Maurice Levy, President of the French advertising and public relations multinational Publicis Groupe
Dominique Charriau | fake images
The digital privacy movements of Apple and Google are forcing the advertising industry to rethink the way it works, Maurice Levy of Publicis Groupe told CNBC.
The president of the world’s third-largest advertising company said changes to Apple’s iOS smartphone software and Google’s Chrome web browser meant that advertisers had to “review the whole way we’re working.”
“It’s not a clear win” for traditional ad agencies, Levy told CNBC’s Karen Tso on Monday.
“Privacy is extremely important,” he added. “And I think that the fact that all those platforms take care of the privacy of consumers and their customers is something extraordinarily important. But this is leading us to a review of the way we are working. “
This year, Apple began forcing app developers on its platforms to ask for permission before it could collect unique identifiers used by advertisers to target mobile ads and measure how effective they are.
The company had already prohibited the use of unauthorized third-party cookies, which many advertisers rely on to track Internet users and show them personalized ads, in their Safari browser.
Now, Google also plans to get rid of third-party cookies in Chrome and is in the process of looking for an alternative. Last week, the tech giant said it would give Britain’s competition regulator a voice in its proposal to replace cookies.
The move has led to infighting in the tech industry, with Facebook and Apple arguing over the latter’s privacy updates. Facebook is likely to be one of the companies hardest hit by Apple’s iOS changes, and it has been moving into new lines of business like online shopping in an effort to cushion the blow.
Levy said Publicis’ $ 4.4 billion acquisition of data company Epsilon should help protect the marketing giant from the consequences of Apple and Google privacy changes.
Apple, Google and other big tech firms face increasing scrutiny from regulators around the world on everything from their size to the amount of taxes they pay.
This month, the richest nations of the Group of Seven (G-7) agreed to a landmark agreement to establish a global minimum corporate tax of 15%. The move is largely aimed at addressing tax avoidance by digital giants like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, with a new tax system tied to where multinationals actually do business rather than where they are based.
“I think the decision that has been made is very good,” Levy told CNBC’s Karen Tso. “I think it is normal for someone who is working in a country to pay taxes in that country.”
Levy added: “15% is not excessive, it is a minimum. I think this is fair and I think the G-20 will accept that kind of solution. “
“As all these platforms have a valuation market capitalization that exceeds hundreds of billions, and sometimes trillions, it is important that they contribute to taxes in the country where they operate.”