What you need to know in advertising today

Dr evil airquote

Yesterday, Google revealed more details on its plans to bake some ad blocking features into its Chrome browser next year, and the reaction, at least on social media, was predictably fierce.

Here comes the digital ad bully, throwing its weight around. Of course Google is doing this, not because it wants to help the ad industry, but because this serves Google. And look at the hypocrites at Google, paying one ad blocking company (Eyeo) while pledging to stamp out ad blocking for all.

The knee jerk reaction is predictable. After all, Google has a well earned reputation for using its clout (like pushing some advertisers to use its ad tech to buy ads programmatically).

But what if Google isn’t being evil in this case?

In explaining why Chrome would block certain ad types dubbed to be “annoying” to consumers, such as videos that automatically play with the sound on or ads that keep people from content until a countdown clock ticks down, Google’s direct of product management Scott Spencer pointed out to Business Insider that some web browsers have long blocked pop-up ads. Which raises some questions:

Anybody miss pop-up ads?

Anybody lamenting the non-democratic nature of arbitrarily blocking all pop-ups?

Has the digital ad economy survived the lack of pop-up ad inventory?

It’s dangerous to be naive when it comes to Google. These guys tend to be smart and see around corners, and focus on doing things that are good for Google. But is it outside the realm of possibility that in this case the company may be wielding its massive power for good, because it actually wants the digital ecosystem to thrive? After all, Google probably wins either way.

The company seems to be trying to making some gestures to cater to other media companies’ interests. As the Wall Street Journal reported, Google is giving publishers lots of time to prepare. And it even wants to help publishers make money from people that block ads, per the Financial Times.

To read more about Google’s point of view on ad blocking, click here:

In other news:

Amazon’s ad business may be nearing a “tipping point.” Ad buyers say that as more more marketers sell their products via Amazon, they are finding buying ads from the e-commerce giant a must.

The ad tech company Audience Science is shutting down. The firm took a major hit when it lost Procter & Gamble’s business recently.

Disney CEO Bob Iger quits Trump’s advisory council after US withdraws from Paris climate deal. The media mogul joins a growing list of U.S. business leaders, including many from the tech world, criticising the move.

Netflix has begun cancelling more shows. The latest casualties are the sci-fi series “Sense8” and “The Get Down.”

Facebook execs face more questions and concerns about fake news. The company received several questions and comments from investors at its shareholders meeting earlier this week.

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