Ad Industry Eyeballs Spectre Of Mobile Ad Blocking

Fear, Loathing And Opportunity On Display As Ad Industry Eyeballs Spectre Of Mobile Ad Blocking

A fractious MWC16 panel on mobile ads brought several executives from the ad industry side plus ad behemoth Google face-to-face with what might be their worst nightmare: network-level mobile ad blocking. The drama played out in front of a packed auditorium of conference delegates, with the ad industry’s nemesis represented on stage by Roi Carthy, the tough talking CMO of mobile ad blocker startup Shine . Earlier this month Shine signed its first European carrier, Three Group, which will be deploying its ad blocking tech in multiple markets — starting with the UK and Italy. (It’s worth noting that Shine’s investors do include Li Ka-shing, the chairman of Hutchinson Whampoa — which owns Three). The other only carrier partner Shine has at this point is Caribbean operator, Digicel, which rolled out its tech last year. Carthy was taking no prisoners in his public pitch. And was repeatedly called out by other panelists for using ‘militaristic language’ to try to frame the debate. As well as seeking to draw attention to a still nascent startup’s (non-revenue-taking) business, Carthy was presumably hoping his aggressive metaphors might fire up a few more of the plentiful carriers in the MWC audience to sign up for his mobile ad blocking war. “Let’s be clear again that the reason that there are conversations now is… by virtue of Shine being able to put a nuclear weapon at the end of the pipe,” said Carthy, dismissing views from others on the panel that mobile ads might naturally evolve to be more engaging/less annoying without being forced to do so by the threat of being blocked. The session, which was entitled Mobile Advertising: Ad-Engagement and Ad-Blocking, saw ad execs effectively arguing for more time to come up ways to market content to people on mobile in a […]