How authentic consent services are supporting responsible marketing, with Utiq’s Catherine Murray

5 mins

In our latest episode of Life in Digital, we spoke to Catherine Murray, Head of Partner Serv...

By Eda Osman

Marketing Manager

In our latest episode of Life in Digital, we spoke to Catherine Murray, Head of Partner Services at Utiq, about her move from publishing to adtech, the ever-increasing challenges of managing user consent, and the pioneering, people-first advertising solutions aligning consumer privacy with ongoing brand success.

Having spent 20 years working for publishing giants Microsoft and The Guardian, Catherine comes to the world of adtech armed with enormous expertise and a strong sense of where her values lie in relation to advertising best practice. Here she tells us what prompted the move, and how Utiq is looking towards a future in which consent services are ubiquitous. 

From publishing to adtech: Why make this transition - and why it works

Having worked publisher-side for so long, I have a very good understanding of the challenges and the opportunities that exist within publishers, and also how they work through those today”, says Catherine, who says a desire to help publishers thrive in a challenging landscape was at the heart of her move to ad tech.

When preparing to speak with publishers, I always take a minute to consider how I would feel if this was being presented to me, and what questions I might have,” she adds. “Then I can frame the solutions in the context of how they could directly help that publisher.” 

Also of fundamental importance to Catherine’s career shift were the values underpinning the work being of companies like Utiq in attempting to strengthen support for the open web. Though users spend the majority of their time in the open web, only 25% of total ad spend reaches beyond walled gardens. As a result, businesses such as those in curated journalism struggle to survive because they lack the media budgets of larger companies. 

Professional curated journalism costs businesses money and we want to bring advertising investment back into the open web to support them,” says Catherine. “We want to enable that plurality of voices to be heard.

The privacy problem and the plans to address it

Many of us have a growing sense of dissatisfaction with how advertising has evolved on the internet, Catherine observes, and feel unease about how little control we appear to have over the use of our personal data. Consequently, it is important that we regain some of that control and that user choice is brought to the fore. After all, we know that ads are more effective where consent is given. One report suggests performance is up to 250% higher when the consent box is checked versus rejected. 

As a first-party identifier harnessed in authentic consent, Utiq’s objective is to power responsible marketing, empower the user and deliver outcomes for advertisers and brands. 

One of two main solutions Catherine discusses is a “consent hub” or portal on which all the websites a user has consented to are listed, and where the user can easily retract that consent if they wish. 

It’s a space that maybe people won't visit very often”, says Catherine, “but they know that they can and they have the knowledge that there is, in effect, a library of their consent history available - giving back real choice”. 

How valid are concerns that tighter privacy regulations will negatively impact advertising performance? 

Without wishing to be controversial”, says Catherine, “I believe that tighter privacy regulation will improve performance for the better”. 

In the context of the many challenges in the market today, such as the way data is collected and used, and in particular a distinct lack of transparency around these processes, Catherine feels that implementing more stringent rules stands to benefit everyone.

It will act like a natural selection process, a reset within the market, giving clearer understanding of what kind of data is being used and how, and therefore driving a rebuilding of trust with consumers.”

To hear Catherine’s full story, listen to the podcast here.

You can find the full episode and more on our Life in Digital podcast. To find out more about Utiq’s approach and solutions, visit their website at

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