Selected Content: The Post Cookie Era

Third-party cookies are dead! Browsers such as Firefox and Safari, followed by Chrome and Google, already put data protection first and block tracking from the outset. The consequence? “Publishers and marketers need to ditch third-party tracking and focus on building customer relationships. Contextual advertising is the new cookie,” says martech expert Michael Sturm, CEO of TMSe.

Precisely this approach is pursued at Selected Content, a brand of Reflex Verlag. Oscar Nyberg's company entered the cross-media marketing of contextual advertising 14 years ago. Since 2021, Selected Content has relied on the non-consent, cookieless technology from Adnuntius. As a full service partner, the team around Ingo Schulz, Senior Executive Project Manager of Selected Content, supports publishers with the necessary technology and the right advertising customers to then market the cookieless traffic from their websites. “With the end of third-party cookies, new, innovative strategies for using data are required. The most reliable strategy is and remains context-related advertising,” emphasizes Ingo Schulz.

Contextual advertising uses keywords, category information, and other information on a page to ensure ads are relevant to the context in which they appear. In the case of Selected Content, this means: If users visit a website and reject the use of cookies, the Adnuntius technology switches on and selected content plays context-related, targeted advertising to the user. For example, instead of being bombarded with business ads when reading a travel guide, customers see hotel recommendations for their next vacation.

For Ingo Schulz, the step away from cookies and towards a GDPR-compliant technology is the only sensible way: "With cookieless advertising, we are complying with the ePrivacy regulation, which is expected to come into force in 2023, the ever stricter requirements, and at the same time we prioritize the customers’ need for data protection.”

Relying on context may seem odd at first, but it's far from new. When it comes to advertising on TV or in magazines, brands have always relied on the environment. During sports broadcasts, advertising customers with a connection to sports, from clothing to betting, are presented. On the other hand, when the score and the time are displayed, clocks are advertised. "Contextual targeting can produce great results and is also one of the things that publishers are great at because they already have editorial content as a source of information," explains Oscar Nyberg, CEO of Reflex Verlag. In addition, by not using cookies in their advertising activities, companies ensure that they act in compliance with the GDPR and that their ads appear in an environment that suits the brand and is relevant to their target group through contextual targeting.