Drawbridge pulls its ad business out of Europe ahead of GDPR

Drawbridge — a cross-device identity company — will shutter its advertising business in Europe, AdExchanger reported Wednesday.

In the report, Drawbridge founder and CEO Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan confirmed the company’s plans to close down its London office. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect on May 25, 2018.

From the article:

Drawbridge will transition its EU [European Union] partner services to the company’s New York City office as it unwinds the London office this year, according to martech partners alerted to the changes.

“Our position and response is that we must focus on what we do best, which will also position Drawbridge for long-term success,” Sivaramakrishnan said.

Drawbridge is exploring ways to implement GDPR for its data business, she said, but “still needs some clarity around how the industry at large is ensuring consent from consumers.”

GDPR requires companies to obtain and verify consent from data subjects for the use of their personally identifiable information (PII), which can be a challenge for companies that track identities across devices. A company that does not comply could be fined up to 4 percent of its global yearly revenue or 20 million euros (approximately $23 million), whichever is higher.

This is the first data company we’ve seen retreat from Europe in advance of the GDPR deadline. It’s unclear if other companies will also respond this way. As Sivaramakrishnan notes, just three months from the regulation going into effect, there remains a lack of clarity and misconceptions around GDPR about how and if companies could be affected.

On Thursday, the IAB Europe released a proposed transparency and consent framework aimed at addressing the many logistical questions about how companies should manage consent under the impending regulation.

A spokesperson from Drawbridge told me that the company has no additional comments at this time.

About The Author

Robin Kurzer
Robin Kurzer started her career as a daily newspaper reporter in Milford, Connecticut. She then made her mark on the advertising and marketing world in Chicago at agencies such as Tribal DDB and Razorfish, creating award-winning work for many major brands. For the past seven years, she’s worked as a freelance writer and communications professional across a variety of business sectors.