LAS VEGAS – Alphabet Inc.’s Google this year began to give users of its popular Chrome browser more control over their online privacy by limiting the use of tracking cookies. The technology has underpinned online advertising since the internet was commercialized in the mid-1990s, and buyers and sellers of media are preparing for its disappearance.

“We’ve been working on this for….three, almost four years now. We’re on the path to readiness,” Sébastien Hernoux, chief data and technology officer of Omnicom Group’s OMD USA, said in this interview with Beet.TV contributor Mike Shields at the CES 2024.

“A lot of brands are still figuring out what the right solution is going to be,” Hernoux said, “but also on the publisher side, a lot of questions on what solution should they implement. On the tech partner side, also a lot of questions.”

Omnicom Group developed a companywide initiative called Future Signals to help prepare brands for the loss of tracking cookies. Hernoux said OMD has been testing a variety of replacements for cookies, such as the UID 2.0 identifier espoused by The Trade Desk and RampID from LiveRamp.

“All of these have real challenges to scale if you’re purely focusing on that one-to-one match,” Hernoux said. “The real question is: is it because the publishers have postponed the implementation, or is it just because it’s never going to scale?”

Marketers Are Using Data Clean Rooms in More Advanced Ways: OMD’s Sébastian Hernoux

One possibility for replacing cookies is a growing reliance on contextual signals that help to place ads next to appropriate content. There are some limitations to this method, Hernoux said.

“The contextual solutions have evolved. We are seeing a lot of work on the publisher side to recreate first-party segments, and that’s going to work. But again, very siloed approaches,” he said. “We need to think more holistically and how we can recreate segments that are predictive enough. Using AI, using machine learning, without being able to completely replace that one-to-one addressability.”

You’re watching “Preparing For The End of Third-Party Cookies,” a Beet.TV Leadership Series produced at CES 2024, presented by TripleLift. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.