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Google Set to Ban Flash Display Ads Next Year

Google has stepped up the pressure on advertisers to shift from Adobe’s insecure Flash format to HTML5, telling them they have around a year to make the transition before support is switched off.

Starting from 30 June this year, Google will no longer allow Flash ads to be uploaded to AdWords or DoubleClick Digital Marketing, it said in a Google+ post yesterday.

Then from 2 January 2017, Flash-based display ads won’t be allowed to run on the Google Display Network or through DoubleClick, it said.

“Over the last few years, we’ve rolled out tools to encourage advertisers to use HTML5, so you can reach the widest possible audience across screens,” noted the web ads giant.

“To enhance the browsing experience for more people on more devices, the Google Display Network and DoubleClick Digital Marketing are now going 100% HTML5.”

Google pointed AdWords advertisers who use Flash in their campaigns to this help page to get them started on the transition to HTML5.

The move has been a long time coming and follows Google’s decisions to withdraw support for the buggy software across Android and Chrome.

Amazon has also announced a ban on Flash ads on its platforms.

Apple famously withheld support for Flash on its iOS devices, with Steve Jobs engaging in a very public spat with Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.

Jobs cited not only the software’s security holes but also its lack of touch support and poor performance on mobile devices at the time as contributing to Apple’s decision.

Adobe Flash continues to be a favorite target for hackers.

Just yesterday, Microsoft announced bulletin MS16-022 would fix 22 remote code execution vulnerabilities in the software.

In fact, Redmond has taken the unusual step of allocating the third-party software with its own bulletin, reflecting the volume of fixes needed for Flash embedded in IE or Edge. 

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