Is 4mb enough for a decent advert?

As an ex-journo I’ve always put more emphasis on substance than style in marketing, but that’s not to deny style’s essential role in making the substance shine. The very best content (and advertising) has always had a perfect balance between both. The best copy in the world won’t do anything for you if it doesn’t stand out and get noticed by the right audiences.

Now, however: “Chrome is setting the thresholds to 4MB of network data or 15 seconds of CPU usage in any 30 second span”.

I get the thinking behind this – both for consumers (to save their data/battery) and for Google (to re-emphasise the importance and value of data-light search marketing) – but it feels a decade late. Modern phones, and most data packages, surely won’t even blink at a meagre 4 megs – and 5G will make it a nothing.

A good digital ad is a rare thing (most are, let’s face it, either annoying or ignored), but many of the best are creative, interactive experiences that maximise the potential of the medium. This means they need more bandwidth to make better user experiences.

So while I may focus on organic distribution and the message before the medium, I do worry this restriction of ad options will create a blander, less creative digital future. At least give users the choice to turn this on or off.