The story that started here as GOOGLE’S DÉJÀ VU will have lots of future twists and turns as the (third-party) cookie crumbles. We decided to follow the chapters that we actually understand and think are important in the Marketing Wilderness context:

Google Grants a Stay of Execution in the Death of the Cookie

—Adweek, Jun 24, 2021 [1]

Below the Headline:
Google has just announced that its Chrome web browser will stop using third-party cookies a year later than most recently announced. That is, Chrome’s cookie deprecation will begin early 2023 rather than early 2022.

Behind the Headline: There isn’t much detail in this first announcement. Ostensibly, the reprieve is to allow all stakeholders more time to adopt Privacy Sandbox, Google’s proprietary solution to the loss of third-party cookie data for ad targeting, previously explained here.

It looks like a major factor in this latest timing decision is commitments made to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). These commitments were made earlier this month. It appears the CMA will play an active, collaborative role in how Google builds and deploys its third-party cookie replacement so that it’s not anticompetitive.

Consumer privacy concerns in the UK and Europe are greater than in any other major market. Europe has been the most threatening and actively litigious market with the online giants in the context of non-competitive behaviour. Hence Google’s cooperation with regulators whose purview is outside North America.

All stakeholders will breathe a sigh of relief, other than (perhaps), Google itself. But will brands, agencies and publishers use this gift of time wisely to develop new ad targeting strategies? Like they didn’t do in 2020 when Google first announced its cookie deprecation plans?end-of-post-symbol

Notes and references:

  1. Ronan Shields, “Google Grants a Stay of Execution in the Death of the Cookie”, Adweek, Jun 24, 2021.
  2. Main image credit: Baking Kneads, LLC.