Ideal Insights – September 2021

Ideal Insights – September 2021

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” – John Wooden

This Month’s Update:

As the data and identity industry continues to heat up, we are seeing more and more activity on the provider side. The battle for market share in managing data and customer identity has providers looking for new partnerships and capabilities to grow. They are trying to meet changing needs and stay relevant to the brands that are looking for help with getting the most out of the data they use to drive their marketing activities.

Since our last update alone, we have seen some significant acquisitions including TransUnion’s announced acquisition of Neustar and Data Axle’s acquisition of the Lake Group Media and DonorBase. For some brands, these types of consolidation plays offer new solutions and better offerings, but for others they may limit flexibility and increase execution costs.

For us, we see change as an opportunity to investigate and understand the possibilities and impacts. And not just on the provider side, but internally as well. The upside of new integrations enabling easier execution of go to market messaging is a chance to change how your own marketing team executes its programs.

But with new integration may come new standard approaches may come the loss of control of your processes and use of your customer data. There is also loss of focus and expertise of the provider may make it harder to successfully execute programs. You may need to build greater internal expertise to address your needs.

Our message to brands today is this: the providers and technology that marketers use today is changing faster than ever and it is now more important than ever before to invest in understanding and control – of your marketing processes and the customer data that flows through those processes. Your customer data is a key corporate asset, and you want to always know exactly how it is being used and where it is being stored along the way. Easy execution can lull you into a loss of control and understanding. It can lead to unintended data leakage and privacy rights mismanagement.

This is not to say that easy execution is not a goal, it just means you need to be careful and not abdicate any of the responsibilities you have to protect your data, your customer’s data and the processes that enable the dialogue with your customers. Change adds complexity initially and vulnerability, but with unbiased and mindful assessment of change is the opportunity for improvement. So, we encourage brands to invest in understanding upfront to reap the benefits and avoid the risks down the road.


After consultation with our clients, partners, guests and speakers, we will postpone the 2021 Adstract Data Conference until a time that provides the greatest potential for mindful connection, conversation and collaboration. We will update those that registered via email and we remain confident that a mindful approach to data, trust and responsibility delivers success to clients. To learn more on AdstrAct’s future plans you can go to

Privacy highlights:

U.S. Department of Justice to bring new antitrust case against Google for ad tech monopoly. The DOJ is moving to file a new antitrust case against Google In its attempt to break up the control of Google’s adtech empire and address their use of privacy to deploy anti-competitive techniques to block competition. 

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have proposed $1 billion in funding to create a new data privacy bureau within the FTC. The recommendation is included as part of the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, which will be considered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week. Senator Cantwell said in a statement it was “long past time that the FTC have the tools it needs to keep pace with the online marketplace and those who would undermine it. Creating a privacy bureau is an important step in protecting consumers, but the work is just beginning. That’s why I will continue to fight for a federal privacy and data security law that protects consumers and creates certainty for businesses.”

Users’ privacy concerns and the lack of a national strategy have slowed widespread adoption of COVID-19 exposure notification apps, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.  “Legislation governing the collection and use of consumers’ personal information—in particular for exposure notification apps— could help to safeguard their privacy, and provide the public with greater assurance that its privacy is protected. However, such legislation has not been enacted,” the report said.

The state of Washington’s attorney general has launched an anti-trust probe into Google and Facebook. Amongst the many allegations, he claimed that the Duopoly had not only formed an unfair monopoly to squeeze publishers and “squash competition”, but also that Google and Facebook had gone one step further by, “actively seeking to harm consumers.”

The Irish Council on Civil Liberties said the country’s Data Protection Commissioner is the “worst bottleneck” for enforcement of the GDPR, with 98 per cent of 164 significant complaints about privacy abuses still unresolved by its regulator.

Facebook and Ray-Ban have created smart glasses that contain video cameras. Initial reviews raised a number of privacy concerns about surreptitious recording and access to user voice transcripts.

We encourage you to also visit our content blog where you can get the latest news and thoughts on industry issues. While you are there, please also check out our website to gain a clearer understanding of Identity, Data, and all the services we have to offer. Should you look for more help on these topics, please reach out and we would be happy to help. Email us at

Articles of Interest

Our insights are again only a small fraction of what is being shared out there. Here are some other interesting articles and opinions we thought to share to both inform and inspire discussion.

