A common issue experienced by publishers working with Google as a vendor under TCF v2.0 is error “2.1a”. This occurs when making a call to request ads. The Google Ad Manager documentation states the following:
Most TCF vendors check themselves whether the TC String is available before triggering their logic, so that they can determine if they have a legal basis to process personal data.
This consistency in implementation by TCF vendors is causing publishers to expect Google to do the same, for example, see Scenario 1 in the diagram below:
However Scenario 1 is not supported by Google. Instead, Google expects the publisher to make sure the TC String is available via the CMP before requesting ads, see Scenario 2 below:
This means that when working with Google, it’s the publisher’s responsibility to ensure that the TC String is available before making the ads call. If the ads call is made before the TC String is available, this results in error “2.1a”.
Publishers should therefore add some conditional logic to the ads call, to ensure that the TC String is available before the request for ads is made.
We have reached out to Google to emphasise the importance of this issue for publishers, given that it requires extra integration work, however there is no indication yet as to whether they will support this configuration in the future. In the meantime we encourage all publishers who have experienced this issue to contact Google directly and request that they support Scenario 1 above.