What FX brokers need to know about Google ad blocking

Google Chrome ad block forex

Is Google’s proposed ad block / filter feature, to be added to Chrome in 2018, something for Forex brokers and other online advertisers to be concerned about?

Bart Burggraaf, Managing Partner at MediaGroup Worldwide, discusses.

Bart Burggraaf MediaGroup

Bart Burggraaf, MediaGroup

Recently, Google got a lot of attention for announcing their plan to include an ad blocker within Chrome.

Advertisers can rest easy, because the plans for this feature just include blocking the worst excesses and will act as a sort of quality filter, rather than an all-out ad blocker. This makes perfect sense, since Google is an advertising company and cynically speaking the only thing they want to block are ads they didn’t get a fee for. In a similar move, Adblock has been running their ‘acceptable ads’ pay for play program for a while now.

The subject of ad blocking, together with ad fraud, non-viewable ads and unsustainable fees, does seem to get more and more attention, and for good reason. In my opinion, they are all closely related subjects and signs that advertising needs to change. Regardless, what is the reason that 30% of users are blocking ads? You have to be pretty annoyed to search for, install and – despite constant hassle by publishers to turn it off – use an ad blocker. The reason is of course that these ads STEAL users’ attention by being more and more annoying. Their attention is not voluntarily given, users want to focus on what they came to a site for. But it’s not so black and white, when asked most users wouldn’t mind some relevant, non-intrusive ads if it helps support the publications they read.

So with regards to ad blocking, it would seem reasonable that instead of blocking all ads all together, Google and ABP have a quality filter that blocks the bad stuff. The problem is not that idea, the problem is the conflict of interest and the power to do harm to things they don’t like. Because who is to stop Google from blocking all FX broker ads if they don’t like the industry? It would definitely be something to stay up at night for.

Reality dictates that we need to continue making good advertising to communicate to our audiences, for now. But we should all make long term plans with the thought that the party might end soon, and we will be in a situation where it will no longer be possible to get peoples’ attention by interrupting them. If we live in such a world, how would we get new users? I think a big piece of the puzzle is to add value to peoples’ lives (for instance with good content), and let your customers be the advertising you used to do yourself.

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