Consent Mode v2, the guide!

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The “Consent Mode V2” is a feature introduced by Google to help digital advertisers comply with privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States. This updated version of the “Consent Mode” provides greater flexibility in adapting to user data privacy policies.

In response to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and similar organizations, Google introduced “Consent Mode V2” to allow advertisers to customize the use of user data based on obtained consents. This update provides advertisers with more options to manage user data in accordance with privacy regulations, enabling them to respect user preferences regarding the use of their personal data for advertising purposes.

A bit of history about Consent Mode

The path leading to the implementation of Consent Mode V2 has been influenced by various factors, including the evolution of privacy regulations, user concerns regarding the management of their personal data, and the need for advertisers to adapt to these changes.

The reasons are essentially:

  1. Privacy regulations: In recent years, several privacy regulations have been introduced globally, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States. These regulations have imposed greater restrictions on the use of users’ personal data by companies and have required increased transparency and consent.
  2. User concerns: Growing user concerns about the privacy of their personal data have prompted technology companies to review their data collection and usage practices. Users want more control over their privacy and to decide how their data is used online.
  3. Advertisers’ needs: Digital advertisers have faced challenges in complying with privacy regulations without compromising the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns. The need to adapt to regulatory changes and user preferences has led to the search for solutions that balance ad personalization with user privacy.
  4. Need for improvements to ensure greater flexibility and compliance with privacy regulations from Consent Mode V1. On September 3, 2020, Google through its blog introduced Consent Mode V1 as part of its advertiser tools suite, allowing them to adapt ad tracking based on user consent regarding their data management. However, the limitations of Consent Mode V1 soon became apparent due to its excessive rigidity and the subsequent need to comply with the DMA Directive of November 2023.
    The DMA Directive (Digital Markets Act) is proposed European legislation introduced in November 2023 to regulate large digital platforms considered dominant in the market. The DMA aims to ensure fair competition in the digital sector, limit the power of big tech companies, and protect consumers. Among its provisions are strict rules on data access, restrictions on platform self-preference, and measures to prevent anti-competitive practices. The DMA is designed to promote a fairer and more competitive digital ecosystem.

How Consent Mode work

When a user visits a website that has implemented Google Consent Mode, the website sends a request to Google to determine if the user has consented to specific types of cookies and tracking technologies. Google then responds with a “consent status” signal, indicating whether the user has given consent or not.

If consent is given, the website can load cookies and tracking technologies as usual.

If consent is not given, Google Consent Mode allows the website to disable cookies and tracking technologies or modify them to reduce the amount of data collected. This way, the website can continue to function while respecting user privacy preferences.

The main function of Consent Mode is to recover up to 60% of data from users who have declined cookies, using machine learning to model them based on data received from users who have accepted them and other anonymous parameters processed by Google. This allows for much more accurate data in GA4 and Google Ads, especially in terms of conversions and campaign performance.

The role of GTM (Google Tag Manager)

To function, communication between the website and Google servers is necessary. On May 27, 2021, Google announced the integration of Consent Mode into Google Tag Manager with the introduction of two new triggers, allowing for control of the data management system based on user consents accepted or denied.

Google Tag Manager thus becomes the necessary tool to compensate for lost conversions and improve campaign optimization. It’s the tool to continue using your audiences effectively.

How Consent Mode V2 work

From March 6th, the Version 2 will become mandatory due to the Digital Markets Act. This legislation imposed by the EC towards 6 “gatekeepers” (Google, Facebook, etc.) requires them to obtain consent before user data is collected or used and can enforce this requirement on third parties using their platforms. Additionally, they are prohibited from using personal data to profile users without consent. Version 2 adds two more parameters (ad_user_data and ad_personalization) in addition to those already present.

  • ad_user_data: parameter managing consent for the collection and use of user data for advertising purposes
  • ad_personalization: parameter specifically addressing consent for ad personalization (e.g., for Google Ads remarketing)

All advertisers on Google must therefore integrate the Version 2 of Consent Mode as required by the Google Ads platform. Failure to integrate Version 2 could lead to campaign issues with the risk of ad blocking.

Consent Mode V2 does not replace the cookie consent banner but works with cookie consent management platforms to obtain consent before and, upon user request, even after the initial visit.

As of today, Consent Mode V2 is compatible with various platforms, including the most famous:

Google maintains an updated list on the dedicated page for CMP partners  .

The Consent Mode V2 impact

What is the impact for those advertising with Google?

Certainly, there is a limitation in the effectiveness of ads: spending on advertising without Consent Mode restricts both the ability to use existing audiences and to create new ones at the Italian and European levels.

Additionally, it makes remarketing impossible.

Finally, starting from March 2024, Consent Mode is a requirement for advertisers using Google platforms. Implementation is mandatory.

Google Marketing Platform Certification


The GMP (Google Marketing Platform) certification is a program offered by Google that enables digital communication companies to demonstrate their expertise in using various platforms and marketing tools offered by Google. This certification verifies that agency professionals have acquired knowledge and skills in the effective use of platforms such as Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Data Studio, and other online analysis and advertising tools offered by Google. The certification is obtained by passing an official online exam provided by Google.

Only a very few Italian agencies, which can be counted on the fingers of one hand, have this certification: we are among them, an official recognition of how we can help companies effectively address the challenge of Consent Mode V2.

Useful references: Google Consent Mode

Want to learn more about Consent Mode V2 for your business?

Discuss it with Massimiliano!

Massimiliano BaldocchiBusiness Manager

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