Apple and Google Take Aim at Display Ads?

By Bob West

We have talked previously on this blog about benefits of native advertising and why marketers should note this fairly new marketing approach. Here’s yet another reason for you to explore how native advertising can help your marketing plan: Apple and Google are starting to declare war on the traditional display ads marketers have long used for online visibility.

According to media consulting company Outsell, “Google will soon filter out intrusive ads.” So, starting in 2018, Google will either block ads it deems “intrusive” (think interstitials, autoplay video and the like) for users visiting websites via Chrome or it may block its search audience from visiting those websites entirely.

Apple, meanwhile, just announced that its next version of Safari “will block autoplay video ads and limit advertisers’ ability to track people’s online browsing behavior,” according to Outsell. This move is aimed solely at desktop users for now, but no one expects Apple to limit its focus just to desktop web use given the importance of mobile technologies to the iPhone manufacturer.

Both tech giants claim their recent announcements are about creating the best experience for their platform users, although anything Google can do to reduce the effectiveness of non-search ad units undoubtedly creates more demand for those search ads. Regardless of their motive, the moves promise to make online marketing more challenging for companies (not to mention the potential impact on the media websites serving these ads).

So, enter native advertising. Progressive marketers already appreciate how seamlessly native ads integrate into a website and engage the website’s audience by offering educational information. Native clearly works differently than standard leaderboard or medium rectangle ads, let alone pop-ups or autoplay video. And no one can deny the widespread research regarding web users’ distaste for the more aggressive online ad formats.

So, any technologies that reduce the number of impressions produced by or the general effectiveness of traditional display ads also highlight the value of native ads and encourage more marketers to include this approach in their marketing plan.

Bob West is the Commercial Digital Director for Meister Media, and he can be reached at 440/602-9129 or