The cookie fails to crumble…again. 

By Digital Account Director Mohini Lakhani

The latest setback in the cookie conundrum comes from Google, who on Tuesday (23rd April 2024) announced that they were delaying the deprecation of third-party cookies in Chrome, yet again. This doesn’t come as a particular surprise to many advertisers and industry professionals who have been keeping tabs on the unfolding developments over the past few years, having seen multiple delays to the deadline from Google, this being their third.  

More recently, Google have been under the watchful eye of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), who have stated that they are not yet comfortable that the proposed Privacy Sandbox APIs, Google’s alternatives to advertising in a post-cookie world, provide a fair competitive environment.  

Whilst it is solely with the CMA to give Google the green light, industry regulatory bodies such as IAB Tech Labs have also scrutinized the Privacy Sandbox APIs in recent months, which has no doubt, caused unsurmountable pressure for Google to get this right for both advertisers and users, ensuring that their privacy rights are protected. 

It’s now on Google to go back to the drawing board and work co-operatively with the CMA and their guidance to develop the Privacy Sandbox APIs to a standard that both they and industry bodies uphold. 

Don’t lose the momentum. 

Whilst this news may be music to some advertisers’ ears, continuing the momentum of the progress already made in pivoting to a post-cookie world, is an absolute must. The delay just gives advertisers a bit of breathing room to adopt test-and-learn targeting and measurement strategies, as well as better ready their first-party data. So, it’s likely we’ll see that those who are actively preparing, reap the rewards, as more than half of online users are already operating in cookieless environments.  

Earlier this year, we already saw Google testing a blocking of 1% of third-party cookies in Chrome browsers globally, so there could be a scenario in which Google increase this in order to rigorously test the Privacy Sandbox APIs to a standard that the CMA are comfortable with.  

Alongside this, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have been cracking down on organisations’ on-site cookie banners in needing to align to their proposed guidelines, the main call out being that cookie banners must make it as easy for users to ‘reject all’ advertising cookies as it is to ‘accept all’. If we see organisations increasingly adhere to this, then we anticipate that the percentage of the cookieless Internet to increase, before we even get to Google’s next proposed deadline, hence why we urge clients to keep on with adapting to cookieless alternatives.  

At The Kite Factory, we are working closely with our clients on preparing them on the changes in advertising capabilities in a post-cookie world. Please get in touch for further information on how we can help you navigate the ongoing developments.