Google has announced it is rolling out its ‘bad ads’ blocker on Chrome worldwide, after launching it in North America and Europe last year. The ad blocker specifically targets formats which don’t adhere to standards developed by the Coalition for Better Ads, those deemed to be most annoying and intrusive.
Starting on July 9th this year, Chrome will block all ads which fall within twelve categories defined under the Better Ads Standards in all countries worldwide. The Coalition for Better Ads says these twelve formats were identified as the most intrusive, disruptive or annoying after surveys with over 66,000 consumers in countries representing 70 percent of total digital ad spend.
Banned formats include pop-up ads, auto-play video ads with sound, prestitial ads with countdown and large sticky ads on both desktop and mobile, as well as a number of mobile-specific formats.
These standards themselves were previously limited to North America and the EU, but the Coalition for Better Ads has now expanded them globally, leading Google to follow suit in rolling out its ad blocking worldwide.
Google claims it has seen significant progress in adherence to the ads standards in countries where Chrome has already been enforcing them. Ben Galbraith, senior director of product at Chrome, claimed that two thirds of all publishers in the US, Canada and Europe which were at one point non-compliant with the Better Ads Standards are now in good standing. Overall, Galbraith said that of the millions of sites Chrome has reviewed to date, less than one percent have had their ads filtered.
Critics point out that Google’s enforcement of the standards may in part be an attempt to funnel more ad spend through its own pipes – Google says it has completely stopped selling any ads which are non-compliant, meaning its ads will never be filtered by Chrome. But the initiative has been hailed by others as a genuine step in the right direction towards making digital advertising more tolerable for consumers.
“The industry fails terribly at creativity if we can’t even start from the place that ad formats aren’t intrinsically annoying,” said Joe Barone, managing partner, brand safety at GroupM. “We look forward to working with our media partners and clients to encourage global adoption of the standards. The premise is simple, what’s right for consumers is always the right answer for the advertiser.”
Several IAB representatives from countries not previously covered by the standards have also lent their support. “Our association and its members have been closely following the Coalition’s work in other regions as we work to improve the online advertising environment for consumers in Brazil,” said Renato Girard, director of operations of IAB Brazil. “The Coalition’s research and the expansion of the Better Ads Standards will provide additional momentum to further our progress on this important work.”