Beyond Consent for Consent’s Sake: Ogury on Monetizing User Choice

It should be the first commandment in Internet publishing: Respect thy user. Instead, publishers barrage audiences with annoying and disruptive ads while quietly mooching their data… that’s ironically supposed to fuel better, more relevant advertising. (Narrator: Actually, it doesn’t.)

As the digital privacy revolution grows stronger with the awakening of the California Consumer Privacy Act, gaining user consent weighs heavily on the minds of many publishers. But Ogury Co-CEO and Cofounder Thomas Pasquet argues that consent simply opens the vault door to the treasure chamber of user choice.

That’s why Ogury offers publishers a consent management platform that also delivers user insights from across its network as well as monetization options. Following the news the company raised $50 million for its mobile-focused “digital marketing engine driven by user choice,” I caught up with Pasquet to better understand how Ogury fits in a confusing market space and what publishers commonly get wrong about consent.

GAVIN DUNAWAY: Ogury does not seem easy to categorize—it seems to be serving as a consent management platform that also derives insights and optimizes publisher revenue in real time. Would you call it CMP-DMP hybrid?

THOMAS PASQUET: We are a marketing engine that does a lot of things. It’s difficult to categorize many companies—take Adobe for instance—because they do many different things. We are not a CMP-DMP hybrid and we do not sell data. A DMP sells data and gives data to access to everyone else. Ogury is a CMP with insights and monetization solutions…. It can be integrated into mediation platforms and ad servers to compete with other ad networks.

GD: Publishers can ask consumers for more than just consent—what data are publishers asking for and where have they been able to turn that into revenue?

TP: You don’t ask consent for the sake of consent. If you are asking for user consent, then you are asking for consent to share data or share points of data and gather insights. Publishers are asking consumers for consent to gather something, what they want to ask for is up to them. Some publishers need to have more information than others. What Ogury does is turn consented data into actionable revenue to media dollars.

GD: Why the focus on mobile apps? Is there interest in breaking into web or even… ConnectedTV?

TP: Most people spend their time on mobile. As of today we are purely a mobile company. We like to master one thing at a time and in the future may explore other sectors.

GD: What is publishers’ biggest misunderstanding about consent?

TP: The biggest misunderstanding about consent is that publishers put consent where users do not really have a choice but to consent. You can’t force users to consent; this is not the way to go about it in respect to the law (GDPR and CCPA in the US). Many publishers do not respect the user and at the end of the day, a 99% consent rate is not true user consent. In fact, a proper consent should be an easy opt in or opt out.