Telcos-backed adtech company Utiq launches in UK

Telcos-backed adtech company Utiq launches in UK
Vincent is tasked with partnering digital publishers and advertisers

European adtech company Utiq is expanding its operation to the UK.

The group, which has operated in Germany, France and Spain since its launch in May 2023, delivers an “authentic consent service” that it says enables responsible, transparent digital marketing through offering targeting tools to advertisers while giving consumers control and choice over their privacy.

Utiq is backed and funded by telecoms providers including Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone, which have seats on Utiq’s board. Utiq, however, is an independent entity, having been spun off following years of collaborative development by the telecoms groups.

The new operation is led by Sara Vincent, who steps into the role of UK managing director. She previously spent five years at adtech company Index Exchange.

Vincent is tasked with building the UK team and partnering digital publishers, advertisers and other adtech groups.

The timing of Utiq’s launch is apt, given the ongoing deprecation of the cookie, which is being removed from Google Chrome users this year.

“It feels like it’s very much a year of seismic change for the industry,” Vincent told The Media Leader. “Whether third-party cookies are deprecated for Chrome fully by the end of the year is still very much a question, but what has happened is, because there has been a lot of conversation and focus on the fact that this is going to happen, it’s no longer an in-the-future thing.

“It’s very much top of mind for everybody, which is incredible timing for us to come into the market with essentially an alternative to the cookie.”

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Vincent insisted that Utiq’s offering is an improvement on the cookie, as it looks to provide a more persistent journey of users’ behaviour without infringing on their right to privacy.

“We work very closely with regulators every single day to ensure that what we are offering is privacy-compliant across every single privacy law within Europe and the wider world,” she explained.

While Utiq is a Europe-focused startup for the time being, Vincent outlined the company’s product can ultimately become a global solution and will look to expand into further markets as Utiq continues to build out its resource capacity.

She continued: “This is telcos coming into the digital advertising industry and saying: ‘What we can provide is actually something better than what you have currently.’

“We believe it will be a solution that will be privacy-first, because the telcos are one of the most highly regulated industries globally, so you can be assured that nothing we’re doing is in any sort of grey area whatsoever.”

Utiq CEO Marc Bresseel said: “[Vincent’s] depth of experience, credibility and network will be invaluable for the launch of our Utiq service in the UK and will develop and expand our relationships with publishers and brands.”

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