Wavemaker to clients: get ready to say goodbye to cookies by June

Media agency marshals clients to get ready early for approaching change to digital tracking.

Wavemaker: talk to the hand, because the cookie is being deprecated (Photo: Getty Images/AaronAmat)
Wavemaker: talk to the hand, because the cookie is being deprecated (Photo: Getty Images/AaronAmat)

Wavemaker is working to get its nearly 150 clients ready for a world without third-party cookies by June, ahead of 2022 when Google plans to block them in its Chrome browser.

The WPP media agency has set up a formal change programme in the belief the work requires months rather than days of planning, and despite uncertainty about what tool might succeed the current cookie system.

Third-party cookies have already been restricted by other web browser developers such as Apple (Safari) and Mozilla (Firefox), although these companies are at odds with Google on what should replace them.

This means that advertisers “should be acting now”, according to Wavemaker chief digital officer Christiaan Lette.

“Whilst alternative solutions are generating a lot of discussion, we can’t wait for the industry to settle on the perfect approach,” he said.

“Our plan is to put theory into practice rather than just talking about it. We believe using our solutions in the second half of 2021 will ensure clients are ahead of the changes.”

Wavemaker has produced an audit of more than 250 questions to help clients understand the scale of the break with the established advertising process as part of its programme, which it has dubbed 3PC – this stands for "third-party cookieless".

The programme focuses on aligning the client’s data strategy with a cookieless future; on prioritising, testing and adopting new technology solutions; and on re-examining the full spectrum of their media, data and technology partners.

Wavemaker's initiative comes after the IAB shifted from educating its members on the changes to urging them to actively prepare. 

Last week, IAB UK's Christie Dennehy-Neil and Tina Lakhani wrote that members should get involved in trials of possible long-term alternative User ID solutions. 

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