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DMA countdown is on: Are you ready for the new Google rules?

The new EU regulation, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), will affect the big players in the digital industry from March 6, 2024. The rationale for this new regulation is welcome, but there are some restrictions that will affect online marketing in particular. User consent has been an integral part of the EU since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but from March onwards, the major platforms will be obliged to actually be able to prove this consent for all tracked user data. In response, Google is now partially handing over responsability for the implementation of this regulation to the users of the Google ecosystem. If marketers do not take action now, there may be limitations on audience building and remarketing, or even a complete deactivation of these features.

The Tech Giants Bogeyman

In November 2022, the European Parliament passed the Digital Markets Act (DMA). As part of a larger package, the Digital Services Act, the DMA, like the GDPR, is binding law for all EU member states. The objective is to solve privacy concerns brought on by rapid digital transformation. The focus is on the exchange of illegal goods, services and content as well as the misuse of online services for harmful purposes. The solutions offered by the major platforms so far have not been able to solve these problems and the EU believes that fundamental rights on the internet have been significantly impaired.


The DMA is therefore also aimed at the big players who have benefited from the digital transformation and now control important digital ecosystems. These gatekeepers can set their own rules, which leads to unfair conditions and less diversity for companies and end users.

Google’s Consent Mode as a solution

The regulation forces Google among others to be able to prove valid consent for the use of user data on its marketing platform. Google already introduced Google Consent Mode (GCM) version 1 in 2020, which enabled the voluntary implementation of simple consent signals in your configuration. For the upcoming DMA, Google released Consent Mode Version 2 with a focus on user data and ad personalization (user data, retargeting, remarketing). To unlock its full potential, two new consent types (“ad_user_data” and “ad_personalization”) must be sent to the Google Marketing Platform.

What if I have not activated Consent Mode?

In the absence of GCM signals, Google will not store new user data in your GA4 audience lists from this date, which will directly affect your Google Ads campaigns if they are using GA4 audiences. This also affects standalone Google Ads remarketing Tags.
As a result, new visitors can not be used for remarketing and the performance of Google Ads may decrease. In turn, advertising spend will increase due poorer results relevance and Google’s algorithms will lose their usefulness as they are largely fed by this data.
A violation could even result in exclusion from the use of Google Analytics.

What can I do?

First, inform yourself on your current setup. Have you already activated Google Consent Mode? If you are using a Consent Management Platform (CMP) that supports Google Consent Mode (see list), it is usually very easy to activate. Google Consent Mode offers a Basic and an Advanced Mode. The basic mode is the implementation of version 1 – it controls whether cookies are loaded and tags are fired based on user consent. The Advanced Mode sends “cookieless pings” to Google, i.e. signals without setting a cookie, if consent was not granted. These signals can then be used for Google’s modeling of conversions (Google Ads, Floodlight, …) or user behavior (Google Analytics). Basic mode is completely sufficient for implementation until the beginning of March.
Clarity is the first step to success and forms the basis for a legally compliant and effective tracking strategy. Your marketing team should familiarize themselves with the new requirements and actively participate in taking the necessary steps.

Are you still missing something? Of course, there is also the option of hiring a technical agency to implement Google Consent Mode for you – this is particularly recommended if your own implementation is very complex. Advance Metrics will be happy to support you with expert implementation so that you are fully compliant with the Digital Markets Act.