After some speculation, Google gave the digital advertising industry the news many wanted to hear overnight – they will now have more time to prepare for the removal of third-party cookies on Chrome.
The initial cut-off date of 2022 has now been pushed back to late 2023, giving publishers and advertisers another year to finalise their cookieless solutions.
It’s a decision that has been widely welcomed by the industry. But with privacy still the focus for both Google and the wider ecosystem, there is also the view that this latest news hasn’t changed anything.
Criteo – which saw its stock price surge around 12 per cent on the back of the news – said it will continue to develop its capabilities in the interim.
“Today’s announcement is welcome news for the people who rely on a vibrant and healthy open internet. We appreciate Google’s decision to create more time for the industry to prepare, but the extended deadline does not in any way change or impact Criteo’s strategy,” a company spokesperson said.
“We continue to build products that will enable our customers to reach and engage their audiences without third-party identifiers. This includes investment in our first-party media network, cohort-based targeting, initiatives in Google’s Privacy Sandbox, and contextual advertising, all of which allow marketers to effectively engage with their customers in a privacy-safe and consented manner.”
PubMatic’s d Alena Morris also welcomed the additional time.
“We agree that the industry overall will be better-served by having more time to develop and test alternative, privacy-first addressability solutions. The future of the open internet depends on getting this right,” Morris said.
PubMatic’s stock price also lifted around 12 per cent yesterday.
The Trade Desk – which saw a stock price increase of 16 per cent – echoed these calls.
“It’s clear that the privacy technology of the open internet, including CTV, needs to evolve in a way that gives the consumer more control. Let’s build technology that is understandable, then let customers decide how they want to use it,” The Trade Desk CTO Dave Pickles told The Current. “With that approach, we can improve the consumer experience, while preserving the value exchange of relevant advertising for free content.”
Time is of the essence
Verizon Media’s head of data ANZ Dan Richardson pointed out how valuable the extra time might be for publishers and advertisers.
“The bottom line is the industry wasn’t ready and Google wasn’t ready and they recognise their own solutions will not yet be ready for their original deprecation timeline. So delaying this was really an inevitable outcome,” he told B&T.
“I think we’ll see them invest more in their Privacy Sandbox.”
Richardson also suggested that the extra time will help eliminate risks.
“The most valuable thing here is time. If you think about the brands and the publishers, there’s nothing more dangerous than pushing your first-party data strategy or your identity strategy
“If that misses the mark – and you get it wrong with your customers – you rarely get a second chance there.”
Lotame CEO Andy Monfried drew comparisons with Apple’s recent move to remove the IDFA from iOS devices.
“Google is ready to play ball, unlike Apple,” he said.
“Regulatory pressures aside, cooler heads seemed to have prevailed at Google to delay the sunset of third-party cookies rather than jamming through unproven, siloed proposals that favor the few but harm the vast majority. If only Apple took the same hint. We look forward to continuing to work with the industry and Google to create growth and value for all on an equal playing field.”
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