The Early Impact of Requesting GDPR-Compliant Consent on Native Ads: The Case of a Native Ad Publisher
Posted: 5 Sep 2020
Date Written: May 15, 2020
The protection of user personal data is increasingly important, as emphasized in the European Union (EU)’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR, with its stricter requirements (e.g., consent) and broader territorial scope, is considered a role model for countries that are moving toward adopting privacy protection legislation, and may have profound impact on online advertising. One form of online advertising, native advertising, has been increasingly popular and is expected to gain more importance. We take advantage of an event created by a native ad publisher’s request of GDPR-compliant explicit consent to data collection and ad personalization from the users with EU IP addresses, and empirically examine its early impact on native ads. We find that while the number of ad impressions is not affected significantly, there is a statistically significant decrease in the publisher’s native ad revenue-per-impression among the users with EU IP addresses. The decrease is jointly affected by the decreases in revenue-per-click and click-through rates. The decrease in revenue-per-click is consistent with the decrease in ad bid price, which is further in line with the decrease in ad conversion rates. Moreover, we show that the decreases in ad metrics are attenuated for the advertisers of top brands.
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