SCMP experts reveal how targeted advertising can meet challenge of data privacy regulations

July 22, 2020
SCMP Updates

With governments and internet browsers continuing to tighten data-protection policies, what does it mean for marketers?

The South China Morning Post’s webinar, titled “Does data privacy protection mean the end for targeted advertising?”, helped to answer this question, with two of the company’s experts, Kenny Cheung, associate director, digital product, and Rica Raubenheimer, digital product manager, sharing their insights into the ever-changing data landscape. 

Here are its key takeaways:

  • First-party relationships will be key to developing actionable data. 
  • Consumers will be able to decide what is tracked and who may track them. 
  • Changes will happen quickly (Identifier for Advertisers ,or IDFA-based data tracking will change with iOS 14 in September).  
  • Marketers will lean towards contextual and probabilistic media buying in the short- and medium-term.
  • Advertisers will have to develop new models to measure a campaign’s efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Publishers’ direct, trusted connections with users should provide insights into activation and data optimisation. 

Data protection laws are now in place and major web browsers have announced plans to limit the tracking of users, which has turned the targeted-advertising industry upside down. 

“The industry has been developing solutions in response to the move, for instance providing alternative identifiers and leveraging edge computing technology,” Cheung said. “However, an ideal solution is yet to be found.” 

New measures need to be put in place, but they will require a significant level of understanding of the customers or readers. 

“The future of ad targeting is in the hands of the user,” he said. “Ironically, [the level of] how much we have relied on third-party cookies in the past has brought us further apart from them. It is time for both brands and publishers to take this chance and reconnect with their users, to truly understand what actually drives values for them.”

Raubenheimer, who manages SCMP Lighthouse, the company’s proprietary insight & activation platform, revealed how SCMP has turned these challenges into opportunities.  

“Launching SCMP Lighthouse changes the way we work with our advertising partners,” she said. “It gives us the ability to talk about our audience with more sophistication and opens up opportunities to start meaningful conversations where we can combine our creative storytelling expertise with rich insights on our audience in a premium environment.” 

Contact us today if you wish to receive a copy of the presentation slides, or learn more about SCMP Lighthouse. 


The South China Morning Post is a leading global news company that has reported on China and Asia for more than a century. Founded in 1903, SCMP is headquartered in Hong Kong, where it is the city’s newspaper of record, with a growing correspondent staff across Asia and the United States. SCMP's vision is to “Elevate Thought” and our mission is to “Lead the global conversation about China”. Additionally, SCMP publishes a portfolio of premium lifestyle and fashion titles in Hong Kong including CosmopolitanELLEEsquire and, Harper’s BAZAAR. SCMP is also home to Abacus, a digital news brand focused on China's tech industry; Inkstone, a daily news brief for those curious about China's growing impact around the world; and Goldthread, a content platform with a focus on food, travel and culture in China. In 2020, SCMP became the first news organisation in Asia to join the Trust Project, a consortium of top news companies developing global transparency standards for credible journalism.