Rumor in the market has it that Google intends to develop an ad blocker for Chrome, its own browser, which is currently most widely used in Germany, by more than 30% of users. According to the Wall Street Journal, the ad blocker might be enabled by default, mainly filtering adverts out of websites that provide a bad user experience from Google’s point of view. Google focused on the guidelines of the “Coalition for Better Ads”, which includes Google and Facebook among others. Martin Lüttgenau, director of BurdaForward Advertising, takes a relaxed view of Google’s newest announcements.
What do you think about Google’s initiative?
Martin Lüttgenau: We are not surprised by Google’s announcement. After all, we took these kinds of advertising formats out of our portfolio ourselves more than a year ago, for good reasons. By now we also know from personal experience: Using high-quality adverts that do not involve annoying layer formats pays off in the end.
So you meet the requirements of the Coalition for Better Ads?
M.L.: Yes. This list of requirements does not pose a challenge for us, as we have not been offering the advertising formats on the blacklist for a long time. The opposite is true: We basically welcome any initiative for better digital adverts in the market.
Ad blocker initiatives still seem to be celebrating a comeback right now. Google argues that users do not want advertisements like this. What is BurdaForward’s view on this?
M.L.: We at BurdaForward have positioned ourselves strategically in a way that allows us to focus on our users’ needs and display advertisements in such a manner that both the user and the advertising client receive better quality. We eliminated any kind of advert that covered content from our portfolio at the end of 2015 as part of these activities, which we call “goodvertising”. Since then advertisers have not been able to book layer formats, pop-ups or expandable ads through us. But we are very concerned about the rules that national and, in particular, international gatekeepers such as browser producers and providers of ad blockers and antivirus programs force on us. These have serious economic consequences for many German market participants.