Situation: Google’s Chrome Ad Blocker has officially launched. The Chrome browser will remove ads from sites that do not follow the Better Ads Standards.

As mentioned in an announcement by Google, ads that are deemed intrusive and annoying, such as pop-up ads, auto-playing video ads with sound, flashing animated ads, and countdown ads that force a visitor to wait before accessing the site, will be removed. 

Our Point of View:

As we have seen over the years with the explosion of online ads, publishers and websites have increasingly developed new ways of generating revenue in an ever-crowded market. These new ways have led to the creation of frustrating and, more importantly, non-relevant ad experiences for consumers. Consumers demand relevant content and have fought back by installing ad blockers to try to eliminate these annoying and intrusive ad experiences.

Brands everywhere work hard to connect with their customers and potential customers, and their worst fear is to be ignored. With ad blockers, this fear is coming to fruition more often. The key to Google’s announcement is that Chrome will block ALL ads from a site (not just the annoying and intrusive ones) if the site does not comply with the Better Ads Standards within 30 days of being notified of a violation. Potentially, this means that a visitor to a site will not see any ads, and a brand’s biggest fear of being ignored will be realized.

Sites have wised up. The fear of losing much-needed revenue has caused sites to remove ad experiences that do not follow the Better Ads Standards. According to Google, currently, fewer than 1 percent of websites continue to violate the guidelines. But, Google will continue to proactively monitor all sites, and when one happens to not comply, it will be blacklisted.

We know these annoying and intrusive ads are detrimental to customers and brands alike; after all, our team is made up of customers, too. Thus, we create and develop ad strategies that consumers will find relevant and will want to engage and connect with, not ignore. We leverage consumer insights, past campaign data (when available) and on-going analysis of performance to develop ads and messaging that consumers will find relevant and engaging. Our team has worked closely with all of its clients, partners, sites and publishers to ensure annoying and frustrating ad experiences are not used, and we will continue to work closely with them to ensure compliance continues to be met. After an analysis of client ad performance, our team has determined that there have been no negative effects on client campaigns as a result of Chrome’s Ad Blocker. We will continue to closely monitor ad performance and respond accordingly should there ever be a drop in ad performance.

Next Steps:

  1. Continue to work closely with your MMI team to develop and create ad experiences and content that consumers find relevant and want to engage with, not ignore.
  2. Report to your MMI team any site you experience that has intrusive and annoying ads, such as pop-up ads, auto-play video ads with sound, flashing animated ads, and countdown ads.

Daniel Chen | Head of Media

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