So the first signs of a crack in the Google monopoly are starting to show. Mozilla announced recently that it was testing Bing as it’s default search engine over Google who is backing off renewing search deals in light of the recent anti trust activity.

Mozilla tests Bing as default search engine

Marketing Week certainly raised the bard on the discussion around how marketers should be thinking today. It’s not just digital and performanced based marketing, but rather the entire approach around brand health and customer empathy and understanding. Our historic biases and thinking are suppressing the diversity of new ideas and audiences. As Ross Farquhar at Little Moons stated, “It increasingly feels like marketers are being sucked into the gravitational pull of the corporate world and away from pursuing a curiosity about the people they’re trying to influence.”

What Marketers should Stop/Start Now

Oz Etzioni at Clinch’s piece on what questions Advertisers should be asking if/ when their Ad Tech partner is acquired by a larger entity is certainly a helpful one. Many of us went with smaller partners to drive innovation and flexibility. Integration into a larger entity may threaten that. And as Oz points out, there are key questions around maintaining access to your data. A question that we think further points to the need from brands to control the ability to connect data through an on house identity platform even more.

You Ad Tech partner was acquired. Now What?

The world of Identity management is certainly heating up with TU’s $3.1B acquisition of the identity resolution company Neustar. Along with Experian’s acquisition of TapAd, we are seeing the credit bureau’s recognizing the need to manage identity to continue to effectively provide and grow their services. The only question we would ask brands is do you want to turn over the management of your customer’s identity to a single outside provider.

TU to Acquire Neustar

And in case you missed it. We invite you to check out our own Andy Johnson’s recent interview with Martech talking about the future of data and identity and how companies are shifting to have their own internal tech stacks drive new and more effective marketing processes.

Martech Interview with Adstra CDO Andy Johnson

Also of interest to many of you may be the DMFA’s upcoming webinar that Adstra will be participation in: “Demystifying Coop Database Participation”. We will be joined by leaders from industry leading coops Wiland and Path 2 Response, as well as key nonprofits like Easterseals. The webinar will be 10/20 at 1pm. Please go to DMFA’s Events page to learn more and register.

Positivity Press

We can all use a little positivity and fun in life. Here are some of the recent items we wanted to share with everyone:

So while we are still struggling with the effects of the Delta variant, there continues to be positive news on the vaccination front. Not only has the FDA fully approved the Pfizer/Biotech vaccine (known as Comirnaty) for adults over 16, but we are now seeing positive results for children 5-12 years old. Certainly a great sign to helping us all get back to a more normal and safer day to day life.   

Pfizer/ BioTech Announce Positive results for those under 12

Maria Andrejczyk, a Polish silver medal winning javelin thrower at the Tokyo Olympics appears to have a heart of gold. By auctioning off her medal she raised $125,000 to pay for toddler Miloszek Malysa’s heart operation at Stanford University Medical Center. “The true value of a medal always remains in the heart,” Andrejczyk said. “A medal is only an object, but it can be of great value to others.”  We applaud Maria for being of great character like our quote up front states.

Olympian auctions medal to help pay for toddler’s heart operation

Shared beliefs can foster a sense of community, or provide meaning in people’s lives. It seems that we as humans have evolved to need something that provides unity and cohesion. When we have different sets of beliefs it can foster resentment and hatred. Perhaps if we all understood the motivations of different people, we could find ways to better understand each other and come together.  Check out David Byrne’s A Tool for Understanding and perhaps we can begin a new journey of unity

A Tool of Understanding

Yes the world is getting hotter, but in LA scientists have found a way to help reduce the impact and make it far more comfortable to hang out on the streets with your neighbor. With new reflective paints, we are finding ways to cool city life down.

Reflective Streets

As we have said before, we continue to strive to provide useful, fun, and actionable info that can help us all in some way. Feel free to share feedback and ideas and we can share them with this community. Stay happy and healthy.

If you think others may be interested in getting a copy of this newsletter, please have them email us at and we will add them to our list.

If you like what Adstra has to share or want to learn more about what we do, please visit our website at or follow us on LinkedIn @Adstra, Twitter @Adstradata or Facebook @Adstradata. We welcome you to the new ideal in data.

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