ANA and 4As say Google’s cookie cull will ‘choke off’ adtech firms’ economic oxygen

ANA and 4As say Google’s cookie cull could ‘choke off’ adtech firms’ economic oxygen

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) have called on Google to think again following its recent decision to block third-party cookies on its Chrome web browser from 2022.

For 25 years, third-party browser cookies have tracked the journeys of internet users. These maligned lines of code are unlikely to celebrate a 30th anniversary, however, with Google revealing plans to block them across its Chrome browser by 2022.

Given Chrome's mammoth 66% monopoly on the browser market, the move has raised big questions about the future of cross-site tracking, retargeting and ad-serving for the adtech industry.

In a joint statement, ANA and 4A’s executive vice president Dan Jaffe and Dick O’Brien remarked: "Google’s decision to block third-party cookies in Chrome could have major competitive impacts for digital businesses, consumer services, and technological innovation. It would threaten to substantially disrupt much of the infrastructure of today's Internet without providing any viable alternative, and it may choke off the economic oxygen from advertising that startups and emerging companies need to survive.

"We are deeply disappointed that Google would unilaterally declare such a major change without prior careful consultation across the digital and advertising industries. We intend to work with stakeholders and policymakers to ensure that there are effective and competitive alternatives available prior to Google’s planned change fully taking effect. We will also collaborate with Google in this effort, so we can all ensure the digital advertising marketplace continues to be competitive and efficient.

"In the interim, we strongly urge Google to publicly and quickly commit to not imposing this moratorium on third party cookies until effective and meaningful alternatives are available."

Criticism of its cookie policy is unlikely to perturb Google too much with its parent company Alphabet logging a market valuation of one trillion dollars for the first time.

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