Working in the media industry means we are often in our own bubble, where more advanced targeting and “impactful formats” offer a great way for us to reach our audience. Particularly in mobile, this has been a device where we can make the most of the unique features and develop ads that immerse the user in an ad experience.

At what point do these ads become intrusive?

The coalition for better ads has highlighted some formats consumers find annoying, and Google implemented changes to ban the least preferred ad formats across Chrome starting February 15.

Google is actively starting to block certain types of online ads.
Google is actively starting to block certain types of online ads.

With Google Chrome representatives announcing the company would start blocking non-compliant Web sites (using the 12 “bad ads”), advertisers and publishers need to be aware of Web sites supporting these substandard formats. This includes auto-play video with sound, large sticky ads, and prestitial ads, which are subject to losing 50% or more of their ad inventory (based on Chrome penetration in desktop and mobile Web).

This ultimately means that, as an industry, we are moving toward an ecosystem that enhances the user experience rather than ads being an irritant people need to get through to consume content.

However, we need to consider Google’s role in this move. With each update Google implements, it is forcing publishers and advertisers to comply or face ranking punishments. Google owns and/or plays a part in so many elements of the digital ecosystem (such as ad server, delivery method, and platform), so it is important for advertisers to understand the impact and opportunities they have in order to creatively deliver growth by focusing on outputs and business objectives.

Overall, adhering to better practice formats across all digital platforms will help to combat the rise of adblocking. Ensuring brands are focused on their long-term goals and remain aware of the impact Google has as a player at each level of the digital hierarchy is important so that we as an industry can remain fair and unbiased in delivering the best content to users, ultimately adding to their online experience.