June 25, 2021

Google has now announced their intention to delay the discontinuation of third-party cookies by a further two years. In the same way their initial announcement a year and a half ago significantly disrupted the industry, the news, while not unexpected, will leave many advertisers, agencies, and publishers re-evaluating their strategy.

At Adform, we are focused on creating future-proof solutions capable of supporting clients throughout disruptive transformations like this one. At a high level, what does this change mean to us and our clients?

1. This is good news for the industry

The industry now has time to realize the best of both worlds. We can complete the journey we've all embarked upon since Google first announced their plans, to create a significantly improved, more robust adtech ecosystem with high quality first-party based capabilities, reduced fraud, and superior supply path transparency – paired with the on-going support and backing of third-party cookies where they make sense and continue to deliver value.

While there has been a significant amount of positive improvement that has come out of Google’s earlier timeline, there has also been significant pain across the entire advertising ecosystem.  At Adform, we consider ourselves leaders when it comes to solutions for the post-cookie world. While the first-party ID solutions have reached a high maturity, the framework around the Privacy Sandbox which represents a fundamental change within the adtech ecosystem was not ready to be implemented in such a short timeframe.

This announced change provides additional time for advertisers, agencies and publishers to transition their strategies, build well thought out solutions, and transition fully without rushing the job.

2. 50% of the web has already transitioned away from third-party cookies

While Chrome makes up a dominant portion of the web, in the last year, Adform has developed first-party led solutions for advertisers and publishers, enabling them to re-activate in Safari and Firefox. Key challenges surrounding third-party cookies, such as cookie lifetime, and lost-audiences remain and this means that all of the work already done to date is still not only valid, but a central focus for advertisers and publishers. This delay on the Sandbox initiative provides additional time and focus for us and our clients to create a mature and scaled solution in 2022.

3. The path forward remains clear cut and will rely heavily on first-party IDs

When Chrome’s initial deprecation of the third-party cookie was announced, the industry at large asked, "why have we not done this before?" when migrating publishers to first-party IDs. Better data protection, more direct relationships, longer-lived IDs, are all significant benefits. While a temptation may arise to take a “sit and see” position for the next 24 months – we believe that would result in significant missed opportunities.

We will continue to build on our vision and leverage the full capabilities of Adform FLOW and it’s unique architecture to deliver a world class solution that excelled in a third-party cookie environment, and is prepared to lead the industry in a hybrid first and third-party ID based landscape. The value and importance of an integrated technology stack, with full support for end-to-end identity capabilities including a robust DMP with first and third-party support, has never been stronger.

So, we welcome today’s announcement, and look forward to helping clients navigate the coming changes in a way that is effective, efficient, and results driven.

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