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Report: Mobile Networks In Europe Set To Block Google Ads

     
12:08 pm on May 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm sure, for a technical point, this is doable, but, really, will a mobile network block the ads?
This would affect publishers (AdSense), app developers, and advertisers, too, so it's quite wide-ranging.

A report from the Financial Times today claims that European mobile networks are preparing to block advertising across the Web.

According to the story, which cites anonymous sources, the carriers have installed software from Israeli ad-blocking firm Shine in their data centers to block advertising in Web pages and apps, but not social networks.

The plan – which would be devastating to companies reliant on advertising – is not limited to a single European network. Its apparent aim is to break Google’s hold on advertising.

The FT report says that “an executive at a European carrier confirmed that it and several of its peers are planning to start blocking adverts this year” and will be available as an “opt-in service” however they are also considering applying the technology across their entire mobile networks. Report: Mobile Networks In Europe Set To Block Google Ads [thenextweb.com]
12:37 pm on May 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Well, I suppose if your business depends on advertising revenue there would be nothing to lose by blocking traffic that comes from any mobile network that decided to block ads.
2:32 pm on May 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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We've had opt-in ad blockers for as far back as I can remember. A lot of them were just adware themselves. Nobody I know uses them, or ever have done.
2:38 pm on May 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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But, if this report is correct, it's a whole mobile network, not an individual. I really do not know how they might get away with it, so i'm sceptical, but if it's in the FT, it's worth reporting.
3:48 pm on May 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I would expect that to work until the clients start overloading their support department about being unable to view their favorite websites. ;)
4:16 pm on May 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Free ( my ISP here in France ) still allow ( via a radio button in the freebox router interface ) one to block Google ads ( re-route browser "calls" to Google's adservers to "elsewhere" ) if one wishes..Thus "opt in" to "opting out" of seeing Google ads is available to their non mobile customers..

However the number of Free's customers who feel confident enough to access the freebox config interface is very very small , certainly well below 1 per 1000 users , probabaly below 1 per 100k users..

That they were allowed to keep this "opt out" "option" would tend to make me believe that as long as the "opt out" was "optional" and not "opt in to opting out by default" they and other French operators at least might be allowed to offer such if they wished..

However Xavier Niel, despite having major disagreements with Google over the years did announce a deal with them in March of 2015 to use android in the "mini box 4 K"..link in French
[huffingtonpost.fr...]
( sorry, don't know of an English language story about this ) ..

SEMpost are also carrying the FT story ( without a paywall )..
[thesempost.com...]

Of course, if Google made it necessary for mobile browsers to allow all of Google's ad serving IP addresses in order for mobile browsers to access youtube..that would be an end to the idea of "blocking G ads"..youtube is the most popular mobile browser destination by far ..
6:18 pm on May 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The FT only allows a certain number of free views to threads.

try this one

[ft.com...]
6:39 pm on May 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Good link engine:-)

Unfortunately in their comments section there is a massive about of mis/disinformation, it is very evident that many do not have a clue how Google advertising works on publishers' sites.
6:44 pm on May 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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But even within those markets, it would be feasible to block adverts on Google “just for an hour or a day” to bring the company to the negotiating table, the executive said.

I believe the word for that is "extortion." (Go to jail, don't collect $200 million.)
6:46 pm on May 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Shine said it was working with a number of operators, including one with almost 40m subscribers, though it declined to name them.

Looking at mobile market share in Europe, I'm guessing that "one with almost 40M subscribers" ( mobile ) across Europe means Orange..
Orange have by far the largest subscriber base of any ISP in the EU..
[en.wikipedia.org...]

Of course Google could just buy Shine..and ..... it..
11:49 pm on May 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Well if the ads are anything like I was subjected to trying to access that article, then great... block 'em :)

The article (after I did manage to get there, dodging pop-ups & screen-size ad proliferation) was pretty vague, avoiding sources. Seems to be another "sky is falling" hype.
1:49 am on May 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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youtube is the most popular mobile browser destination by far

Is it really? I always use the app. That makes it fractionally* harder for them to detect my browser settings-- or indeed even to know which browser I would use, should I choose to do so.


* "fractionally" = oh, who the ### knows what's happenning under the hood in my iPad. I did, however, stop using the Google search app because the idea of being tethered to the search engine started giving me the willies.
1:53 am on May 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Well Google owns Youtube so you're still tethered :)
3:18 am on May 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm surprised nobody is shocked at this. To me it's one of the most significant, blatant, obvious, in-your-face, threatening headlines I've read in a while. I would think a bead of sweat would trickle from the Google at the thought of this. I'm going to scratch my head for a couple days over this one.
4:14 am on May 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Want to bet this is a prelude to: "We'll run your ads... if you pay us..."?

In all this "advertising money maker" that is g (and others) the ISPs are not getting a piece of the pie. They are hungry.

Sadly, the pie is only so big, so how many slices can be cut? From a math standpoint, near to infinity.... but what nanoslice (tm) of the pie will be your share? After all... there's only so much "wealth" in the world (until new money is printed, of course!)

winkers.
6:47 am on May 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm going to scratch my head for a couple days over this one.


