But certified publishers have a guaranteed process where, after reports of violations, their site is tracked for a month and then the board evaluates whether to decertify the publisher. By contrast, uncertified sites risk being blocked with no recourse.
Ingis said the annual fee publishers must pay for certification is still being determined, and may not be established before Chrome begins enforcement.
“We don’t envision a fee for small publishers in any case, but it’ll be dictated by the economics of who processes the most ad revenue,” Ingis said. “If this is successful in a year or two it’s easy to envision adoption levels that bring the cost for any individual publisher to near zero.”
Still, publishers are likely to bristle at the idea of paying an annual fee simply to have due process in case of a complaint.
“Publishers are leading the way toward a cleaner, better user experience,” said Jason Kint, CEO of the news media trade group Digital Content Next, which is also a CFBA board member. “It remains disappointing that Google pays undisclosed amounts to the largest ad blockers on the planet to whitelist its ads.”
Kint was referring to the Acceptable Ads Committee, an ad-filtering program enforced by the ad block developers Adblock Plus and AdBlock. Google is the largest contributor to that program, reportedly spending $40 million to $50 million per year to whitelist its ads to ad-block users.
Throwing a wrench in that ad blocker revenue is Google’s explicit strategy as well.
Google Ads and Commerce SVP Sridhar Ramaswamy, speaking at the company’s Publisher Leadership Summit in Chicago in October, said he hopes “that once this is in place, there’s no need for ad blocking on mobile.”
The IAB, a board member organization of the CFBA, declined to comment on the record.