Advertising Trade Groups Unite To Stop Apple From Launching New Web Eraser Feature That Could Hurt Publishers

A leading number of top advertising and media trade groups in France have united to stop Apple’s Tim Cook from launching a new feature called Web Eraser.

The group featuring close to 800 different advertisers, firms, agencies, and publishers as well as those having a stronghold in the adtech world claimed through a new letter addressed to the Apple CEO how it was designed to harm publishers.

But what is this new feature all about is a question on many people’s minds.

Well, Apple explained how the rollout that’s set for a launch next month enables users of Safari to get rid of content they don’t wish to engage with such as ads, pictures, and written material from certain websites.

At the same time, the feature would enable the browser to highlight all such choices for subsequent visits that are remembered and hence never displayed again. So as you can imagine, the impact on online advertising could be serious in this regard.

The report has brought to light some very alarming ordeals that advertisers don’t feel comfortable accepting but the tech giant is yet to share its thoughts on this front.

The news comes as the tech giant gears up for its WWDC conference which will be held on June 10. This is where it hopes to unveil a host of leading features for the latest iOS 18 update.

This letter received signatures by the heads of the Alliance Digitale which is the name reserved for the top digital marketing trade union in the region and a host of others including press groups in this domain.

A copy for this letter was attained by Business Insider where many spoke about how such acts are designed to jeopardize online business models related to ads during a time when it’s already being impacted significantly. But again, the leading iPhone maker remains hushed on this front.

The fears keep growing as Apple’s tool could be another prime example of how Big Tech can introduce disruptive changes that damage the media and ad ecosystem with zero say from other stakeholders involved.

Today, online publishers are still reeling from a long list of challenges added to businesses such as a loss of referral traffic from leading search engines and apps like Facebook while some advertisers will avoid popping up next to news as a whole.

Publishers have also been showing concerns about the rise in Generative AI that took over the world of search as it is. Meanwhile, Google’s decision to stop support for cookies belonging to third parties that are engaged in tracking is another topic altogether and this would end up causing another strain on both advertising revenue and readership online.

Meanwhile, the coalition taking charge and demanding an end to Apple’s Web Eraser tool feels the matter will raise a host of legal concerns too. Remember, the Safari browser today has a massive 90% share across all Apple mobile devices.

A letter was rolled out to CEO Tim Cook on this as it hinders French citizens from getting free and diverse access to quality-level data and even impacts content accessibility and democratic vitality. This further threatens a staggering 100k jobs across France that rely on the realms of online ads.

The issue also raises another query in terms of whether or not Apple could roll out the feature legally in the EU without first generating an assessment in terms of how it could negatively impact a huge line of businesses while achieving its own gains along the way.

Remember, the Cupertino firm attains ad and subscription revenue through its News Service while it makes the rest of its big bucks through search ads seen on the App Store.

Other than the very short notice provided and the lackluster information pertaining to the latest rollout, it’s raising concerns in terms of how legally acceptable such an act can be and Apple remaining silent on this front is not helping, the leading French trade union explained in the letter.

Right now, Apple is forced to enable third-party interoperations in the EU with its services and therefore is banned from treating its products as superior to others from arch-rivals.

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