This Week in Digital: Cookie deprecation extensions, Taylor Swift deepfakes, and more…

January 12, 2024

Greetings, Digital Trailblazers,

Is the new year treating you well? I’m having a pretty good time, aside from the fact that I am being inundated with health and fitness ads, and my local gym has been mobbed. New year, new you? Let’s check back in in February and see how that’s going…

Especially now that Google isn’t taking your cookies away.

Google’s New Year's resolution was to finally deprecate those pesky third-party cookies they’ve been saying they’ll get rid of for years. But they just announced that they’re going to allow some sites to opt out of the 3rd party cookie phase-out. While Chrome still plans to get rid of third-party cookies by Q3, this new program will let select sites temporarily re-enable them until December 27, 2024. I’m not the most technical girlie, so I’ll let this quote from Search Engine Land explain how it works:

“Eligible websites can enable third-party cookie deprecation trials by using JavaScript to provide unique access tokens in Chrome. To request a third-party token during registration, activate the “Third-party matching” option on the origin trial’s registration page. The third-party token should be provided through JavaScript by creating an origin trial <meta> tag, not in HTML code or an HTTP header.”

Did you get all that? Good! Now, it’s important to note that you have to apply for the opt-out, and any site that’s known to provide advertising services will not be approved.  Sorry, agencies. :/ Now, for some social news…

A growing number of Meta ads have been featuring deepfakes of celebrity endorsements. 

Most recently, a deepfake of Taylor Swift was used to pedal La Creuset cookware. 

First, let me say that La Creuset is INNOCENT. I love and support that brand, and the real Taylor Swift does too. She’s known to have a large collection of La Creuset cookware, which unfortunately made this deepfake scam all the more believable. The ad featured a synthetic version of Swift’s voice saying that she was giving away free cookware, then prompted users to share personal information. In response, La Creuset urged shoppers to check its official social media accounts before participating in any sort of promotion. Ugh, it’s hard to be an impulse shopper these days with all these scammers running amuck, and the deepfakes are only getting more realistic. Meta eventually took action against these ads, but it was too late - hundreds had already been scammed. Shoppers, stay on your toes…

Now for some positive AI news - OpenAI released the GPT store to the public.

This gives ChatGPT plus users access to a ton of customizable chatbots with a foundation of expertise in the necessary areas. Whether you’re conducting research, creating AI-generated images, or writing SEO-optimized content, there’s a bot for that. 

Lastly, let's chat about X’s recent drama.

Any company owned by Elon Musk is bound to be… interesting. But why does X keep banning and unbanning a bunch of journalists and podcasters? Elon claimed that they were doing a sweep for spam accounts and accidentally banned a bunch of real ones. But the banned users all seem to have something in common… they openly disagree with Elon’s political views. That’s rich, coming from a guy who has un-banned some truly awful people from Twitter on the basis of ‘free speech’. Sigh… 

From an advertising perspective, it’s worth noting that X is now a video-first platform just like TikTok and Reels, with video being a part of 80% of user sessions. They’ve announced a new partnership with Integral Ad Science that will classify all vertical videos for brand safety, so you can feel more secure about running video ads on the platform. With more than 100 million people watching vertical video ads on X daily, it’s worth scaling your TikTok and Reel ads onto X as well. 

And that’s this week’s digital Download, darlings. Stay relevant, stay fabulous, and come back next week for more marketing tea.

You know you love me.

Maddie Marinsider

Marin Software
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