Benita Chacko

Contextual targeting in the cookie-less future

Industry experts at MGID presents Digipub Week discuss how contextual targeting can help digital advertising world deal with the absence of third-party data.

Google will stop supporting third-party cookies on its Chrome browser in 2023. Apple’s new privacy feature, Intelligent Tracking Prevention, announced last year, also blocks all third party cookies. These developments have had a great impact on digital advertising and contextual advertising has become key to navigate the cookie-less future. These developments have shifted the discourse on contextual targeting from ‘Do we need to do it?’ to ‘How do we do this right?’.

During a panel discussion at the third edition of MGID presents Digipub Week, industry experts discussed how contextual advertising has evolved, cookie-less future, how first-party data changes things, and how it can substitute third-party cookies among other aspects.

Moderated by Venkata Susmita Biswas, executive editor, afaqs!, the panelists included Dmitri Kazanski, head of product, MGID North America; Nupur Shah, AVP- Digital Lead for West and South, PHD India; and Rubeena Singh, Country Manager- Josh, VerSe Innovations.

In her initial remarks, PHD India’s Shah explained that contextual advertising is the most basic form of targeting and it helps reach the user with a high-intent to purchase.

“If I sell cricket shoes and I’m looking to target a person interested in cricket, I can put up my ad on a cricket website. The intent of the person on the website is going to be high for the products I’m selling,” she said.

Kazanski from MGID said that this is the oldest and yet the most user-friendly and privacy-friendly targeting. “Users appreciate ads that are relevant to what they are doing now. Whereas they tend to perceive ads that are targeted to their past activity as creepy or intrusive. This form of targeting is found to be more effective."

VerSe Innovations’ Singh said contextual targeting is often confused with beavioural advertising, which is based on people’s searches and online browsing behaviour. “It is undeniably a strong method of getting the right message to the right consumer audience. With what is happening in the digital ecosystem, today it is becoming more relevant. And by leveraging machine learning a Contextual targeting tool can be built in such a way that it understands key words, page types, media channels to provide the most relevant and engaging communication without the use of cookies.”

The entire session can be watched here:

Digipub Week 2022 is supported by MGID (Presenting Partner) and AndBeyond.Media (Associate Partner)


MGID is a global advertising platform helping brands reach unique local audiences at scale. It uses privacy-first, AI-based technology to serve high-quality, relevant ads in brand-safe environments. The company offers a variety of ad formats, including native, display, and video to deliver a positive user experience. This enables advertisers to drive performance and awareness, and publishers to retain and monetize their audiences.

Every month, MGID reaches 900 million unique readers, with 200 billion ad impressions, across 25 thousand trusted publishers. For more information, please visit:


AndBeyond.Media is a global SSP providing new-age ad tech solutions to publishers. Our holistic platform with technology at its epicentre caters to more than 1000 media publishers & content creators. Being in the industry for over 7 years, our sole aim is to optimize operational efficiencies, maximize yields and provide programmatic solutions in order to monetize and generate incremental revenue through advanced and varied adtech solutions.

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