Admessenger – Targeting and Privacy in a Cookie Free world

In this update we look at the way in which privacy initiatives from Apple’s IOS 14.5 to Google’s forthcoming ban on 3rd party cookies is impacting the way digital advertising is targeted. We’ll go on to explain how we’ve ensured Admessenger is ready for this new environment.


For years digital advertisers have been targeting users using data sold by 3rd parties. These companies collected a vast array of information about individuals by dropping cookies into their browsers as they moved around the web. These cookies tracked behaviour such as sites visited, products bought, videos watched, content shared – the list goes on. They used this data to infer intent. It follows that if you’ve been browsing, sharing hotel suggestions with friends and watching videos about a location then you’re in market for a host of travel related products. 

This reliance on cookies has made digital marketers complacent. They could identify their audiences and target them in any environment. But the regulatory environment is dismantling this way of targeting.

Contextual targeting is making a comeback

In response to GDPR and increased privacy concerns, advertisers and ad technology companies have been reducing their dependency on personal data generated by cookies and pixels. They have been forced to investigate alternatives to ensure their advertising remains relevant and ads can still reach their target audience. Prior to the age of highly targeted data driven campaigns, a common strategy that is making a comeback in digital advertising is contextual targeting.

What is contextual targeting?

Contextual targeting is similar to traditional offline advertising tactics. For example, magazines related to fashion often feature advertisements from fashion and make-up brands as they are contextually relevant to the content of the magazine and the demographic of the readers.

It’s the same with online advertising. Advertising that has content related to, or similar to the content of the website serves the same purpose. It doesn’t use personally identifiable information about a user derived via a cookie, but targets users based on their implied interest in the content of the website.

How is this done?

Our technology can detect and categorize the content of a site which means targeting specific websites and categories is possible. 

The result is Admessages are served against relevant content, improving your brand awareness amongst those who have an interest in similar content, and are more likely to take interest in your brand compared to those viewing the ad on an unrelated site.

Admessenger makes contextual targeting even easier

Admessenger already has excellent contextual targeting capabilities with access to hundreds of audience segments that allow us to target content within sites. To make our campaigns even more effective we are complementing audience segments with category specific site lists. Whilst the individual sites aren’t guaranteed will deliver a portion of the campaign against a selection of them.

Below are some key Admessenger categories and a selection of the sites we reach within them. Typically, each list will contain 15-20 sites.






Property: Zoopla, Rightmove, Gumtree,

To summarise, contextual targeting is increasingly important in a privacy conscious world. At Ads360 we’ve been employing contextual targeting since the implementation of GDPR in 2018. And, by using a combination of relevant content within sites, and category site lists we’ll ensure your Admessages continue to be seen by the most relevant audiences.

If you have any questions regarding targeting Admessage campaigns, please contact us at

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