Advisor: Dr. Chongyu Lu

Lubin School of Business


Document Type



The digital marketing industry continues to experience tremendous challenges caused by rising consumer privacy concerns. One of the industry’s most notable challenges revolves around the constant technological advancements and changes that these advancements pose on the advertiser’s strategies. My study explores the relationship between advertising expenditure and key performance indicators, such as impressions in paid display advertising. Google Chrome’s removal of third-party cookies could potentially affect this relationship. I chose this topic because of my passion for online consumer behavior and the role of technology and advertising in the continually evolving field of my study, where consumers’ behavior plays a significant role as they continue to worry about their data usage. My study relied on the quantitative methodology, utilizing a descriptive correlation analysis through a scatter plot and a statistical analysis of a linear regression model to study the effect of Google Chrome’s third-party cookie removal on the relationship between advertising expenditure and impressions before and after Google introduced the “Tracking Protection” phase in January 2024. To answer my research question, I studied the dataset of 360 observations on 30 automobile companies in the United States from April 2023 to March 2024. The findings of my analysis revealed that advertising expenditure continues to be a strong predictor of impressions, despite the removal of third-party cookies by Google. However, the findings from my research question have shown that the event being the removal of third-party cookies for 1 percent of Google Chrome’s population worldwide currently does not affect the performance of paid display advertising. This study contributes to the academic literature by providing empirical evidence on the effect of consumer privacy changes on paid display advertising. Future research is strongly encouraged to study the long-term impact of Google's "Tracking Protection" phase on paid display advertising performance by considering more observations after the event's occurrence, a larger poll of global Google Chrome users, and studying the event's impact across different industries. This will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of consumer privacy changes on the digital marketing industry.