W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-tracking@w3.org > July 2012

Re: Frequency Capping

From: Jonathan Mayer <jmayer@stanford.edu>
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2012 15:26:33 -0700
To: Tamir Israel <tisrael@cippic.ca>
Cc: Chris Mejia <chris.mejia@iab.net>, Grimmelmann, James <James.Grimmelmann@nyls.edu>, W3C DNT Working Group Mailing List <public-tracking@w3.org>, Mike Zaneis <mike@iab.net>, Brendan Riordan-Butterworth <Brendan@iab.net>
Message-ID: <7E82B26341194011BD9AD41418F7EE0E@gmail.com>
I believe Chris Mejia entirely misunderstood my note yesterday, and the thread has since careened into a conversation about the business relationships and economic value associated with frequency capping.  While those topics appear to have been educational for some participants—please continue!—that was not at all my aim.

I want to have a software engineering discussion about how frequency capping is currently implemented, and how it might be implemented in ways that better protect consumer privacy.  The CEO of AppNexus was kind enough to give details of his company's implementation which, as he explained, does not neatly integrate into a privacy-preserving approach.  Leonid Litvin from PulsePoint suggested that the algorithm I proposed—which is compatible with a privacy-preserving approach—might work.  Let's pick up from there.


On Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 2:29 PM, Tamir Israel wrote:

> OK Chris, I agree. I think my point was that DNT-1 is less a rejection  
> of the value exchange than, say, AdBlock or a similar plugin.
> I understand that targeted impressions are worth more and I've heard  
> they generate more click-through.
> I simply meant to say that DNT-1 a.) still allows impressions; and b.)  
> still allows contextual targeting (by site, etc.), so its value is not '0'.
> Two quick side notes:
> I am not remotely convinced this spec is going to lead to ubiquitous  
> DNT-1, and I don't think this working group is currently considering  
> anything that might make this the case; and
> Also, I am no longer saying there is no value to F-capping for DNT-1s.  
> It makes sense to me that at least some types of advertisers would want  
> to just reach 'everyone' so would purchase, say, 10 million impressions  
> hoping to reach 5-10 million people (whether targeted or not). On this  
> scale, there is a definite risk of a DNT-1 user seeing the same  
> advertisement more than once, and also there is a benefit to maximizing  
> the ad campaign's reach, as desired, so some form of frequency capping  
> would seem to have value.
> On 7/11/2012 5:08 PM, Chris Mejia wrote:
> > Thanks Tamir. I stand corrected--consumers who elect to express DNT:1 MAY
> > not have completely opted out of the value exchange, you're right.
> > However, their relative value to the value exchange certainly goes down.
> > To further explain, when users see un-targeted (randomly placed) ads that
> > are not based on their general interests, they are likely to ignore those
> > ads. In ignoring those misplaced ads, it's a double-whammy on industry:
> > we pay to serve ads that the consumer will never engage with, nor buy
> > their products/services. Obviously this decreases the relative value of
> > that consumer engagement and lowers the overall revenue the publisher may
> > charge an advertiser in connection with the serving of the advertiser's
> > ads to that non-targeted consumer. In this case, f-capping would be even
> > more important from a cost-savings perspective; the more non-relevant ads
> > I serve a consumer, the more cost associated-- f-capping limits delivery
> > and thus limits costs. Also, it's probably not a stretch to assume that
> > many advertisers may not want to serve their ads at all to consumers who
> > are expressing DNT:1. Enter the digital divide once again: anti-targeting
> > may lead to a situation where the only ads being served to 'lower-value'
> > DNT:1 users are the ones everyone would rather avoid (annoying content ads
> > that are served only on a CPA basis). Premium content ads are generally
> > very expensive to produce and serve (premium rich media ads cost more to
> > serve), so my educated guess is that advertisers wont want to take a
> > chance on where they will spend money serving these ads. So imagine that
> > premium advertisers contractually obligate their publishers to set
> > f-capping at 0/24 for DNT:1 users (this means that the premium ad would
> > never be shown to the DNT:1 user). To play the end game, if DNT:1 signals
> > were ubiquitous on the Web, the overall value of "free access" publishing
> > would go down and I believe there would be a rapid proliferation of
> > payment gateways in response (the money to pay for content and innovation
> > has to come from somewhere). Once again, enter the new digital divide
> > (where the 'haves' pay for access and the 'have nots" are denied access,
> > based on financial ability to pay), courtesy of this working group, IF we
> > don't get it right.
> >  
> > Chris Mejia | Digital Supply Chain Solutions | Ad Technology Group |
> > Interactive Advertising Bureau - IAB
> >  
> >  
> >  
> > On 7/11/12 1:15 PM, "Tamir Israel"<tisrael@cippic.ca (mailto:tisrael@cippic.ca)> wrote:
> >  
> > > Chris -- I personally found your explanation very useful so thank you.
> > >  
> > > On 7/11/2012 3:27 PM, Chris Mejia wrote:
> > > > Advertisers have plenty of
> > > > reasonable business reasons to require f-capping in their contracts:
> > > > i.e.
> > > > a) not annoy consumers with overdelivery when such annoyance leads to
> > > > negative advertiser brand association, and b) not needlessly waste ad
> > > > impressions and money on serving ads over and over again to users who
> > > > have
> > > > opted out of the value exchange in the first place.
> > > >  
> > >  
> > > It's not clear to me that selecting a DNT-1 means opting out of the
> > > value exchange. The very fact that you need to F-cap those who have
> > > chosen to send a DNT-1 seems to imply that these impressions remain
> > > valuable, at least to some extent (or, I imagine, no ad would be served
> > > at all and we need not worry about annoying users with repeated
> > > exposures or maximizing ROI).
> > >  
> > > Best,
> > > Tamir
> > >  
> >  
> >  
Received on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 22:27:08 UTC

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