Ad Age: Google Chrome Killed the Cookie. What Now?

Move marks a watershed moment for the digital ad industry to reinvent itself

The clock is ticking to reinvent digital advertising now that Google vowed to remove third-party cookies from its Chrome browser within two years.

While the move will force digital players into new ways of doing business, a cookie-less world is being seen by some as a way to start from scratch. It “removes a crutch this industry built,” says Andrew Casale, president and CEO of Index Exchange, a programmatic commpany that works with publishers. “No one thought third-party cookies were great. They’re not tied to a person and they’re fragmented across a huge swath of companies.”

But Google’s decision, which comes as privacy regulation rises, is not welcome news for all. Criteo, which built a retargeting empire around cookies, saw its stock tumble following Google’s announcement. Others such as LiveRamp and Oracle-owned businesses BlueKai and Datalogix, as well as nearly all data management platforms, now face the challenge of rethinking their business.

‘End of days’

That may not be a bad thing, says Jarrod Dicker, VP of commercial technology and development at the Washington Post. “Our point of view is that it’s about time,” says Dicker. “The way that advertising is being delivered with cookies simply isn’t accurate.” Adds Dicker: “We as an industry are always at the ‘end of days’—ad blockers, viewability, fraud. Knowing our resiliency, the next frontier is going to be insanely exciting.”

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