GroupM, Google To Assess Impact Of Sandbox APIs On Advertising

GroupM is teaming with Google Chrome on a post-cookie technology readiness program. 

The companies will be working with a select group of so far unidentified GroupM clients and ad-tech providers to test campaigns to glean insights into how Google Chrome’s deprecation of cookies and implementation of Google Privacy Sandbox APIs will impact advertising efforts, with a particular focus on targeting, optimization and measurement.  



Chrome is currently scheduled to complete cookie deprecation in the second half of 2024. A small percentage of cookie deprecation is scheduled for early next year to allow for testing.  

This particular program is specific to GroupM, its clients and Google Chrome although in a press briefing Richard Mooney, GroupM’s Privacy Sandbox workstream lead, said that ad tech providers outside of the Google environment would also be participating in client campaign tests.  

GroupM characterized the program as a first for an ad holding group and that “Google Chrome is affording us the opportunity to provide deep expertise in the space of the Privacy Sandbox to our clients."  

Asked for more clarity, a Google spokesperson replied, "Privacy Sandbox is building technologies for everyone, and the Privacy Sandbox team continues to work across the broader ecosystem to educate and enable all companies to participate in testing." No further clarification was available.  

Testing will occur in multiple markets including the U.S., UK, Germany, India, Australia and others.  

GroupM stated that “Our aim, through this partnership, is to deploy a pool of cross-functional expertise, which, when aligned with the scale and partnerships that GroupM has, will enable us to deploy a structured and systemic testing program across the ad tech ecosystem. In turn, this will allow us to measure the true impact of the Privacy Sandbox across targeting and measurement use cases and prove/disprove key hypotheses that are critical for our shared understanding.” 

GroupM said clients would gain knowledge through “collective intelligence,” that the company gathers from tests in various markets, “allowing them to garner learnings that they would be unable to unlock by testing on their own.”   

GroupM described key features of the program this way:   

  • Unified Framework: GroupM is designing a unified framework for testing, informed by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority's guidance for post-cookie testing, to work collaboratively with advertisers and ad tech partners to understand plans to integrate privacy technologies, including Privacy Sandbox APIs, and overlay relevant tests wherever possible.   

  • Anonymized Data: To facilitate the fullest learning opportunity for each participating advertiser, GroupM will conduct an anonymized meta-analysis across individual brand tests, in addition to a brand's own Privacy Sandbox program. This information will be anonymized and aggregated as part of collective learnings and eventually a meta-study.  

  • Accelerated Learning: Participating advertisers will get direct access to testing across GroupM alpha/betas with global ad-tech partners.  


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