Google grants another year of grace for cookies, but industry insists we must not rest on our laurels

The cookie outage is that great news for years that will change everything, but in the end it comes to nothing. Google is the big motivator for the complete blackout, as the company announced that Chrome will start blocking them by default. When is the big question, because Google uses the history philosophy of Pierre and the Wolf and signal that the time is coming, then back off.

In the summer of 2021, Google already announced that I was going to give a year of grace to cookies, despite the fact that shortly before he had assured that no extension was being considered. The industry breathed easy because what was supposed to happen with 2022 would happen with 2023 and so they could better prepare. In this summer of 2022, Google reiterated the gesture. The cookie ban will now take place in 2024.

On the Chrome blog, the company ends to announce that it is postponing test plans. The cookie outage in Chrome will come in the second half of 2024, as they plan to launch the Privacy Sandbox APIs in the third quarter of 2023. According to the company, the reasons for the delay are marked as “the most consistent feedback” they have received is “the need for more time to evaluate and test new Privacy Sandbox technologies before downgrading third-party cookies in Chrome”.

what the industry says

But how right is Google? Is the marketing and advertising industry so ill-prepared that it needs another year of grace? Over the past year, the launches of alternative products and different proposals have taken place.

“We’re hearing a story from Google that the delay in removing third-party cookies for Chrome is because the ad industry isn’t ready for the transition,” he explains via email to PuroMarketing Peter Wallace, managing director for EMEA at GumGum, “but the advertising world has been preparing for this for years and is better prepared than Google thinks.”

The industry’s reaction to the situation is complex. What indicate different from you BatteryThe fact that Google has granted an additional year of grace could be interpreted as a sign that it is not quite ready for the blackout yet, but also that Google’s own technology is not quite ready. “Google continues to delay the deprecation of cookies because, despite several rounds of warnings, the digital marketing industry still relies on data to segment and personalize campaigns,” said Eric Vreeland, vice president of marketing at People Data, at UK Media Labs.

But beyond the reasons leading to this new postponement, the big question is whether the industry can afford it. Experts recall that Apple has already activated its own apocalipsis cookie and that the path to a cookie-free world has already begun a long time ago.

And, as Wallace reminds us, “removing third-party cookies from Chrome was always going to be necessary for the industry to take the final step and fully immerse itself in a cookieless framework.” “What Google has done has only postponed the inevitable and created more confusion, which is not in the interest of the industry and certainly not in the interest of the consumer,” he says.

Andrew Frank, analyst at Gartner, assures that this rupture can be read as a sign that “the path towards a viable solution of Sandbox of privacy turns out to be more complicated than they anticipated” and that the movement leaves winners and losers. The losers are those who prepared for what was supposed to be immediate, but no one has to be dupe that Google only granted a grace period means things are on hold for a while, but the time will come when we really have to face a world without cookies.

Are there alternatives?

Others players in the industry – beyond Google and beyond cookies – have been insisting in recent months that there are alternatives, remembering what they offer and how they can benefit advertisers and media . Of course, here everyone brings embers to their sardines, recalling the virtues of what their systems offer.

A PwC study presented by Adform a few weeks ago concluded that first-party identifiers perform well, with a 669% increase in reach and 161% in performance, compared to data obtained through cookies. “ID Fusion has allowed us to reach audiences that would otherwise be unreachable in cookie-free environments,” insisted Lotte Gundersen, digital marketing manager at Renault Norway, presenting the data.

It’s one, but not the only, of the alternatives that have been presented in recent months, in which the Google blackout has also coexisted with growing consumer pressure for greater privacy.

“Advertisers shouldn’t use this as an excuse to slow down their transition to cookieless solutions, like contextual targeting, which doesn’t require any personal data and can’t be traced back to an individual user,” says Peter Wallace of GumGum. , insisting that “people have repeatedly told us that they are unhappy with the tracking and use of their personal data for personalized advertising.”

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