Google, Yahoo Had Nuclear War Of Words With ‘Blunt’ Ad-blocking Firm

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Google and Yahoo executives fought verbally with Shine’s chief marketing officer (CMO) over “blunt” ad-blocking at the Mobile World Congress (MWC). The debate heated up when Shine’s CMO called its solution a “nuclear weapon” threatening the ad industry. In answer, both Google and Yahoo censured the company’s ad-blocking software, ruining the relationship between advertisers and consumers.

Rising use and support from ad-blockers

Roi Carthy, CMO of Shine Technologies, told the media, “Shine is the single biggest threat in the history of advertising…it’s a stellar opportunity to reset the relationship with consumers.” Carthy further added that it’s a misconception that Shine is against advertising, but rather, “We do believe new rules of engagement need to come about.”

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

According to PageFair, the use of ad blocking software climbed to 41% in the 12 months leading up to August 2015. About 198 million people use it actively around the world. Advertisers lost almost $22 billion in the past year due to ad blocking.

In a recent survey by Adobe involving 260 adults, 42% said that they feel ad blocking improves the performance of their computer. The survey also found that marketing campaigns have not worked on mobile advertising either as ads that use too much data to load lower the speed of the device.

Shine hits Google revenues

For advertisers and especially companies that make their money through ads and rely heavily on revenues from advertising, such blocking software is bad news. The rise in the use of blocking software has caused a backlash from companies like Google and Yahoo. Benjamin Faes, managing director of media and platforms at Google, called Shine’s technology a “blunt” solution that punishes consumers and advertisers.

During the panel, Faes said, “Blocking all ads I think it’s diminishing my experience of advertising and in that case we see an issue for the user themselves….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.”

The Google executive continued that he didn’t want to ruin the ecosystem and is really concerned by this black-and-white way of thinking. He suggests a more meaningful approach to the issue. Meanwhile, the Yahoo executive said such a solution would punish good advertising and ruin the relationship between consumers and advertisers.

When on one hand it’s getting accusations, on the other, Shine also has some major supporters like Apple, which last year declared that Safari on iOS 9 would have ad-blocking capabilities.

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About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at

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