Yahoo buys software that shows you the ads you’re trying to block

Your feeble attempts to block Yahoo’s ads will soon be rendered useless.

Yahoo has acquired Tel Aviv, Israel-based ad tech firm Clarity Ray, which specializes in finding workarounds for ad blockers. That means that its software helps big ad publishers like Yahoo display their ads to users who are explicitly trying not to see them.

However, that’s not how Yahoo is portraying the acquisition. In a statement to TechCrunch, Yahoo said it had acquired ClarityRay for its malware detection and security capabilities, rather than its ad-blocker solutions.

Here’s Yahoo’s statement:

We’ve been working on building up security capabilities and making Yahoo a safer place for users and partners. Advertising is an essential part of our business here at Yahoo, and we’re committed to getting it right. ClarityRay is a company with deep expertise in ad-malware detection and prevention. The bottom line for Yahoo is that search is going to get better and safer for users, and advertising will become more reliable and profitable for partners.

Although it must be noted, fraud detection and security are the least advertised services ClarityRay has to offer. It was still promoting itself on its website as “the global leader in ad blocking protection,” right up until it posted the news about getting acquired. 

Since then it issued this statement on its acquisition:

Our vision has always been making the eco-system safe, compliant and sustainable for consumers, publishers and advertisers. We helped the online advertising industry take a big step towards that direction by identifying, measuring, and solving many of its unseen hurdles inhibiting that. We brought traffic clarity to an amazing roster of clients, with our findings becoming an industry standard.

For Yahoo, this is the latest move to make itself more attractive to big name advertisers. It recently introduced targeted video ad capabilities, better data and performance tracking, as well as native ad opportunities across both Tumblr and its web pages. By buying an anti ad blocking platform, Yahoo has an opportunity to get these brands in front of the eyeballs who were blocking their ads before, giving it a leg up over the competition. Whether that’s something its site visitors will put up with is another matter.

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