Preparing for Life in a Cookie-Less World
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Sunday, 8th March 2020

The first question I asked Scott Garner, executive vice president and chief commercial officer of ADARA, how he felt being in Singapore when it’s in Dorscon (Disease Outbreak Response System Condition) Orange Alert, he said, 'I’d be okay if it wasn’t for the people around me worrying.'

Garner, who had scheduled a trip to visit customers in South-east Asia a couple of months ago, said, “I don’t think I gave any serious thought to cancelling. I am following guidelines and as long as people want to meet me, I say, let’s meet. I am not nervous at all – washing hands is simple and easy.”

Scott Garner: “Google says it will happen over two years but we expect it could be shorter, like, six months when third party cookies will become useless. What we have to do now is move fast from a cookie world to an identity world.”

He said he was encouraged by the conversations he’s had, having visited Bangkok and Singapore. “People are in town, and they have time, and they want to listen to new ideas.”

However, even as we met last week in Singapore, the US was starting to go into panic mode with more cases being reported in the country. “Now I don’t know if they will ask me to self-quarantine, but I have no problem with that,” he laughed.

“We should not succumb to fear and be a bit braver,” he said.

In fact, other than the Covid-19 crisis that’s preoccupying the world right now, Garner believes there are bigger longterm threats and disruptions to travel brands – chief of which is how are they preparing for life in a cookie-less world.

In January this year, in what has been described as a “watershed” moment for the advertising industry, Google said it would begin phasing third party cookies out within two years from its Chrome browser, a decision it said was prompted by privacy regulation laws in the US as well as Europe.

Google Chrome has a 69% market share on desktop and 40% on mobile in the US, according to StatCounter data. Other popular browsers such as Apple’s Safari, which commands nearly 52% market share on mobile in the US, has already implemented similar measures to prevent tracking users.

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