MWC panel highlights tension between ad blockers and the mobile-ad ecosystem

Shine garnered plenty of headlines last week when the European operator Three said it would implement the company's ad-blocking technology, and it defended its offering to advertisers and web publishers at Mobile World Congress this week. A Yahoo exec scolded Shine for "destroying the ecosystem," and Google's managing director of media and platforms said he was "uncomfortable" with a network-based ad blocker that doesn't allow users to determine which ads they see and which they don't.

No U.S. carrier has deployed Shine's software on its networks yet, but that seems increasingly likely with Three's recent announcement. Ad-blocking is a contentious issue in its own right, but coupled with the rise of net neutrality concerns among zero-rated data it could be extremely controversial. A carrier could conceivably use a sponsored data service to push content from its media partners or even its own properties, for instance, while using ad blockers to prevent other marketing messages from getting through. This week's panel discussion at MWC was tense, according to AdWeek, and things will only get more tense as U.S. operators begin to experiment with ad blockers. Article

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