A new digital advertising platform

Join the YouGov panel

YouGov Direct is a blockchain-based platform and ad network that empowers users to choose which attributes they make available to advertisers. In exchange for sharing their data, consumers earn rewards. Advertisers using the platform gain access to known audience attributes, which enables more effective ad targeting and better campaign performance. Built by YouGov - since 2000 the globally trusted name in online personal data.

Better for Internet Users
  • Rewards for personal data
  • Improved control and privacy
Better for Publishers
  • Improved experience for visitors
  • Support GDPR compliance
Better for Advertisers
  • Improved ad targeting
  • Reduced ad fraud

The current advertising ecosystem is plagued by a number of issues impacting consumers, brands, agencies, and publishers. Consumers have little control over their data while brands can’t be certain their ads are being viewed by real people or bots. A proliferation of ad blockers indicates increasing consumer dissatisfaction with the online ad experience, while brands and publishers face revenue losses due to ineffective targeting. Furthermore, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is scheduled to go into effect in May of 2018. The regulation is intended to increase consumer data protection and threatens to levy hefty fines against businesses failing to comply.


It is YouGov’s goal that YouGov Direct be a solution in the form of its blockchain-based, digital advertising platform. YouGov already boasts more than 5 million panelists who volunteer information about themselves through survey responses, allowing it to be used for commercial purposes and receiving rewards as a result. Using the novel blockchain-based platform, it is intended that new and existing YouGov users will be able to choose which personal attributes to make available to advertisers while remaining anonymous. For example, a user might decide to share information about favorite hobbies and withhold data related to health history. In exchange for sharing attributes, users may earn additional rewards.

The advantages for advertisers include access to personalized, permissioned data that can be leveraged for more effective ad targeting. It is further intended that YouGov Direct’s transparent and verifiable record of transactions will provide assurance that ads are reaching actual humans as opposed to bots and support businesses in meeting GDPR requirements.

By harnessing the data tracking capabilities enabled by blockchain technology, YouGov Direct aims to improve the digital advertising environment for consumers, advertisers, publishers, and other industry participants.

Stephan Shakespeare
CEO & Founder

Stephan Shakespeare is CEO and Co-Founder of YouGov plc. One of the pioneers of Internet research, Stephan has been the driving force behind YouGov’s innovation-led strategy.

Sundip Chahal

Sundip Chahal has been with YouGov since 2005 and has been the Group’s Chief Operating Officer since 2014, overseeing the consolidation of the group’s operations and expansion efforts in new territories.

Alex Mcintosh

Alex McIntosh has been at YouGov since 2007 and during his time with the company has filled several key positions, including Chief Strategy Officer. He became Chief Financial Officer in 2017.

Andy Morris
Chief Innovation Officer

Andy has been at YouGov since 2010 and the Group’s Chief Innovation Officer since 2014, responsible for the design and architecture of the data YouGov collects and the products and services that feed from that.

Doug Rivers
Chief Scientist

Doug Rivers is one of the world’s leading experts on survey research, a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur and YouGov’s Chief Scientist. He has taught at Harvard University, Caltech, UCLA, and, most recently, Stanford University.

David Waylonis
Lead Developer

David Waylonis specializes in the development of robust, highly-scalable web and mobile applications. In 2015, he led the redesign of YouGov’s rapid polling app for Android and iOS.

Jonathan van Parys
Chief Digital Officer

Jonathan van Parys joined YouGov in 2016 as Director of Public Data. He became Chief Digital Officer in 2017 and oversees the development of YouGov’s panel and public-facing digital products.