Israel’s Digital Authority on Tuesday announced that it will remove digital ads from its social media platform, and instead allow advertisers to pay a small fee for each digital ad displayed on its platforms.
The move comes as the country’s largest and most influential media conglomerate, Israel Hayom, moves to remove online ads from some of its major news websites.
The Digital Authority’s decision to stop ad purchases from a major digital news site and a website that is popular with Arab Israelis, has outraged the social media industry.
The move comes amid an industry-wide push to limit online advertising revenue, with some media companies and digital platforms cutting deals with companies that do not want to give them access to their users’ data.
But online ad sales are among the most popular forms of advertising revenue in Israel, with more than $5 billion in digital advertising revenue last year, according to a recent report by digital advertising firm IAG.
Ads can cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand shekels ($7-8), depending on the brand and length of the ad.
IAG’s report estimated that the average revenue for online advertising was about $40 million last year.
In a statement, IAG said the decision to pay for digital ads would only apply to “a handful of platforms that are not part of our advertising business.”
The company said that the new policy will not apply to news websites, or other online platforms that it does not control.
The Digital Authority, which oversees advertising on the Israeli government-run digital media outlets Yedioth Ahronoth and Israel Hayop, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the decision.
According to the statement, the Digital Authority will be updating its platform with a “comprehensive new digital advertising policy” in the coming weeks, and that the “ad revenues will not be transferred to the advertisers.”
IAG did not provide a timeline for the updated policy.
In the wake of the decision, the Israel Hayome, a major newspaper in the country that covers Israeli politics, posted an article titled “The Digital Economy in Israel.”
The article said that if an advertiser wanted to use the platform, they would have to provide the Digital Economy Authority with details about the ad they were using, such as the location, the name of the website, the type of digital content, the time of day and a description of the content.
It also said that advertisers would have no way to prevent digital ads on Yedioths websites from appearing in Yediot.
I don’t understand why we are spending so much time trying to control the digital ads that we’re allowed to pay and that our ads are allowed to appear on,” the Yediath Ahronot columnist, Tzachi Hanegbi, said.