On Wednesday, July 27th, Google said that the advertising industry will get one more year, until the H2 of 2024, to eliminate third-party cookies from their Chrome marketing playbooks.
This is not the first time that Google has deferred the deprecation of cookies since it first announced this development in January 2020.
According to Google, the rationale behind pushing back its deadline is to give the industry more time to prepare and test alternatives. However, the decision to further delay cookie deprecation could be multifold. Some of these reasons include slow progress on Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox solutions, increasing pressure from struggling advertisers and regulatory probes, as well as the industry’s general readiness as they combat the pandemic-induced slump in microeconomic conditions.
Let’s now deep dive into each of these reasons to understand the landscape –
Privacy Sandbox lacks traction
Google launched the Privacy Sandbox initiative two years ago to encourage a collaborative approach to creating new privacy standards for the open web. The objective was to enable advertisers to target and measure consumers without cookies.
Google is trying not just to deprecate third-party cookies but replace them with proxies that can preserve the value that cookies bring to the ecosystem. ITo do this, Google needs to get the rest of the industry to collaborate, test, and eventually adopt the cookie alternatives.
However, several of Google’s proposals, such as Topics and Federated Learning of Cohorts, have received a lukewarm response from the industry. Privacy Sandbox’s lack of traction could be one of the primary reasons for the cookie deprecation delay.
Pressure from regulators
Cookies are free, neutral, and open-source. They cannot be owned by any single powerhouse company or a walled garden. This nature of cookies has been challenging to replicate in other alternatives. Regulators and tech giants are realizing that replacing cookies will not be straightforward given its powerhouse potential of interoperability. The UK’s Competition and Marketing Authority launched an investigation into Google’s proposals to remove third-party cookies and other functionalities from its Chrome browser last year.
Regulators, non-Google browsers, and consumers are demanding to protect user privacy. So, with the rest of the ad tech ecosystem, Google needs to experiment with more privacy-focused techniques. Mounting regulatory pressure is yet another factor in the delay of cookie deprecation.
The delays can also be perceived as a responsible step from Google at a time when many in the advertising industry remain unprepared for the shift away from cookies. More importantly, brands across the world continue to grapple with the pandemic-induced slump. Cookie deprecation at a time like this can add to their long list of woes.
This delay will give the industry more time to consolidate their work-in-progress solutions for a cookieless world. Google has the reputation of being far with the timelines it provides to the industry to adjust to significant changes. On the other extreme is Apple, which gave the industry less than a year to prepare for wholesale changes to mobile app tracking on iOS devices.
The extended time frame specifically affords more time to the industry in advertising measurement, which continues to be an evolving space. As a result, marketers and agencies now have more time to acclimate, experiment, and refine approaches to drive campaign success while keeping consumer privacy at the core.
Delays or not, cookie deprecation is definitely on its way. Therefore, it is common sense for brands to make the most of these delays and be prepared for a cookieless world before the deadline hits their campaigns and consumers.
Over at ReBid, we believe that a cookieless world does not have to sound like the apocalypse it has been made out to be. Instead, this is an opportunity to create futureproof, customer-focused, privacy-first solutions.
The future of advertising and marketing is fool-proof and privacy compliant. And Rebid is here to help you navigate these times with zero loss. Sign up for a demo.