The IAB weighs in on cookie rejection
Apparently the Interactive Advertising Bureau reported today that they agree with data that WebTrends published over a year ago regarding cookie blocking (rejection) by consumers: one-in-ten Internet user’s web browsers are set to automatically reject third-party cookies. I only mention this because the friend who brought the mediapost article to my attention commented that “the IAB appears to be trying to invalidate your original finding that 39 percent of Internet users report deleting cookies at least once a month.”
Unfortunately the IAB announcement (via MediaPost, I can’t seem to find the original IAB announcement) doesn’t speak to cookie deletion at all. All they appear to be reporting is, basically, “Yes, 12 percent of Internet users have set their browsers to not accept third-party cookies.”
Okay, but we knew that.
I’m not saying it’s not nice to see additional validation, although I would like to read more about how the study was actually conducted. Especially considering the apparent criticism of the strategy we used at JupiterResearch, one that produced data that has yet to be refuted, but one that has been verified by a number of additional studies, published and not. Personally I still like best the follow-up report written by the Atlas Institute that was later revised to essentially say “consumers are liars about how often they delete their cookies but we can absolutely see they are deleting their third-party AtlasDMT cookies at an even higher rate than JupiterResearch is reporting …” (see Table 2 and read the section on “Measuring Behavior vs. Survey Responses”.)
Given recent re-positioning of cookie-based visitor measurement by at least one analytics vendor having a high historical dependence on third-party cookies, I suspect we’ve not heard the end of this debate. And yes, I still hold firm on my original guidance to “not panic” and to work with your analytics vendor to determine how cookie deletion is affecting your measurement strategy. But no, I don’t think “just don’t use those numbers” is a very good response.