Google and Yahoo wade into ad-blocker Shine

Roi Carthy

Roi Carthy

Google and Yahoo told the maker of ad-blocking software Shine that it was destroying the relationship between advertisers and consumers.

In a debate at Mobile World Congress (MWC) executives from Google and Yahoo growled at  Shine’s chief marketing officer (CMO) over ad-blocking.

Roi Carthy of Shine Technologies did his best to wind them up saying his product was the single biggest threat in the history of advertising. “It’s a stellar opportunity to reset the relationship with consumers. We are not against advertising…there’s a misconception that Shine is against advertising…we do believe new rules of engagement need to come about.”

Carthy claimed that consumers were being “abused” by advertising technology.

In a survey conducted by Adobe of 260 adults, 42 percent of people said they feel ad-blocking improves the performance of their computer. The survey also found that marketers have not worked out mobile advertising either, with many ads using too much data to load, thereby slowing down a device.

But this kills off Google and Yahoo’s business model and they were not going to mince their words.

Benjamin Faes, managing director of media and platforms at Google, called Shine’s technology a “blunt” solution that punishes users and good advertisers.

“Blocking all ads I think it’s diminishing my experience of advertising and in that case we see an issue for the user themselves. More and more publishers just can’t afford to give their content for free…a user with an ad-blocker will keep running on websites who ask the user to pay for content then they unblock the ad-blocker and then see all bad ads anyway,” Faes said during the panel.

“I just don’t want to ruin that ecosystem…I’m really concerned by this black-and-white think,” the Google executive added, suggesting that there needs to be a more nuanced approach to the issue.

Yahoo said that said the solution punishes good advertising and ruins the relationship between consumer and advertiser.

Carthy made matters worse when he said that tech companies were using “military grade” tracking targeting and profiling of users and his solution is sending “a very clear signal” that this was not right. He said Shine wanted “new rules of engagement” between consumers and advertisers.

Google and Yahoo both talked about what they are doing to combat the rise of ad-blocking. Google said that its “Accelerated Mobile Pages” feature – which allows people to create stripped down web pages to load faster – will help advertisers get their ads seen more.