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The Advertising ID Consortium today (June 19) announced that it will integrate the DigiTrust ID, a development members claim will help avoid potential conflicts of interest. 

The integration of DigiTrust’s audience data – post its acquisition by The IAB Tech Lab – into the wider consortium means that advertisers using its open identity framework can target audiences using three cookie IDs, ie the Open Ad-IDThe Trade Desk’s Unified Open ID, and the DigiTrust ID.

The addition of DigiTrust’s ID service means members can target audiences at even greater scale with the not-for-profit operation, which has been in operation since 2015, earlier working with a select group of publishers.

Founded by AppNexus, Index Exchange, and LiveRamp in 2017, the consortium enables buyers and sellers of programmatic advertising to leverage people-based marketing to create more relevant campaigns and improve user experience. Although, its initial reliance on the LiveRamp user ID had caused trepidation among some of the founding members with demand-side platform MediaMath withdrawing its earlier pledged support, according to AdExchanger

Speaking separately with The Drum, Andrew Casale, Index Exchange, chief executive officer, and board member of the consortium, explained that the addition of a non-commercial ID meant that participating members could now do so in a manner that was ‘conflict-free’.

“There was a bunch of feedback on the original proposed design of the Advertising ID Consortium, one of the things was that with only one domain [for targeting] that was not enough and could potentially create a conflict of interest,” he said.

“Since that point, we've expanded from one to three domains that all effectively back each other up … two of those are commercial, and one of those domains [DigiTrust] is intended to be owned by a non-commercial entity. This effectively creates choice so that participation in the consortium does not require the usage of a domain and that may, or may not be perceived as a conflict with your business.”

The parties behind the latest development claim it will facilitate easier synchronization of user IDs plus better enable ‘people-based marketing’ outside of the industry’s ‘walled gardens’.

A press release announcing the latest development quotes Mike O’Sullivan, Index Exchange, senior director, product, as saying: “The addition of a third common domain through DigiTrust, a well-known and trusted coalition of key independent publishers and platforms, amplifies our scale and reach for the ultimate benefit of consumers.”

It goes on to quote Jordan Mitchell, IAB Tech Lab, senior vice president of membership and operations, and founder of DigiTrust, as saying: “It’s clear DigiTrust and the Consortium are both focused on creating a better experience for consumers, more financial support for publishers, and increased efficiency for buyers.”

Also commenting on the initiative, Danny Spears, Guardian News & Media’s programmatic director, said it would help create “a path to neutral governance of identity and user preferences”.

Speaking earlier with The Drum, Brian O’Kelley, AppNexus chief executive officer and one of the architects of the open source initiative, claimed that marketers are eager to use the framework as a means of reducing their reliance on using Facebook and Google when it comes to ‘people-based marketing.’

In a separate interview, Index’s Exchange’s Casale spoke of his belief that ‘data’ is not necessarily the new oil when it comes to advertising – a phrase that was often touted with the emergence of ‘big data’ – he said that 'identity' is where the value lies for advertisers.

“The reason that the walled gardens continue to see the percentage of media expenditure grow is that they have an addressability advantage over the rest of the market,” he added.