Beginning in August, Google Chrome will block the Internet’s most intrusive ads: long pre-roll video ads that can’t be skipped, mid-roll ads that appear part way through a video, and large display ads covering more than 20 percent of the screen. These ad types will be banned only on short-form videos under eight minutes. Google’s move follows new rules just set by the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA), whose other members include Facebook, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, and the World Federation of Advertisers.
Wired reports that the Coalition’s new rules, based on a survey of 45,000 people in eight countries, found that “the least liked type of short-form video ads were those that cover 50 percent of the video, all types of mid-roll ads (ranging from 6 seconds to 60 seconds), and also pre-roll ads that can’t be skipped.”
The least disliked ads were “image ads at the end of videos, small images on top of playing videos, and six-second pre-roll ads.” Wired notes that, “the problem of intrusive ads isn’t new … [and] there’s also evidence that targeted advertising doesn’t work.” In 2016, data “revealed that around 20 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds used an ad blocker while browsing the web.”
In 2018, Google debuted its own ad blocker to “stop data-hungry and overly intrusive ads.”
According to Chrome product manager Jason James, the web browser “will expand its user protections and stop showing all ads on sites in any country that repeatedly show these disruptive ads.” In 2019, Google-owned YouTube made $15 billion from ads and Facebook’s Instagram made $20 billion.
Google’s announcement about the new advertising rules can be found here.
ZDNet reports that, starting August 5, “Google, one of the CBA founding members … [will] implement the upcoming rules inside its products, such as the Chrome web browser, its advertising platform, and the YouTube video-sharing portal” via internal ad-blocking capabilities.
Additionally, “in the coming months, Google will scan websites and if those websites are associated with a Google Search Console account, it will notify webmasters if any of their video ads break the new CBA rules for short-format video ads.” Should those site owners not comply, their ads will be blocked in Chrome, “which effectively demonetizes their videos for all Chrome users — which represent around 60 percent of all Internet users.”
In 2018, ZDNet adds, “the CBA had previously banned four ad formats for desktop browsers, and eight ad formats for mobile browsers … [and] Google started enforcing the desktop and mobile ad format rules in mid-February 2018 when it released the first Chrome version with a built-in ad blocker.”