Dentsu dismisses privacy fears to sign Snap partnership

mobile-phoneFresh from being let off the hook over its “My AI” chatbot, Snap has joined forces with Dentsu for what the two parties claim is a first-of-its-kind partnership in the UK, that advances the agency group’s creative capabilities in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and performance advertising.

Dubbed ‘Catalyst’, the deal is part of Dentsu’s client promise of innovating to impact, with access to Snap’s AR technologies and a focus on developing solutions tailored to meet the needs of each client.

By combining Snap’s AR development experience with Dentsu’s strategic capabilities, it is claimed that Catalyst will create immersive experiences that captivate audiences, drive engagement, awareness and performance.

One of the key differentiators – the companies maintain – is Catalyst’s ability to quantify the impact of AR advertising campaigns with precision. Through advanced analytics and data-driven insights, clients will gain a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of their AR initiatives, allowing for informed decision-making and optimisation of future campaigns.

Dentsu says it is continuing to invest in innovation that drives new behaviours and shapes society for better business outcomes. It reckons that Catalyst will give Dentsu’s clients access to the latest tools and strategies to fuel their growth strategy, prepare for the future and stay ahead of rivals.

The partnership is designed to bring technical integrations that will help drive greater ROI for advertisers and future-proof their brand marketing with privacy-centric targeting and measurement capabilities to prove the efficacy of campaigns. Snap’s creative strategy experts will also run bespoke Client Immersion Sessions and dedicated consultation.

Dentsu managing director of strategic partnerships for UK & Ireland Dilshan Swaris said: “Dentsu is dedicated to building brands for what’s next, and our partnership with Snap aligns to our ambition of innovating for impact. Our shared commitment to empowering brands to build communities, make connections, and leverage the creator economy has huge potential to drive brand growth.

“We’re pioneering new and distinctive opportunities for clients to have genuine social influence. Snapchat’s reputation for creative possibilities, especially through AR, is well-established and its role in driving bottom-line results is increasingly recognised by brands.”

Snap Inc European head of creative strategy David Norris added: “We’re excited about the launch of Catalyst, and to work even closer with the team at Dentsu. The ambition here is to accelerate the understanding of our technology to enable greater creativity and impact on their clients, and we can’t wait to get started.”

Quite how Dentsu has squared Snap’s data protection record is not known; the issue with its “My AI” chatbot first emerged in October last year, when, following an investigation, the Information Commissioner’s Office slapped a preliminary enforcement notice on Snapchat owners Snap Inc and Snap Group UK over a potential failure to properly assess the privacy risks posed by the GenAI chatbot.

The notice set out the steps which the Commissioner “may” have required, subject to Snap’s representations on the preliminary notice. If the final enforcement notice had been adopted, Snap could have been forced to stop processing data in connection with My AI, meaning it would have been barred from offering the product to UK users until it had carried out an adequate risk assessment.

However, the ICO insisted its investigation resulted in Snap taking “significant steps” to carry out a more thorough review of the risks posed by ‘My AI’ and demonstrate that it had implemented appropriate mitigations.

Earlier this month, the regulator said it was satisfied that Snap had undertaken a risk assessment relating to ‘My AI’ that is compliant with data protection law, although the ICO stressed it will continue to monitor the rollout of the chatbot and how emerging risks are addressed.

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