Skip to main content

Designed to create a level playing field for businesses of all sizes the Digital Markets Act (DMA) seeks to regulate the digital gatekeepers to ensure fair competition in the digital space.

In September, the European Commission officially designated the first six gatekeepers as Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta & Microsoft with further announced in October. These companies have a grace period to comply with the act and enforcement will take place from 6th March 2024.

What does the Digital Markets Act mean for Google?

To comply with the DMA, Google is making a number of changes to its products and services with all Google measurement technologies requiring valid user consent.

This applies to anyone with users in the EEA whether or not the advertiser is based there. Advertisers who send unconsented data to Google may face enforcement action, such as data deletion, account disablement, functionality restrictions and more.

As part of compliance efforts, Google recently indicated that advertisers who do not have a basic Consent Mode implementation by 6th March 2024 will have bidding and remarketing suspended.

DMA blog image

How does Consent Mode work?

Google’s Consent Mode adjusts measurement technology behaviour based on a user’s consent choices. This allows advertisers to convert signals in a privacy-safe way to recover attribution lost by consent choices.

Using a CMP, advertisers can configure consent categories which is used by Google Consent Mode. From the user’s perspective, this is a series of toggles or checkboxes to enable consent for specific categories. Where relevant consent is provided measurement can function as intended.

If consent is not given, anonymous signals without personal identifiers will be collected as measurement behaviour is modified. This allows you to capture events in a privacy-safe way without the ability to understand an individual’s journey. These events are used by Google to model conversion data and recover some of the lost attribution caused by consent choices.

In its ideal state, Google Consent Mode utilises both consented and unconsented hits to perform this modelling. However, only a basic implementation with consented hits is required before 6th March 2024 to maintain advertising.

There are various methods for the implementation of consent mode, if you think you need support or to act on the recent announcements get in touch with our team who have been supporting our clients with consent management and the implementation of Google Consent Mode.

If you have a CMP. You will lose data from users who do not consent to using cookies. Conversions will reduce and optimisation performance will worsen. Consent mode modelling helps fill the gaps with machine learning algorithms. In fact, Google Consent mode has been shown to recover 70% of reported conversion losses. 

Google Image (image from Google)

What does this mean for advertisers?

  • Advertisers will need a functional consent management platform (CMP) on their digital properties allowing users to determine their consent choices.
  • As a minimum requirement, advertisers will need to implement a basic set-up of Google Consent Mode in order to pass valid consent identifiers to Google. CMPs such as CookieBot or OneTrust have integration with Google Consent Mode.
  • For advertisers still using Google’s Universal Analytics, a migration to GA4 will be necessary to maintain services such as audience and conversion export to Google Ads. So, 360 accounts will need to move.
  • Advertisers will also need to update to the latest versions of API/SDK’s for Google Ads and DV360.

Hopefully, you now know more about what DMA will mean for advertisers, and how the act will mean changes to Google’s products and services. To check out more news and insights, check out our blogs, or visit the Data Analytics Team’s page to learn more about what they do. Alternatively, you can check out our LinkedIn to catch up-to-date news and insights.