Google Delays Chrome’s Third-Party Cookie Blocking. What Does it Mean for Your Campaigns?

Weronika Czekaj

By: Scott Falconer, EVP Media Solutions, Hospitality, Amadeus

In this new blog post we delve into the latest announcement from Google, what it means to the digital advertising industry, and how we are already pursuing new methods to replace tracking cookies without sacrificing highly targeted advertising campaigns to engage customers.

 

Last month, Google announced the extension of its self-imposed deadline to block third-party cookies as a default in its Chrome web browser until late 2023. This announcement has been welcomed as great news by many advertisers, allowing them to strategize on moving to new user identifying technologies and to take more time to turn these strategies into practice.

The original plan of substituting the current tracking technology from its Privacy Sandbox has been delayed. That change required an advanced tracking technology called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), which monitors users’ browsing history and creates cohorts based on similar behavior. The introduction of FLoC faced multiple challenges from governmental regulators, including UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), and raised concerns among privacy advocates and advertising industry trade bodies.

Google will conclude its initial trial of FLoC in July 2021 and will share details about any future tests in the coming weeks. The next steps are anticipated to take place in late 2022. Following the development of any additional Privacy Sandbox initiatives, Google plans to roll out its various cookieless advertising methods, monitor industry adoption, and go through an evaluation conducted by the UK’s CMA. In mid-2023, after fully testing its different Sandbox initiatives and receiving approval from the CMA, Chrome will begin to phase out third-party cookies gradually over a three-month period.

While Google remains in the exploratory phase for now, Apple is becoming even more active in its efforts to improve consumer privacy by reducing email tracking. Currently, when users open marketing emails, the sender can be given all sorts of information such as location, and the time when the email was opened. The new iOS 15 feature will stop this practice by revoking this information in the Mail app.

What does it mean for your digital campaigns?

The teams at Amadeus and travel audience are committed to matching our technology solutions with evolving industry standards and market or consumer trends. Prior to the recent privacy-related announcements by Google and Apple, our teams have been assisting our clients and implementing all technical changes that were needed to stay compliant with the recent updates rolled out by any of the partners.

The latest news clarifies that there is no single solution to reduce dependency on third-party cookies. That’s also the reason why we have been focusing on multiple initiatives. In addition to collaborating with our premier partners and staying ahead of adopting solutions like Google Privacy Sandbox and FLoC, we embraced the following as part of our strategy:

 

  • Contextual targeting is key – that’s why we build more solutions like ad placements on websites with relevant niche content, such as luxury travel blogs, to reach the right audiences through first-party data insights.
  • Extensive proprietary Amadeus data is instrumental to our customer’s campaigns. It’s helping customers use stronger 1st party data strategies to optimize and maximize their performance. That wealth of data ranges from online air search data to agency bookings and including solutions like Guest Management Solutions (GMS), used for data management, campaign targeting, and audience modeling.
  • Implementing universal identity solutions and long-lived identifiers (i.e. first-party identifiers, hashed email addresses) is our priority. This allows us to continue creating a multi-identity traveler segmentation capability, what we call our Traveler Segmentation Engine.

 

Even if cookies are here to stay for more than two years, we continue to refine how we identify users for targeting and tracking. The digital advertising landscape is dynamically evolving and the latest announcement from Google confirms it. Amadeus will continue to keep the finger on the pulse of the industry and follow the principles of privacy in providing day-to-day performance-focused media strategies and also in shaping future media solutions for our customers. It is of the utmost importance that we provide secure solutions that enable our customers to comply with evolving market requirements and to succeed in the evolving online ad system.

 

To learn more about Amadeus Media solutions, click here.

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