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Publishers have been pushing for access to Google user data insights. Photo: AP file

Google is introducing two new categories of ad filters, powered by machine learning, that publishers can use to block automated ads from their sites. "Publishers have indicated that they sometimes want to block particular types of [advertisements] because of the way they could affect their brands," Google's Director of Product Management Scott Spencer told reporters in Chicago Tuesday.

Sensational/tabloid ad filter: Will block ads that often look like click-bait. They feature celebrities, aliens, characters talking about some fictitious nonsense, etc. These types of ads don't necessarily always violate Google's policies, but the company wants to give publishers the control to have more mature creative — filtering out click bait.

Suggestive ad filter: Will block ads that are risqué or feature racy images, using machine learning technology that can identify how much skin is exposed.

Google has also rolled out an ad-blocking feature called "funding choices" which is a tool for publishers to communicate with users who have an ad blocker and ask to either:

  1. Be white-listed, or added to a list of approved publishers that they can be served ads by (or)
  2. Ask users to pay to buy an ads-free pass

Spencer says they have seen white list rates up to 15% in the first scenario and 30% in the second.

Go deeper

13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.

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