Google moots adblocking feature in Chrome

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 20 April 2017

Google is mooting an adblocking feature on both mobile and desktop versions of its Chrome web browser.

According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), ‘people familiar with the matter’ say the new option, which could be switched on by default within Chrome, would serve to clear out the less desirable online ads which serve up a negative user experience.

Specific details are still being finalised and the WSJ says Google could decide not to move ahead with the plan.

A spokesperson from Google tells AdNews: “We do not comment on rumour or speculation. We’ve been working closely with the Coalition for Better Ads and industry trades to explore a multitude of ways Google and other members of the Coalition could support the Better Ads Standards.”

When news of increased adblocking measures hit adland in 2015, this rolled onto into 2016 with many calling it a major media crisis and 'adblockageddon'. Last year the IAB ran an adblocking study which found almost 30% of Australian consumers were using adblocking technology on one of their devices, although four out of 10 Australians don’t know about adblockers.

Randall Rothenberg, president of the Interactive Advertising Bureau in the US, described adblocking as robbery, plain and simple. He said it is “an extortionist scheme that exploits consumer disaffection and risks distorting the economics of democratic capitalism”.

Last month IAB Australia linked with international group 'Coalition for Better Ads', furthering its push for more successful online advertising.

The coalition will conduct research in Australia on behalf of the IAB, which will then be released as local guidelines to marketers, agencies and publishers.

Launching in Germany last year, the Coalition looks at consumer advertising preferences, focusing specifically on strengthening ad standards on desktop and mobile websites. It is made up of intentional companies including Procter & Gamble and Unilever, as well as trade associations, publishers and agency groups.

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