Biggest Brands Will Lose Use of 43% of EU Audience Data After GDPR Day, Say Media Buyers

More Contextual Targeting Ad Campaigns Will Fill Data Gap

Senior media buyers for hundreds of the world’s biggest brands are predicting 43 per cent of EU consumer audience data will be unusable after the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25th May 2018.

The research by contextual technology leaders, Vibrant Media, was conducted after the vast majority of brands have executed their compliance strategies, just one week before the GDPR takes effect. Some of the problems brands are reporting include: low opt-in rates to email databases; slow uptake to review and set communications preferences; low traffic rates to websites so explicit consent can be attained; and a lack of confidence in the adequacy of GDPR compliance.

Even though nearly half of media buyers (48 per cent) think that infringements of the GDPR will be difficult to enforce, media agencies are reporting a decline in spend on the most GDPR compromised marketing strategies. For example, two fifths of media buyers (42 per cent) say that the GDPR is resulting in a drop in programmatic spend. Brands are telling them that the reputational risk of a GDPR-infringing programmatic campaigns is enough to put such strategies on hiatus. There are even rumours that brands planning to continue running GDPR-risky campaigns have established budget lines to pay for fines.

Vibrant Media’s CEO, Doug Stevenson, said, “GDPR is forcing brands to rethink their marketing. This is a positive change for consumers. Agency execs are predicting that 43% of consumers will choose to opt out of an involuntary data relationship with brands, which presents a real opportunity to build trust with consumers so they opt-in to a more positive, transparent relationship.”

“The reach of data reliant marketing campaigns will be greatly reduced after 25th May 2018. To maintain necessary scale, brands need to deploy marketing strategies that are keenly targeted to consumers but unreliant on data. Perhaps that’s why seven out of ten media buyers (68 per cent) told Vibrant Media’s researchers that more emphasis will be placed on contextual targeting ad campaigns in response to the GDPR. Placing ads within contextually relevant editorial targets consumers by their interests but without relying on consumer data such as cookies.”

Research conducted by Vibrant Media’s research department into the opinions of senior ad buyers and planners at top media agencies, including agenda21, OMD, Kingpin Communications, Mediacom, MEC, Mindshare, Neo @ Ogilvy, PHD International and Total Media

About Vibrant Media
Vibrant Media, a leader in contextual technologies, deliver cookie-free marketing solutions, making it easier to display advertising that is relevant to what people care about at the best possible moment. Vibrant’s precise keyword level targeting enables advertisers to reach privacy conscious consumers with advertisements that are 100% cookie-free, viewable, relevant and engaging. With over 6,600 premium publishers, reaching more than 450 million unique users per month, Vibrant delivers native advertising at scale. Vibrant works with top brand advertisers such as Microsoft, Unilever, Chrysler and AT&T. The company was founded in 2000 and has offices in New York, Toronto, San Francisco, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, London, Hamburg, Munich and Dusseldorf. For more information about Vibrant, please visit  or