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Jono DuguidJun 27, 2024 4:27:31 PM4 min read

LinkedIn has stopped allowing advertisers to target users in Europe based on Groups data to comply with the EU's Digital Services Act.

LinkedIn has ceased allowing advertisers to target users in Europe based on Groups data, complying with the stringent regulations of the EU's Digital Services Act (DSA). This move marks a significant change in the platform's advertising strategy and reflects the growing influence of data privacy laws on digital marketing practices.



Impact of the EU's Digital Services Act

The Digital Services Act, implemented to enhance transparency and accountability in the digital space, mandates stricter data protection measures. The legislation aims to create a safer digital environment by ensuring that personal data is handled responsibly. LinkedIn's decision to halt targeting based on Groups data is a direct response to these new regulations.

LinkedIn, a professional networking site with over 774 million users worldwide, has long been a valuable platform for advertisers. Groups on LinkedIn have been particularly useful for targeting specific audiences based on shared interests or industries. By discontinuing this feature in Europe, LinkedIn aims to comply with the DSA's requirements and avoid potential penalties.

Implications for Advertisers

The removal of Groups data from LinkedIn's targeting options in Europe poses challenges for advertisers who have relied on this feature for precise audience targeting. Marketers will need to adjust their strategies and explore alternative methods to reach their target audiences effectively.

One of the primary impacts will be on advertisers’ ability to target niche audiences. Groups on LinkedIn have been an efficient way to engage with users who share specific professional interests. Without this data, advertisers might face difficulties in maintaining the same level of precision in their campaigns.

However, this change also presents an opportunity for marketers to innovate and diversify their targeting strategies. Advertisers may need to leverage other LinkedIn features, such as Job Title, Industry, and Skills, to refine their audience targeting. Additionally, first-party data and CRM integration can become more critical for creating personalized ad experiences.

LinkedIn's Adaptation to Regulatory Changes

LinkedIn's decision to comply with the DSA by eliminating Groups data from its targeting options demonstrates its commitment to user privacy and data protection. This move aligns with the broader industry trend of prioritising data privacy in response to increasing regulatory scrutiny.

LinkedIn has also introduced several new features and updates to enhance its advertising platform and provide alternative targeting options. These updates include advanced audience insights, improved ad formats, and enhanced analytics tools. By continually evolving its platform, LinkedIn aims to support advertisers in navigating these regulatory changes effectively.

Alternative Targeting Strategies

With the removal of Groups data, advertisers will need to explore alternative targeting strategies to maintain the effectiveness of their LinkedIn campaigns. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Job Title and Industry Targeting: Utilize LinkedIn’s robust job title and industry targeting options to reach professionals within specific sectors. This method allows for precise targeting based on users' professional roles and industry affiliations.

  2. Skills Targeting: Leverage the Skills targeting feature to connect with users who possess specific skills relevant to your products or services. This can help in reaching a more qualified audience.

  3. Custom Audiences: Use LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences feature to upload your own data and create custom audience segments. This can include contact lists, website visitors, or engagement data from previous campaigns.

  4. Engagement Retargeting: Retarget users who have previously engaged with your content or ads on LinkedIn. This can help in maintaining continuity in your marketing efforts and re-engaging interested prospects.

  5. Lookalike Audiences: Create lookalike audiences based on your best-performing customers. LinkedIn’s Lookalike Audiences feature helps in expanding your reach to similar users who are likely to be interested in your offerings.

  6. Content Marketing: Focus on high-quality content marketing to attract and engage your target audience organically. Sharing valuable insights, industry news, and thought leadership content can drive organic engagement and build brand authority.

The Role of First-Party Data

In the wake of increased data privacy regulations, first-party data has become more valuable than ever. Advertisers should prioritise collecting and leveraging first-party data to enhance their targeting capabilities and deliver personalised experiences.

First-party data includes information directly collected from your audience, such as email addresses, website interactions, and purchase history. This data is not only privacy-compliant but also highly relevant and accurate for targeting purposes. Integrating first-party data with LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences can help create more effective and compliant ad campaigns.

LinkedIn's Continued Evolution

As LinkedIn continues to adapt to regulatory changes, it remains a powerful platform for B2B marketing. The removal of Groups data targeting in Europe is a significant shift, but LinkedIn’s robust suite of targeting options ensures that advertisers can still achieve their marketing goals.

LinkedIn is also investing in new features and improvements to support advertisers. Recent updates include enhanced audience insights, which provide deeper understanding of audience demographics and behaviours, and improved ad formats that offer more engaging and interactive experiences.

By staying informed about LinkedIn’s updates and leveraging the platform’s full range of features, advertisers can navigate these changes effectively and continue to drive successful campaigns.


LinkedIn’s decision to halt user targeting based on Groups data in Europe in response to the EU's Digital Services Act is a notable development in the digital advertising landscape. This change underscores the growing importance of data privacy and the need for advertisers to adapt to new regulatory environments.

While the removal of Groups data presents challenges, it also encourages marketers to explore innovative targeting strategies and prioritise first-party data. By leveraging LinkedIn’s diverse targeting options and staying updated on platform enhancements, advertisers can continue to reach their target audiences effectively and achieve their marketing objectives.

For more insights on navigating the evolving digital advertising landscape, explore our comprehensive resources on search engine advertising, paid social, content production, and data analytics. Stay informed and ahead of the curve with R17 Ventures.



Jono Duguid

Senior Business Development Manager - 12yrs+ Experience in Digital Marketing