How Google Chrome Blocking Third-Party Cookies Affects Advertisers


By Brooke Willcox


Director, Digital Business Development & Emerging Media 

To kick off 2020, Google announced its next privacy-focused mission: the search giant will phase out third-party cookies on the Chrome web browser by 2022. This is a move to cut off third-party cookies (not first-party cookies) so companies other than the specific publishers cannot collect and sell the information captured by the cookie.

Building Consumer Trust

The announcement is a positive step in driving forward a thriving industry that supports consumer choice, security, and privacy. What does this mean for media and marketing agencies? They need ensure that their end-to-end capabilities continue to evolve, as third-party cookies diminish as the standard infrastructure for the industry.

Agencies that plan ahead will be uniquely poised to adopt by identifying targeting and measurement solutions that collaborate with Google Chrome and the industry, for the benefit of advertiser clients, partners, and the end consumer.

What Will Happen to Advertisers When Google Chrome Blocks Third-Party Cookies?

Google is still supportive of an ‘ad-supported web,’ so smart agencies and advertising tools will likely be able to find ways to ensure that their campaigns function as desired.


Here are some predictions to look for:


1. The industry will be faced with more consolidation, where we will see less DSPs, DMPs, and data providers in two years. The market is saturated with data anyway, both good and bad. This change will inherently create a cleanse in the data marketplace.

2. Another unintended consequence might be the reduction of Fraud, if different data points are utilized to control targeting.

3. More companies will be forced to expedite and innovate their adoption and/or collection of mobile device IDs that were paired using cross-device graphs.

4. In addition to independent ID Solutions, Google Chrome is betting that its Privacy Sandbox will, over the next two years, build functionality that replaces third-party cookies. The industry needs to be wary in giving Google more control over this industry. Major tech giants like Google and Facebook have built solutions for advertisers and media companies, but it’s important to remember that these companies also have significant e-commerce, advertising, and media interests.

5. Data Sourcing will shift from cookie-based data to offline data sourcing. This will include surveys; purchases/transactions; and public records such as Property Records, Licenses, Voter Registration, and DMV Records; as well as Subscriptions, TV Viewership, Product Registrations, Auto Warranties, and more.

6. Contextual targeting will continue to flourish as contextual content alignment will bring relevant advertising to the end user.

7. IP Address targeting is still viable in this “cookie-crumbling” environment.

8. Deterministically targeting real people at a 1:1 level will be unfazed. Deterministic targeting is a cookie-less form of targeting where you can target to the individual level.

9. First-Party Data becomes more of a king in the space. This change will not impact an advertiser or publisher’s first-party data.

The Overall Impact

Marketing Technology is an evolving force and its inhabitants must do so with it. This is still relatively new news, and a lot can change in two long years. Google is not the first browser to make strides toward eliminating cookies, so companies have already started determining workarounds when they saw the writing on the wall. This industry is nimble so in the long run the impact of this announcement will be minimal.