Key players in the ad industry are planning on developing a technology that would do away with video ads that have been deemed interruptive and a nuisance by many consumers. This new technology would essentially negate top browsers including Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome from displaying autoplay video ads that have sound, pop up video ads, or video ads that have quickly flashing lights or changing colors all of which have been deemed as the absolute worst ads by consumers.
The discussions are taking place among members of the industry’s Coalition for Better Ads, including Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, WPP’s ad-buying giant GroupM, Facebook, Thomson Reuters, The Washington Post, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Association of National Advertisers, according to Stu Ingis, counsel to the coalition and attorney at Venable LLP.
“The end game here is to remove these types of ads which are undercutting the consumer internet experience,” Ingis said. “Truthfully, those ads can potentially and seriously undercut the broader internet ecosystem.”
A “blocking mechanism” or “technology” to prevent such ads from appearing will be put into place before the end of this year, Ingis predicted.
Google said it does not comment on speculation, but said it’s been working closely with the coalition for Better Ads and its members. The IAB declined to comment. GroupM, Facebook, Unilever and P&G could not immediately be reached for comment.
Hamish Nicklin, chief revenue officer at the Guardian, said the idea was promising. “We welcome any initiative that helps to create an open web where the experience of readers is put first, and in which publishers like the Guardian — which has long believed in a fewer, better approach to the ads we place across our products — can prosper,” Nicklin said.
Questions about implementation remain though, he added. “While these developments will help to promote good formats, it’s unclear how they will deal with the gaming of good formats, with bad dynamic creatives, which we have seen being served through mainstream programmatic exchanges,” Nicklin said.
As of now, a solid solution has not been brought up but the Coalition for Better Ads is mapping out its strategy which should be complete in a few weeks.