Widely discussed in the run-up to the General Data Protection Regulation last year, second-party data was billed as a regulation-compliant way to target ads to people without requiring explicit permission for their data to be used for that purpose.

Despite draconian legislation, combined with the ability to skip and block those digital intrusions that include anything from intrusive adverts to email and cold callers, it seems that brands are still looking for ways to get around all the blunt 'WE DON'T WANT YOUR SPAMMY ADVERTS' messages from consumers by using what is termed 2nd party data.

The programmatic drug is a difficult one for brands to wean themselves off that for sure. 2nd party data is nothing new, the concept of 'list selling and swapping' has been rife in the retail sector for years.

The mail order industry has relied on it for decades as it's seen as adding another revenue stream along with 'list swapping' between brands which only goes to make murky waters even muddier. 

The industry view is that this data that comes from a trusted 'opted in' source is attractive to an industry that is still operating in a bygone age and has already shot themselves in the digital advertising foot many times over. 

From all the evidence we can see this is just yet another way to piss people off who weren't aware they are now on someone else's list as a commoditized target.

The world of social media at the last count has over 3.7bn people on various social networks around the globe. It is by definition an extremely fertile ground to win over new potential customers, learn more about what 'they' value, and put them in the driving seat to engage with your brand, but only if you have a relationship mindset?