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06.12.2023

2 min read

Use Google Consent Mode or lose advertising features

This article was updated on: 08.01.2024

Non-compliant websites won’t be able to fully leverage Google advertising features post 6th March 2024. If unsure whether your website currently has Consent Mode implemented, submit your website domain to hello@impressiondigital.com and our Solutions team will be in touch to help.

In a recent announcement, the European Commission has designated six ‘gatekeeper’ organisations that must comply with the Digital Markets Act by March 6th 2024 or be handed severe fines. Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft must now all ensure that they are only handling consented data that is compliant with the Transparency Consent Framework 2.0 (TFC) standard. 

Google’s implementation of TCF is called “Consent Mode” and this is a Google product, but all major advertising platforms must comply in their own way and must meet the same levels of user privacy when honouring consent choices. Without a valid TCF-compliant implementation, Ad companies will be required to delete or not store your tracking data, and repeatedly sending this data could lead to advertising account suspension.

What steps do you need to take? 

First, you need to ensure you have a functioning cookie consent notice as Consent Mode is designed to work alongside the cookie consent notice and not instead of one. Popular Consent Management Platforms (CMPs) such as CookieBot, CookiePro and OneTrust all have built-in support for Consent Mode which will make the implementation easier. If you have a custom cookie consent notice, this can still be implemented with Consent Mode but may require some additional integration work.

Often we see that web tagging is not always configured correctly to honour users’ preferences as provided by the cookie banners, usually due to how these are configured in tag managers, such as Google Tag Manager.

Once you’ve confirmed a working and compliant consent notice, you can begin integrating Consent Mode. The process of setting this up will depend on the CMP you use and how your tags are deployed but most popular CMPs provide detailed documentation. For other publishers such as Microsoft Ads, we also recommend changing your tags so they are also compliant with the TCF V2 framework. Each publisher will be different but most will require a new flag or variable to be set, based on the user’s consent options. 

This will be a changing landscape between now and March as advertisers enable new consent features, and after that too as additional gatekeepers are inevitably named, so a proactive approach to managing your tag management is always advised. If you’d like support implementing Consent Mode, our Media Solutions team at Impression have hands-on experience with various CMPs and integrating Consent Mode. Get in touch.