelling approach across the News UK portfolio of brands inspires emotions in a way no other media format can. 

“First-party data gives brands greater targeting accuracy, ensures that they remain privacy compliant and future proofs their activities in a rapidly changing market. Nucleus will now form a part of all partnership briefs, ensuring campaigns are tailored to our audience’s preferences, options and emotional resonance.”

News UK is also part of industry collaboration The Ozone Project, which acts as a single platform selling digital ad space across a network of sites including Guardian, Telegraph, and Reach brands.

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