Cookie Update - Q1 2024

Cookie Update - Q1 2024

Collin Middleton
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Date Published:
Monday, March 25, 2024

It’s been over two months since Google began testing cookie deprecation with a small subset (1%) of global Chrome users. So what’s next?!

Reminder, the phase-out is dependent on approval by the CMA (UK’s Competition and Markets Authority), and based on the latest CMA report, the outlook is not good for the 2H 2024 timeline. In the report published in January 2024, the CMA stated, “Google cannot proceed with third-party cookie deprecation until our concerns are resolved.” Furthermore, the CMA requested Google “not design, develop or use the Privacy Sandbox proposals in ways that reinforce the existing market position of its advertising products and services, including Google Ad Manager.”

While some areas of concern have been addressed, several still remain:

  • Google could continue to use and benefit from user activity while eliminating competitors’ access.
  • Ability to control access to and inclusion of ad tech rivals, thus providing unfair advantages to Google’s ad tech services
  • Impact and inability of advertisers and publishers to effectively identify fraudulent activity

Due to this initial report, skepticism continues across the industry, stating that Q1 of 2025 is more realistic. The next CMA update is expected at the end of April, which will shed more light on progress and impact on timelines.

Regardless of the recent report, Google executives remain firm in their 2H 2024 timeline and suggest the industry continue preparing accordingly. 

As of last week, several ad tech companies (Criteo, Magnite, and Adform) began testing Google’s Privacy Sandbox APIs. The purpose of the tests is to determine the feasibility and how impactful these new solutions will be for publishers and advertisers. They are focusing initial testing efforts on the Protected Audiences API, Topics API, and Attribution Reporting API.  

Additional ad tech companies will begin testing next month, with all results to be submitted by June 15 at the request of the CMA.

As testing continues and timelines are in flux, we continue to emphasize the importance of utilizing first-party data to target and find new audiences. Additionally, contextual targeting will become more valuable, providing the opportunity to target audiences while browsing relevant content.

At The Moran Group, we use a variety of targeting solutions to ensure we are reaching the right audience at the right time. While we currently use some third-party cookies, we also use first-party data, in addition to unified IDs and device IDs. Our programmatic solution, Amplifi, powered by The Trade Desk, has been a leader in developing an alternative solution to cookies. The Trade Desk created UID 2.0 (Unified ID), which industry leaders have widely adopted as a standard for cookie replacement.

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