Jide Sobo, Director, Strategy and Innovation Ebiquity, contributed to The WARC guide to The Future of Identity.


Options for brands looking to minimise disruption resulting from the demise of the cookie in digital advertising and answering ‘how can brands respond to a cookie-free world?’.

  • From 2023, brands will lose access to reliable audience reach metrics and much of their ability to cap ad exposure frequency.
  • Marketers must reappraise their approach to targeting and attribution in a post-cookie
  • Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook will become even more dominant in a cookie-free world.

Advertisers need to integrate discussions between internal teams, agencies and ad tech partners, to determine what data is currently sourced, from where, and how it’s used.

Brands pursuing contextual targeting should check that agency trading desks have reconfigured internal programmatic technology to reflect best practice in contextual buying.

Advertisers will have more opportunity to tap into consortium-led premium marketplaces, such as Trusted Media Brands in the US and the Ozone Project in the UK.

Since the dawn of the advertiser-funded internet in the mid-1990s, brands have used third-party cookies to track behaviour and target customers. Yet, by 2023, Google Chrome will become the last major browser to phase out the use and sharing of third-party cookies, following Safari, Firefox and Edge. In March 2021, Google confirmed its refusal to develop a replacement that deploys user-specific targeting.

A combination of consumer pressure for greater data privacy, industry self-regulation, and the spread of legislation around the world have accelerated the demise of the cookie. As a result, advertisers will no longer be able to use third-party cookies to build reach and cap frequency, target and retarget consumers, or run meaningful digital attribution. Therefore, brands that use digital media to advertise need to act now.

This article considers four consequences of the death of the cookie and recommends five ways brands can prepare themselves for the cookie-free marketplace.

This article is a WARC exclusive. To read the full article in WARC, click here.

Download our guide on how to survive the Cookie Apocalypse, here.

First featured 21/07/2021.

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