We’re talking ’bout blockage, blockage… Eyeo, Eyeo* away
Google will also hand online publishers a special tool to make sure that their ads are “compliant”, the firm blogged yesterday. It will be called “Ad Experience Reports” – ostensibly to be based on the recommendations of industry group the Coalition for Better Ads, of which Facebook and Google are members.
It’s going to be good news for many Chrome users as some of the worst ad offenders have made the CBA’s “unacceptable” list, which was released in March. We’re talking pop-ups, auto-playing sound-on video ads and – everybody’s least favourite – the “prestitial” ads which annoyingly count down from 20 or 300 or 10 (or whatever amount of time you don’t have to waste) before displaying content.
And for online publishers, the process will be simple; page content will just be checked with the tool and then they can tell whether they’re allowed to run ads that are not Google’s… well, you see the problem.
Alphabet’s Google is not just the world’s dominant online advertiser – along with Facebook, it controls “99 per cent” of new digital ad cash – it also owns, in Chrome, its dominant web browser.
Of course, as The Reg previously pointed out here, an “ad-blocker in a dominant browser could mean the world’s dominant ad network could be filtering out rival ad networks, which has competition implications”.
EU’s Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has said that the Commission will “follow this new feature and its effects closely”.
The Reg‘s own operations manager, Matt Proud, said:
“I’m not keen on Google being the arbiter of what constitutes good or bad advertising… Who’s to say they won’t be more lenient with their own demand sources vs their rivals?
“I’d be more concerned if I were in charge of advertising on a porn site or gambling site, where intrusive ads are par for the course, and presumably a necessity for survival. Though they have lots of experience of circumventing such things, and I imagine this will be no different.”
Using your own ad-blocker? You’ll have to pay…
Google will also allow publishers to charge users who use ad-blockers – hitting Adblock Plus-maker Eyeo where it hurts – via “funding choices”, which will allow publishers to set a “price per page view” for ad-block-using consumers to pay. ®
* The maker of Adblock Plus