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IAB Europe Report on the Digital Advertising Industry's Readiness for the Post Third-Party Cookie Era

Feb 22,2024
Amy Mazzola

Less than a year remains until the deprecation of third-party cookies in Chrome, marking a significant shift in the digital advertising landscape. To gauge the industry's preparedness for this new era, IAB Europe conducted a comprehensive survey, garnering insights from over 160 industry professionals across Europe.

The results highlight a nuanced perspective within the industry regarding the impending change. While the majority, accounting for just over half of respondents (57%) expressed agreement with the decision to deprecate third-party cookies, 43% either disagreed or remained uncertain about its implications. An overwhelming majority of businesses within the digital advertising realm, 76%, acknowledge their reliance on third-party cookies. However, when questioned about their readiness for the impending deprecation, responses were mixed. While half of the respondents (51%) indicated preparedness, 34% expressed disagreement, signalling a significant portion of the industry that still requires help and support in preparing for the post third party cookie future.

Addressing the areas requiring attention, respondents emphasised the necessity for stronger first-party data strategies, increased industry collaboration, and a push for innovation beyond the traditional use of cookies. Notably, the survey identified contextual advertising and publisher/first-party IDs, along with authentication-derived IDs, as the primary alternatives being explored by the industry.

Despite the acknowledgment of alternative solutions, the survey revealed a split amongst respondents towards testing Privacy Sandbox APIs, with over half (55%) yet to engage in such experimentation. Key challenges cited include apprehensions surrounding potential antitrust issues, data insights, and the reliability of the advertising system amidst continuous changes. Respondents also stressed the importance of robust privacy guidance, underlining the need to address data privacy and security concerns in any new advertising framework.

This piece of research is the first output from IAB Europe’s new Post Third-Party Cookie Working Group which has been formed to help foster a collaborative and informed community in anticipation of the imminent removal of third-party cookies. The working group’s mission is to empower stakeholders from across the digital advertising ecosystem with the knowledge, resources, and support necessary to navigate the evolving landscape. 

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