Ad Tech Is Undergoing an Identity Crisis That's Been Worsened by the Pandemic

Evolving toward a cookieless future just got even more complicated

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Prior to the economic chaos caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent havoc it has wrought on the media industry, ad tech’s biggest priority was cookies—or its identity crisis, to be precise.

In January, Google announced the 2022 elimination of third-party cookies in its market-leading Chrome browser, prompting talk of Project Rearc, aka “the great collab” between ad tech and publishers at this year’s IAB flagship event.

Third-party cookies have been embedded in various tiers of the ad-tech ecosystem since its inception, and with Project Rearc, the IAB hoped to establish a consensus on what effectively amounts to a new operating system.



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This story first appeared in the May 4, 2020, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.