The long farewell of third-party cookies continues but as RTB House can confirm, they have had their day. Are you prepared?

Yes, Google has once again decided to delay the deprecation of third-party cookies (until 2025) and it will not disrupt online advertising in this year’s Golden Quarter. But, third-party cookies have had their day, and it’s very much ‘when’ not ‘if.’

To be fully prepared, RTB House has been working on cookieless solutions since Google’s announcement in 2020, and a number of our proposals have been integrated into the Privacy Sandbox. What follows is a snapshot of our testing, progress, and initial findings.

Our testing

We have tested the Privacy Sandbox with third-party cookies disabled on 1% of Chrome browsers for five months.

We have focused on:

  • End-to-end testing.
  • Supply integrations.
  • Expanding supported features inside the Privacy Sandbox specification.
  • Campaign migration to cookieless tools.

In our exploration of Privacy Sandbox tools, we have been able to deliver personalised creatives into the most popular formats and placements. Our initial comparisons are promising, but there’s still much to do.

To gain a complete view, we require greater participation and higher volumes of data. With this in mind, we are working with the Google team, our industry partners, and with regulators to ensure a responsible ramp plan.

We are fully confident in our technical implementation, and positive that given the right timeline and higher engagement from the ecosystem, we will build a comprehensive picture of supply and demand, iterate our models on a full volume of cookieless data, and work through the technical requirements of scale.

Our progress and initial results

Since late 2023 we have successfully used live bidding and buying in the Privacy Sandbox, and the key elements of our personalised advertising solutions are functioning well. We can create first-party data profiles based on direct interactions between users and advertisers, and store those securely and privately via Interest Groups. We are able to access those profiles at bid time, and place smart bids. Whenever we win an auction, we can deliver engaging creatives with highly relevant product recommendations.

Next steps

We will continue to test in the initial Mode B phase, build out supply integrations, and fully enable our campaigns. It’s a great opportunity for us to build a robust data set to share with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

It’s important to note that there are a number of crucial points that can not be addressed in this 1% testing phase. Our expectation is that this will require one or more intermediate ramp phases of 3-6 months. We are working with Google (on whom we are relying to address a number of outstanding issues before full scaling), our industry partners, and regulators to ensure a workable ramp plan.

We anticipate being able to share a broader range of results once they reach statistical significance. Until then, and far beyond, we will continue our work to ensure that advertisers can advertise effectively in the cookieless future.

Come to our session on cookieless and Generative AI on July 2 at 2:15 PM at the Hexagon Stage.