I'm not because it won't happen. When blocking ads the mobile networks would actually change the content of mobile webpages. That's a sort of hacking. Or maybe you could call it censorship. It won't take long before Google and other groups that get hurt by this sue these mobile networks. Damage claims might run into billions.
6:56 am on May 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Opt-in service. People can download their own ad blocks. The issue here is?
7:38 am on May 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What we're talking about is CENSORSHIP and people dictating what you will or won't see, possibly without your permission.

Doesn't matter who they're blocking, once you start down that slippery slope you'll wonder why you can't get to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

If they do this they're no better than the despot dictators that shut down the web and funnel everyone through a proxy in order to make sure they don't read anything that isn't sanctioned by the state.

Not to mention and repeat the obvious that those pages and apps earn from those ad networks, kill the ads and kill the content which is doing harm to others, not just Google or whoever runs the ad networks being blocked.

Pretty heinous way for the greedy to steal money that didn't belong to them and screw the people who worked hard to make the apps and content available.

This is beyond the pale.

I'd expect this from some of the hardline states out there but Europe?

Slippery slope, enjoy your slide.
9:14 am on May 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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o2 in the UK already alter web pages for the end user by re-compressing images and placing css in-line.
The re-compression of the images makes pages look horrible (which is the only reason that I noticed it in the first place).
It has to be said that the web in the UK is heavily censored now.

We're already on that slippery slope.
2:15 pm on May 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The networks might as well try to extort a cut of profits from anyone who sells anything on the internet through a mobile phone - food, shoes, vacations. Why stop at advertising?
2:54 pm on May 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It has to be said that the web in the UK is heavily censored now.


In what respect?

Insofar as I am aware I do not have any difficulty accessing anything on my mobiles that I can on PCs, laptops and tablets plus using proxies...enlighten me as to what I am been censored.
5:03 pm on May 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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so you're still tethered

YouTube is one site. What gave me the creeps was realizing that if I do my browsing by following links in the search-engine app, I'm not really in my own browser. I'm in some sort of pseudo-browser. (Like, uh, a hidden Chrome? I guess.)

There's a world of difference between an individual human choosing to run an ad blocker, and an entire ISP deciding not to accept ads. It's the difference between muting your TV when the ads come on, and the station shutting off the signal during all ad transmissions.
5:12 pm on May 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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There appears to be no hard facts behind that article as far as i can see. Its speculative gossip and nothing more. Shame on the FT.

I could start a rumour that the FT is going bust and its a waste of time subscribing to their services. Its no better a story than that. Must be short news day.
5:23 pm on May 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What if they do it this way:

"Dear mobile customers, we have a great offer - get 250MB extra bandwidth for free if you choose to opt-in not to see all these annoying ads. You can change your settings at any time."

Obviously customers would see it as double benefit - not only they'd get free bandwidth, but also wouldn't have to see ads. It would be lawsuit-proof too. It'd not be good for webmasters/publishers/Google though.

PS - the ironic thing is that most of those who opt-in would use less bandwidth anyway (because they would not load ads), so overall the mobile companies would not see much extra cost in their 'promotion.'
8:11 pm on May 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It is not about blocking ads in gernerall. It is about mobile carriers do want get some Revenue back from Google/Facebook while they use their infrastucture to Display ads to the users. Google refuses to pay, so does Facebook. It is just the other site, like Google does not want Websites to make Money with their organic traffic, mobile carriers does not want Google to make money with free ad traffic. At least it is the mobile user who looses a lot of traffic and loading time while ads are Display for nothing.
9:55 pm on May 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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mobile carriers do want get some Revenue back from Google/Facebook while they use their infrastucture to Display ads to the users

You mean, in addition to the revenue they get from the customers who already pay for use of that infrastructure? So they should get paid both by the provider and by the consumer?

I'm trying to think of a real-life analogy, but so far haven't come up with anything. At least nothing that's currently legal in the Western world.
2:33 am on May 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm trying to think of a real-life analogy, but so far haven't come up with anything. At least nothing that's currently legal in the Western world.


Credit cards whose holders carry a balance...
4:09 am on May 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I've heard the argument that "it's Google search engine so why can't they do as they please?", thus I can't quite see why something that is "opt-in" is being treated so much differently. Yes the headline reeks of blowing wind, and there is nothing wrong with that. If it's a terrible idea, people will boycott them, they will go out of business. If people like the idea, then it will flourish, and they most of us adsense publishers will be F'ed. I'm okay with anything right now. This is just fun to read about and observe. It's quickly becoming madness. Opt-in. Let me say that again, opt-in. That means.....you choose what you want to do. WTF does that have to do with censorship or any other type of fear being spread? So I understand, it's their network, they can't do as they see fit, but for other companies, do as they want because it's their company. I may be too simple minded for this.
4:17 am on May 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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IANAL but am never surprised at how lwyers bend it (the law) because they have a suitcase full of words and "legal" theories they can shine on the public. Grand fun in the future if this gets any traction regarding the transmission of content over the internet.
7:19 am on May 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Lucy24, i for myself pay for traffic on mobil. I have alimitted account, after reaching a treshold my speed is reduced. U know how much traffic comes from google ads i realy don't want to see? If it is blocked it is ok for me, if google pays for the free traffic and i i get a better traffic account it is ok for me too? Did you have ever been asked by google:do you want to see our ads? In germany we have some pritty strict laws about ads. If you mAil someone an normal business mail with ads on it it is illegal. You have to opt-in this mails! So why is displaying google ads All over the internet not illegal?
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