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Google delays pulling plug on third party cookies, again

As it currently appears, Google might be finding it difficult to cook up a worthy replacement for the third party cookies, and advertisers couldn’t be happier; at least, who wouldn’t appreciate another two years of breathing space.

Earlier slated for 2022, then 2023, and now second half of  2024, Google’s latest postponement of the 3P cookies phaseout has left the digital ad economy exploring reliable alternatives. 

In 2019, advertisers had their hearts in their mouth when Google announced plans to phase out the third party cookies in Chrome, amidst the growing agitation for increased user privacy. 

The proposed deprecation was a wake-up call for marketers and advertisers who largely depended on the 3P cookies to measure the impact of their campaigns, track online users, target them with personalized advertisements, compile records of users’ browsing history, and build up a profile of their interests, preferences and habits.

Later, Google introduced Topics, a Privacy Sandbox proposal for a mechanism to enable interest-based advertising, without having to resort to tracking the sites a user visits. However, backing its decision to yet again delay the disabling of third-party cookies in Chrome, the big tech revealed that the decision stemmed from requests from partners for more time to evaluate and test the  Privacy Sandbox. 

Growth and performance marketing expert, Olayinka Bolaji said: “The digital marketing industry still depends largely on cookies for personalized campaigns, even though the phase out is inevitable (it will still happen); I think the postponement just gives room for those that haven’t switched to cookie less ads to find suitable alternatives if they want to continue tracking online consumer behaviors and serve more personalized ads. As an advertiser, Google should take their time.”

Liza Nunes, Global EVP, Google Partnerships shared in a post: “We know that our clients and ad agencies may be wondering about their next steps and the implications of this privacy timeline shift. Is this a good time to breathe a sigh of relief and regroup? No.”

“Our recommendation is for our clients and agency partners to remain privacy-focused. Cookie depreciation is inevitable. We know the winners in the race to a cookieless future will be agencies and clients that use this time wisely to prepare and innovate whilst maintaining pace. Some companies are already leading the pack and have begun utilizing alternative solutions like data clean rooms for ad targeting. We know that brands that prepare for a cookieless world today will be ahead of their competition tomorrow.”


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