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BizReport : Advertising : July 09, 2012

Google introduces "Mute this Ad" feature, but no metrics for advertisers

Google is rolling out a new feature that will allow users to block or "mute" certain ads to prevent the showing up elsewhere on the web. Is this a win-win solution?

by Helen Leggatt

Over the next few weeks Internet users will begin seeing a small X button in the upper right hand corner of ad units, alongside the existing "AdChoices" button.

The new button, called "Mute this Ad", will prevent users from seeing that particular ad again, although it won't stop them from seeing ads from the same advertisers that belong to a different ad group or campaign.

According to the announcement on the Google blog, "The muting is not a 100% guarantee you won't see that ad again as a consumer -- for example, the same ad could be shown by a different ad company, or the marketer could run a separate campaign targeting specific web content. But we believe it's an early step in the right direction of giving users control over ads, while helping marketers and websites deliver ads that perform better."

For now, Google will use the "Mute this Ad" button only within ads that are based on remarketing and interest categories.

There are a number of reasons a consumer might want to mute an ad. With the increase in remarketing users are seeing more ads "follow" them around the Internet. These ads may annoy users, particularly if they accidently visited a website that is now remarketing or if they have already purchased or decided not to purchase via the ad.

For advertisers, the new feature means they won't continue to serve ads to users who simply aren't interested or who have already been converted. Similarly, publishers will receive better performing, and potentially more valuable, ads, and spend less time filtering out ads they think won't be of interest to their audience.

Google does not currently provide advertisers with metrics on "mutes" but may consider doing so in the future.

Tags: ad management, ad tips, advertising campaign, campaign management, online advertising

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