Chrome to block intrusive video ads starting August 5, 2020

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The Coalition for Better Ads (CBA), an industry group dedicated to improving the state of online ads, has announced today new rules for ads displayed with short-form videos (under eight minutes).

Google, one of the CBA founding members, has also announced plans to implement the upcoming rules inside its products, such as the Chrome web browser, its advertising platform, and the YouTube video-sharing portal.

Starting with August 5, 2020, Google says that Chrome will use its internal ad-blocking capabilities to block all video ads that don’t adhere to these new rules — detailed below.

Video ads running through Google’s ad platforms, and those on YouTube will also be made compliant in the coming months.

In the coming months, Google will scan websites and if those websites are associated with a Google Search Console account, it will notify webmasters if any of their video ads break the new CBA rules for short-format video ads.

Site owners who don’t update their video ads will have ads blocked in Chrome, which effectively demonetizes their videos for all Chrome users — which represent around 60% of all internet users.

The three new undesirables ad formats

As described by the Coalition for Better Ads, the following three video formats are now considered intrusive and undesirable when shown with short videos:

Long pre-roll ads that can’t be skipped

This refers to non-skippable pre-roll ads or groups of ads longer than 31 seconds that appear before a video starts and that cannot be skipped within the first 5 seconds.

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Image: Google

Mid-roll ads

A mid-roll ad is a video ad experience that plays in the middle of a selected video, interrupting the content. Mid-rolls come in many varieties and durations but all were deemed extremely annoying and interruptive by consumers.

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Image: Coalition for Better Ads

Large display ads that block the video player

This refers to image or text ads that appear on top of a video and are in the middle third (center) of the video player window or cover more than 20% of the video content.

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Image: Coalition for Better Ads

The CBA said it reached the conclusion that these three video ad formats are intrusive based on market research with a group of more than 45,000 consumers from eight countries, representing 60% of global online advertising spending.

The new rules don’t apply to videos longer than eight minutes, where there’s still a free-for-all.

In 2018, the CBA had previously banned four ad formats for desktop browsers, and eight ad formats for mobile browsers.

Google started enforcing the desktop and mobile ad format rules in mid-February 2018 when it released the first Chrome version with a built-in ad blocker.

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