Google Chrome Takes Aim at Intrusive Video Ads

New standards from the Coalition for Better Ads will be implemented starting Aug. 5

The Coalition for Better Ads polled 45,000 consumers worldwide to determine their video ad pet peeves alashi/iStock
Headshot of David Cohen

Google Chrome users will soon be exposed to fewer intrusive video ads.

Product manager Jason James said in a blog post) Wednesday that the Coalition for Better Ads, which was created by ad trade associations to develop the Better Ads Standards, revealed a new set of standards for ads that are shown while people consume video content.

The Coalition for Better Ads polled 45,000 consumers worldwide and concluded that they found three specific ad experiences to be particularly disruptive while watching video content that was less than eight minutes long.

The first type was long, non-skippable preroll ads or groups of ads that are longer than 31 seconds, appear before videos and cannot be skipped within the first five seconds.

The second type was midroll ads of any duration, as they interrupt the viewer’s experience.

And the third type was image or text ads that appear on top of a video that is being watched, and are either located in the middle third of the video player or occupy over 20% of the video content.

The Coalition for Better Ads said website owners should stop showing these types of ads to visitors to their sites within the next four months, and James said Google will follow suit starting Aug. 5 by expanding its user protections and not showing any ads on sites in any country that repeatedly serve the types of ads described above.

He added that YouTube will be reviewed for compliance, as well, and Google will update its product plans across all of its ad platforms, including YouTube.

Google provides an Ad Experience Report tool that enables publishers to determine if their sites contain any violating ad experiences, and the tool will be updated this week to reflect information on the new standards from the Coalition for Better Ads.

James wrote “Chrome has always focused on creating the best possible experience for people browsing the web. We have a long history of protecting our users from annoying and harmful experiences—like blocking pop-up windows and warning users if a page has malware. For the last few years, we’ve worked to address a common complaint among Chrome users: annoying, intrusive ads.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.