Google gives an extra year of grace to cookies, but the industry insists that we should not rest on our laurels

Google gives an extra year of grace to cookies, but the industry insists that we should not rest on our laurels

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The cookie blackout has been that great news for years that is going to change everything, but in the end it comes to nothing. Google is the great motivator of the complete blackout, because the company has announced that Chrome will start blocking them by default. When is the big question, because Google is using the philosophy of the story of Peter and the wolf and signaling that the moment is going to come and then backing down.

In the summer of 2021, Google already announced that it was going to give cookies a year of grace, despite the fact that not long before it had ensured that no extensions were being considered. The industry breathed easy because what was expected to arrive with 2022 would do so with 2023 and thus they could prepare better. In this summer of 2022, Google has repeated the move. The cookie blackout is now going to be in 2024.

On the Chrome blog, the company has just announced that it is postponing test plans. The cookie blackout in Chrome will arrive in the second half of 2024, because they expect to launch the Privacy Sandbox APIs during the third quarter of 2023. According to the company, the reasons for this delay are marked because “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 to what extent is Google right? Is the marketing and advertising industry so unprepared that it needs a new year of grace? In the last year, the launches of alternative products and different proposals have been happening.

“We are hearing a narrative from Google that the delay in removing third-party cookies for Chrome is being done because the ad industry is not ready for the transition,” he explains via email to PureMarketing Peter Wallace, general manager for EMEA at GumGum, “but the advertising world has been preparing for this for years and is more prepared than Google thinks.”

The industry’s reaction to the situation is complex. As different voices point to The Drum, that Google has given an extra year of grace could be read 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 depreciation of cookies because, despite several rounds of warnings, the digital marketing industry still relies on data to segment and personalize campaigns,” Eric Vreeland, vice president of marketing at People Data, told the British media. Labs.

But beyond the reasons that lead to this new delay, the big question is whether the industry can afford it. Experts recall that Apple has already activated its own cookie apocalypse and that the path to a world without cookies has already begun a long time ago.

And, as Wallace reminds us, “the removal of 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 cookie-free structure.” “What Google has done has only postponed the inevitable and created more confusion, which is not in the industry’s interest and certainly not in the consumer’s interest,” he says.

Andrew Frank, an analyst at Gartner, assures that this break can be read as a sign that “the path to a viable solution of sandbox of privacy is proving more complicated than they had anticipated” and that the movement leaves winners and losers. The losers are those who have been preparing for what was assumed to be immediate, but still nobody should be fooled That Google has given a grace period only means that things are put on hold for a while, but the time will come when we will 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 each one brings the ember to his sardine, pointing out the virtues of what his systems offer.

A PwC study that Adform presented a few weeks ago concluded that first-party IDs offer good results, with an increase of 669% in reach and 161% in performance, compared to the data achieved by cookies. “ID Fusion has allowed us to reach audiences that would otherwise be unreachable in cookie-free environments,” Lotte Gundersen, director of digital marketing at Renault Norway, insisted in presenting the data.

It is one, but not the only one of the alternatives that have been presented in these months, in which the Google blackout has also coexisted with the growing pressure from consumers for greater respect for their privacy.

“Advertisers shouldn’t use this as an excuse to slow down their transition to cookie-free solutions, like contextual targeting, which doesn’t require any personal data and can’t be traced back to an individual user,” says GumGum’s Peter Wallace, insisting that “People have told us over and over again that they are not happy with their personal data being tracked and used for personalized advertising.” They offer contextual advertising, another big uptrend in this apparent home stretch to blackout. of cookies.

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