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Friday, April 21, 2017
Chrome's Rumored Ad-blocker May Not Be Exactly an Ad-blocker


Google's core advertising business is threatened by consumers blocking online ads, so adding an ordinary ad-blocker to the Chrome web browser would not make sense.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Google's potential decision earlier this week, sparking criticism that the search ad giant was again exerting too much control over the market for digital ads. Now industry partners are stressing that the plan is a group effort and not finalized. They also distanced Google's tool from the existing ad blockers that prompted the initiative in the first place.

In fact, Chrome will most probably get a feature that would disable "undesirable online ads" sa they have been described by The Coalition for Better Ads earlier this year.

The feature is designed for publishers, rather than a tool for consumers, and would operate the same way Chrome already filters ads that are undesirable in other ways like those that drain computer batteries.

"There is no ad-blocker that's going into a browser," Randall Rothenberg, head of the Interactive Advertising Bureau trade group, said, although he wouldn't offer further details on the tool. "What we want is something that's industry-wide, that can demonstrably improve user experience and that's embraced by pretty much everyone."

As ad-blocking tools spread, Google has plotted ways to curb the potential impact on its primary business. In the past, Google has reportedly paid the makers of consumer ad-blocking tools to keep Google's ads off their blacklists. Owning a filtering solution, such as a built-in Chrome feature, would help Google avoid this.

Beyond Google, members of the Coalition for Better Ads include some of the largest marketers, ad agencies, media organizations and Facebook. In March, the group issued its list of ad units -- including those that takeover entire screens or videos that start automatically -- that it claimed are most likely to prompt people to download ad blockers.

Google declined to comment on potential Chrome features. However, the company emphasized that its plans are part of a group effort.



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