7th December 2023

Ad Ops Industry News – Autumn ‘23

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Ed Perry
Ad Ops Manager
Read time: 6min
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There's a lot happening in the world of Ad Ops right now, so here's a useful summary of changes announced in the last couple of months.

Google Tag Manager News

In October, Google released an initial version of GTM Consent Protector for testing. This is an upgrade for Google consent mode which allows GTM users to redact custom GTM variables in non-consented tag fires. Without Consent Protector, only built-in variables and tag data are redacted. Essentially, Consent Protector gives businesses with GTM more control over the website data they share with Google.

In November Consent Mode V2 was released which is an updated version of Google Consent Mode which adds two additional consent states. 

  • The first new state allows users to opt in or out of their data being used by Google for advertising purposes (i.e. conversion measurement).
  • The second new state allows users to opt in or out of their data being used by Google for personalised advertising (i.e. remarketing).

These consent states differ from the existing ones because they are not specifically related to cookies. Instead, these states deal generally with the processing of user data by Google.   

Google Cloud Run became the default backend for server-side GTM containers in October. Using Google Cloud Run for SGTM makes it simpler to change the geographical location of the servers processing site visitors’ data, making it much easier to comply with some GDPR requirements.

October also saw a new feature added to the Tag Assistant Companion extension in Chrome, allowing users to export and import debug sessions. This feature will be useful when several analysts are working together to resolve a tagging problem. 

And in our final bit of GTM news for the autumn, retail businesses can now deploy a Cloud Retail tag in Server-side GTM.

Campaign Manager 360

In October Google announced that reports in CM360 attribution reporting will be deprecated from the last week of February 2024. This is a major change to CM360, effectively removing a significant chunk of the platform’s use for a large number of stakeholders.

October also saw the announcement that CM360 will soon require placements to have an assigned conversion domain. This is the domain on which you are expecting users to convert (typically the advertiser’s website). Conversion domains will be assigned to placements automatically and updated daily based on recent Floodlight activity data, but it will be important to check the domains manually – especially for sites run across multiple domains, or for advertisers using microsites for special offers or services. This feature went live in CM360 in November.

As of November, Floodlight attribution status became editable in bulk. This signals that the time has come for CM360 account managers to begin switching off attribution for all Floodlight activities where it is no longer needed. Both this feature and the conversion domain feature are in place to enable the transition to privacy-preserving methods of conversion measurement.

Google have signaled that the migration to instant reporting will complete in the first half of 2024, with almost all offline reports being deprecated. If you’re currently using offline reports, it’s important to make backup versions as instant reports before this transition happens.

In February 2024, all cross-device conversions metrics are going to be removed from CM360 reports. Cross-device metrics will instead be included in the Total Conversions metric as standard.

And finally, from October onwards, advertisers who use Campaign Manager 360 click trackers or tracking ads in Google Ads will need to enable transparency mode. Without it, ads will be disapproved by Google Ads for violating the click tracker policy. 

Display and Video 360 News

CTV operating system targeting was introduced for CTV line items in October. This is handy for brands looking to target ads based on the type of OS their target audience is using.

Brand lift studies have been announced for CTV campaigns, helping advertisers to measure the effectiveness of CTV ads. This is a great new feature, which will help to keep DV360 as one of the premier programmatic TV platforms in a time when competition in the space is increasing rapidly. 

Advertisers will soon be able to buy Shorts ads on YouTube Select lineups using DV360 Instant Reserve at a fixed CPM with guaranteed delivery at agreed rates. It will be interesting to see how this offering competes with other short-form video apps.

DV360 has announced a limited pilot of QR code CTA overlays for Instant Reserve campaigns with non-skippable YouTube ads. QR codes have long been a controversial topic in digital marketing, but with connected TVs becoming an increasingly common device for consuming YouTube content, it’s easy to understand why Google are trialing methods for ‘clickless’ tracking.

In-feed and Shorts ads will soon be available in YouTube and partners efficient reach line items. With this feature, advertisers can opt-in to automatically optimize the YouTube ad format mix to maximize unique reach.

Some dimensions in win/loss reports were deprecated in November, including country, region, site ID, and environment. It's unclear exactly why these dimensions were removed, but it is likely to be related to the deprecation of third-party cookies.

Finally, in an effort to streamline their user interface and simplify the platform, DV360 removed the bidding insights tool in mid-November.

If you'd like help navigating the ever changing Ad Ops landscape, please get in touch.


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Author Ed Perry
Channel Media