The current state of 3rd Party Marketing Cookies

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Impactful changes to 3rd Party Marketing Cookies* (3PMC) are nearing as Apple and Google plan restrictive updates to their technologies, but what does the current landscape look like?

“We were surprised by the results of the scan performed by Cookiebot CMP, as the prevalence of non-compliance amongst large and mostly premium publishers is so significant. Advertisers want to ensure they fund responsible media outlets, and these numbers clearly show there is a lot of work to do. Particularly in light of recent industry developments, we advise brands to ensure they have full transparency and controls on their investments, especially in programmatic open-web activity.”

Ebiquity releases key results of study on the current state of 3rd Party Marketing Cookies in partnership with Cookiebot™ by Usercentrics


  • 51.6% of all cookies are 3PMC
  • 32.3% are set prior to consent
  • 70% of 3PMC's transfer data to non-EU territories
// What we want to investigate and why


Considering the recent developments in the industry, many advertisers are rightly considering what their appropriate response to matters such as this should be. When presented with data around non-compliance of the publishers they fund with their advertising budgets, they have to determine if and how they can ensure their partners meet their legal – and ethical – requirements.

Ebiquity decided to partner with a technology leader, Cookiebot CMP by Usercentrics, to better understand the current state of 3rd Party Marketing Cookies (3PMCs), in an attempt to generate insights into 3PMC coverage and practices on large ad-funded domains.

  • Understand the current landscape
  • Insights into 3PMC coverage and practices
  • GDPR compliance
// What we've discovered and suggest


Cookiebot CMP by Usercentrics teamed up with Ebiquity in an attempt to generate insights into 3PMC coverage and practices on large ad-funded domains. The findings were rich, and some areas of concern are highlighted in this paper.

  • Cookiebot CMP reported that 92.6% of all scanned domains had placed at least one 3PMC before the user had given consent.
  • Cookiebot CMP also reported that 70%of all 3PMCs transfer  personal  data to non-EU territories, which often happens without website owners being actively aware or in control. International data transfers have strict regulatory requirements that need to be accounted for by the right party. We believe the oversight on this is limited.

These findings are problematic for advertisers as they rely on their media supply partners to ensure audiences are sufficiently protected under the appropriate regulatory frameworks. This sample of websites is not random, but rather reflects a selection of the largest programmatic publishers in terms of advertising spend by brand advertisers.

  • 796 domains were scanned
  • 51.6% of all cookies are 3PMC

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