Google’s decision to delay the deprecation of third-party cookies on Chrome from 2022 to late 2023 may only represent 12 months on the calendar, but for many advertisers and publishers, it could mark an eternity.
The move away from third-party cookies, which Google brought into the mainstream last year when it announced the end of cookies on Chrome, has given rise to what is being labelled the ‘cookieless future’ of digital advertising.
The ‘cookieless future’ has seen some of the biggest names in digital advertising come together to work on new solutions, such as the Unified ID 2.0, and has even seen entire new companies created.
Much of this rapid development has occurred in the 18 months since Google laid out its plans to make third-party cookies “obsolete”.
And according to Verizon Media’s head of data ANZ Dan Richardson, this innovation shows no sign of slowing – even with this latest extension.
“We’re all agreed on the fact we need to look at alternatives to one-to-one, persistent targeting of people,” he told B&T. “We also agree about preserving privacy-based groups for targeting and measurement.”
“What we’ll hopefully see is a bit more time for the industry identity space to play out.”
Marketing trade group MMA Global recently pointed to the fact that there are currently around 80 companies currently offering identity solutions for the cookieless world.
It’s something Richardson likens to the early days of digital advertising when there “was an ad network popping up every second day”.
“It’s kind of like that now with identity. I think the two key ingredients are scale, and direct consumer consent,” he said.
Richardson did cast doubt over whether or not all 80 of these identity solutions would be privacy-focused and suggested some might simply be “cookies 2.0”.
Getting consumers ready
As well as giving the advertising industry extra time to iron out various cookieless solutions, Google’s extension could also provide extra time for consumer sentiment to come around on digital advertising.
“We’ve done a great job educating brands and advertisers about privacy and identity,” Richardson said.
“But you know we’ve done a pretty average job as an industry, educating consumers.”
The extra time could provide a valuable window to further educate consumers about the value exchange that exists in digital advertising.
“If we look at GDPR in the UK as an example, we’ve got a very low awareness or understanding of that by the consumer.
“There’s a big gap there – so hopefully this gap can be filled with more education.”
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