Cookie-less Ad Server Debuts

As the debate about online privacy continues, Interadnet–an advertising services and technology provider based in Raleigh, N.C.–aims to sooth concerns regarding cookie-based data gathering with the introduction of a cookie-less ad server.

Unveiled today, Interadnet’s proprietary ad-serving technology will provide the same functions as its cookie-based counterparts, including real-time reporting and creative change, as well as more advanced features such as geographic reporting.

At a time when there are 15 bills on Capitol Hill dealing with Internet privacy, Interadnet hopes its new technology will be an appealing alternative for some clients, especially those in the healthcare and financial services industries, as well as with government agencies and nonprofits.

Last fall, a White House memo stated that all government-sponsored online advertising could no longer contain cookies. These types of regulations are bound to trickle down to other security-sensitive industries such as pharmaceutical and youth-targeted markets, said Stephanie Herold, vp of client services and privacy officer at Interadnet.

While other ad servers like DoubleClick and Engage have a slew of customers willing to pay big money for cookie-gathered information, Interadnet wanted to take the high road and offer customers a way to deliver ads without cookies, Herold said.

As an example, she cited a healthcare site dealing with infectious diseases where users might be disinclined to log on if they thought their health information would be recorded or divulged to a third-party server.

Interadnet will continue to offer its cookie ad-server capabilities to clients. At the campaign level, advertisers will be able to alternate between cookie or cookie-less ad serving, depending on their objectives.

“I think there’s always going to be a mix of both cookie and cookie-less ad serving,” said Bill Freeman, CEO and president of Interadnet. However, he noted that if legislation were to go through, and the rules on cookie-based data gathering were to abruptly shift, Interadnet would be in a position to attract many clients.