Thoughts & Opinions 

Cookies. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Rob Hall
June 30, 2021

You’ll have undoubtedly heard the news – Cookiepocalypse has been avoided for the time being, after Google yesterday announced a delay to its killing-off of third-party cookies until late 2023.

This news appears to have been met with a huge sigh of relief from the advertising industry, as well as Wall St where the share prices of major DSPs and SSPs saw big spikes.

The Ad Tech socialsphere was immediately alight with commentary, with a lot of people in the industry proclaiming how nice it was to have more time to work on solutions. But I feel they’re all missing the point: we need to depart from the reliance on third-party cookies as soon as possible because consumers have made their position crystal clear: they don’t want to be tracked around the internet.

Apple are leading the pack in their progressive, consumer-privacy approach by putting the user first. Google have made some important moves towards privacy, too and I can’t imagine this latest decision was one they took lightly.

The fact that Google has delayed these changes due to the ad industry not being ready shouldn’t be met with relief. It should be met with a humble acknowledgement that, if you’re still reliant on third-party cookies, you’re increasingly behind the times.

This delay isn’t a lucky break. It’s a stay of execution.

We need to re-shape advertising to not be so reliant on following people around the internet and instead use techniques that reach consumers – on their terms.

That’s why, here at Playground xyz, we’ve spent the past 3 years building our Attention Intelligence Platform, which uses AI (trained and regularly verified by opt-in eye tracking panels) to measure Attention Time, and optimise delivery to true consumer attention on ads. It lets us identify and validate the environments and contexts where an ad is resonating with the consumer. And it does this without the need for third-party cookies or identifiers of any kind.

We think the future of advertising is cookie-less and, largely, identity free. Consumers have already made it clear that this is what they want, not in two or three years time, but today.

So, yes, you could keep using third-party cookies for a little while longer. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.