Australia one of five focus markets in GroupM post-cookie readiness program

As Google Chrome prepares to commence the deprecation of third-party cookies at the start of 2024, WPP investment arm GroupM has launched a post-cookie readiness program testing Google’s Privacy Sandbox APIs.

The program, launched in partnership with Google Chrome, addresses how advertisers can weather the transition to a post-third-party cookie world.

Ryan Menezes, CEO of Nexus Australia

“We strongly believe advertising can and should respect people’s privacy while continuing to deliver exceptional value for consumers and advertisers,” said Christian Juhl, GroupM’s Global CEO.

“Since Google publicly declared their intention to deprecate third-party cookies, we’ve been collaborating closely with the Chrome team, our clients, and other partners to ensure our clients won’t miss a beat when the transition happens. The program we’re announcing today is an exciting step forward in that collaboration that will allow our clients to test existing preparations and enable us to develop new approaches where necessary.”

Locally, CEO of GroupM media performance offering, Nexus Australia, Ryan Menezes explained that the deprecation of cookies in 2024 would have a significant impact on targeting and analytics, affecting how agencies deliver marketing and business outcomes for clients.

In January, Google’s Chrome will commence deprecation for approximately one percent of Chrome users, with the process expected to be completed for all Chrome users in H2 2024.

“This global partnership with Google Chrome to develop a testing framework will ensure GroupM clients and agencies are at the forefront of these ecosystem changes,” said Menezes.

Menezes said Australia was selected as one of five focus markets in the pilot, which is hoped to give media buyers a greater understanding of the Google Privacy Sandbox APIs and their use in advertising.

“It means our agencies (EssenceMediacom, Wavemaker and Mindshare) will be better armed with strategies to guide our clients so they can thrive in a cookieless and privacy centric world,” he said.

“We’re excited to further accelerate the work we’ve already been doing in close collaboration with Google and our clients to find ways to deliver better advertising experiences to consumers in the future, while maintaining relevance and effectiveness for advertisers.”

The global program will be underpinned by three key principles: a Unified Framework, Anonymised Data and Accelerated Learning.

Unified Framework: GroupM is designing a unified framework for testing, informed by the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) guidance for post-cookie testing, to work collaboratively with advertisers and ad tech partners to understand the scope of investment across Chrome and overlay relevant tests wherever possible.

Anonymized Data: To facilitate the fullest learning opportunity for each participating advertiser, GroupM will conduct an anonymized meta-analysis across individual brand tests, in addition to a brand’s own Privacy Sandbox program. This information will be anonymized and aggregated as part of collective learnings and eventually a meta-study.

Accelerated Learning: Participating advertisers will get direct access to testing across GroupM alpha/betas with our global ad-tech partners. As first-to-market testers, participating clients will learn at the forefront of this industry-altering change, gaining access to GroupM’s collective knowledge.

“This program is a key step in our ongoing efforts to ready the industry for the transition to the post-cookie era,” said Anthony Chavez, vice president, Privacy Sandbox, Google.

“GroupM is well equipped to help advertisers with their third-party cookie deprecation preparation efforts. Along with their ad tech providers, this initiative will help GroupM’s clients as they work to integrate the capabilities that the Privacy Sandbox provides. Through this readiness program, GroupM and its clients will play an important role in helping to create a more private internet for everyone.”


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