Google shot another cannon ball across the bow in the ad-blocking war, when last week it named and shamed some of the webs largest names. Notably on the list is — Forbes. Its crime: “hosting annoying and intrusive ads”.

Google declared its colors when it recently announced that it will be adding its own ad blocking option pre-installed in Chrome and turned on by default.

This news will make media owners who monetise via on-site advertising sleep less easily at night, as their business revenue model now falls under threat. Google, a member of the “Coalition for Better Ads,” claims it is trying to clean up web advertising standards, and its software will merely filter out “bad ads”. The Coalition argue they are defending consumers, “… who are increasingly frustrated with ads that disrupt their experience, interrupt content and slow browsing”. With 47% of 18 to 24-year-olds using ad-blocking software Google may well have a strong case.

What does this mean for big brands’ digital ad spend? Well, since Google is unlikely to ban its own ads, nor risk a lawsuit from Facebook if it tried banning Facebook re-targeting, and given when taken together with Facebook, they attract 77% of the world’s digital advertising spend — probably nothing. Meanwhile, on a different stage, P&G has cut $140 million from its digital ad spend in an attempt to weed out ineffective ads which are only “… seen by bots”. Combined, these reports do not point to the imminent death of digital advertising, nonetheless; a shake-up looms on the horizon.

by Dellistina James, Head of Business Development at Mass Analytics

August 18th, 2017.