Will The Cookie Ever Crumble?; There’s More Than One System1

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Cookie Cutters

A coalition of large German advertisers and Axel Springer, the biggest German publisher, are petitioning the EU legislature to stop Google from removing third-party cookies in Chrome, the Financial Times reports. 

Chrome already delayed cookie deprecation from Q2 this year to the beginning of 2024.

But regardless of what happens in Brussels, this isn’t the first government entity that wants to weigh in on the future of cookies. In a deal with the British Competition and Markets Authority last June, Google agreed not to kill third-party cookies without its approval. 

Weird world we live in, though – Google Chrome is working to jettison third-party cookies, in part, because the GDPR classifies cookies as personal data when they can be used to identify an individual. It would be strange to see EU politicians step in to preserve third-party trackers. 

Back to Germany, Axel Springer and advertisers in that country will have to explain why Chrome removing third-party cookies is allegedly illegal, considering Firefox and Safari already removed them years ago. In a sense, Chrome is catching up to the web browser market on this feature. 

“Many other platforms and browsers have already stopped supporting third-party cookies, but Google is the only one to do this openly and in consultation with technical standards bodies, regulators, and the industry, while also proposing new, alternative technologies,” according to a statement by the company.

All Systems Go … To Court

System1, the performance marketing and traffic referral company, officially closed its SPAC merger to list on the New York Stock Exchange. It will trade under the ticker “SST.” 

But System1 was greeted as it entered the public market with a lawsuit from … System1, a London-based ad tech business with the “SYS1” ticker on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

The name refers to “System 1” thinking – fast and instinctual decision-making – as expounded by economics Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman. 

The British System1 took on the name in 2017, shortly before the American System1, which rebranded from OpenMail.

The US-based System1 is a marketing engine fronted by consumer-facing products that people might know: antivirus and privacy protection services for devices and web browsers, as well as early-web media standouts like HowStuffWorks, Info.com, MapQuest and CarsGenius. So it doesn’t exactly need the name. The British System1 could argue a true need for its name because it was previously called … BrainJuicer. Try that one in court, though.

Let The Games Begin

NBCUniversal put out an RFP in November for a social media partner to pilot ad formats throughout the Olympic games, and it announced the big winner on Monday: TikTok.

NBC plans to create 30 new TikTok posts per day during the games in addition to hosting a livestream with a still-TBD creator, Ad Age reports. NBC also still hasn’t named any participating advertisers yet.

But … the Olympics are less than a month away.

Why such a tight squeeze? Probably because NBC already expects low ratings. The Tokyo games last summer made for the lowest Summer Olympics ratings on record, and that was only partially due to the pandemic.

Agencies told Insider that NBC’s decision to air the games on multiple TV and streaming platforms confused viewers, pushing ratings down even more. Add to that the fact that brands are continuing to scale back on their ad dollars, and it’s not a recipe for success.

Either way, NBC has warned sponsors that this year’s ratings will likely disappoint.

But there is a winner here: TikTok, which won out over Snap and Meta, gets to remain as NBC’s social media partner throughout the 2024 Summer Olympics and 2026 Winter Olympics. Score.

But Wait, There’s More!

In other TikTok news: TikTok partners with Zefr on brand safety and suitability measurement. [release]

What BuzzFeed learned from a year of livestream shopping. [Digiday]

McKinsey & Co: How the business of gaming is evolving. [blog]

What America’s largest technology firms are investing in. [The Economist]

Adam Singer: Simple ideas to grow subscribers and build user loyalty for your media. [blog]

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