Exclusive Insights from State of the Nation 2024 – Sandbox Testing

The recent IAB Canada’s State of the Nation 2024 event in Toronto took on a critical issue in the advertising industry – the phase-out of third-party cookies by Google Chrome, slated for Q1 2025. Moderated by Sonia Carreno, President of IAB Canada, the fireside chat brought together industry experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities this shift presents. Joshua Prismon, Chief Architect of Index Exchange, Pritesh Jumani, Head of Ad Tech and Performance Media at The Globe and Mail, and Yaryna Hritz, Ads Privacy Specialist at Google, offered insightful perspectives on navigating the future of cookie independence. 

The Time to Test is Now 

While the recent delay in cookie deprecation provides some breathing room, industry players are actively testing solutions offered by Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiative. “This is the time to lean in.” Hritz emphasized. “We are very much testing on this 1 percent of cookie deprecated traffic.  We are doing multi-case testing, meaning we are not testing the APIs in isolation. We are pressure testing our end-to-end solutions. We are looking at the multiple signals. We’re looking at clean rooms. We’re looking at publisher provided IDs.” 

Understanding and utilizing the Privacy Sandbox testing framework and tools requires significant development effort. Prismon states that “We started active development a bit more than a year ago, and there was a huge lack of documentation.”. He further states that they had to develop code and documentation from the ground up, which eventually was also donated to the IAB. You can read about it in this article

Jumani shares that The Globe and Mail, as a publisher, acknowledges the importance of understanding this change. He states that “We have added the two modules which are important for the Privacy Sandbox. That’s Topics and Protected Audiences API. We’re also passing the Chrome labels to our ad server.” 

Creative Approaches 

The panel acknowledges that IAB Tech Lab’s role in establishing a universal testing framework ensures consistent measurement across the industry. Yet, there is still a need for creative approaches to utilizing the new APIs for effective measurement. 

“The analogy I like to give is privacy sandbox is like going to McDonald’s and asking for your usual Big Mac meal and getting it back in the form of ingredients in different places,” said Prismon. “You need to think of it in terms of the privacy construct, and that includes measurement as well.” 

Though Jumani share that 40 percent of their users don’t have 3rd party cookies at all, since they use Safari or Firefox. “We are leaning in on our first party data, which is pretty robust. It helps when you have a subscription business and an events business.” He further states that it helps when buyers work with them directly to collaborate on success and measurement. And with their Globe Media Alliance partners that are also working on first party data, it enables them to scale up when it comes to engaging authentic audiences. Different tools are also being utilized by Jumani, like IAB Tech Lab’s Seller Defined Audiences. 

Challenges Remain, But Optimism Prevails 

While challenges remain, the panel optimistically assured that the industry is working together to adapt. “We’re still working through what exactly that means,” Prismon admitted the regarding the limitations of data sharing in the new landscape. “But we’re going to get better at this.”. Jumani echoes the need for buyers to be very deliberate and purposeful with their approach and utilize insights from publishers and collaborate on attribution and success metrics. 

The message was clear: collaboration between publishers, advertisers, and tech providers is essential for a smooth transition. “It’s on all of us to figure this out and solve for the industry,” said Carreno. 

State of the Nation Goes Regional Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax

Be ahead of the curve with cutting-edge advertising strategies. There’s no substitute for hearing directly from the experts. Join us for our State of the Nation regional shows! The next stop is Vancouver on June 27, followed by Montreal on July 9, and finally Halifax on July 11. Don’t miss out – register now to secure your spot