Breakfast Briefing, 4.20.2017: Google readies ad blocker for Chrome

And it could make the blocker a default feature on its web browser, according to the WSJ.

Google headquarters. (Image via Wikimedia Commons. (By Jijithecat - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Google headquarters. (Image via Wikimedia Commons. (By Jijithecat - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Google readies Chrome ad blocker
The company is prepping an ad blocker for its Chrome browser that would swat away ads that create a poor user experience for mobile and desktop users, according to The Wall Street Journal. Some details are still being ironed out, but the ad blocker could be a default feature on Chrome, according to the newspaper. While that may seem odd for a company whose bottom line is dependent on advertising, it could be an attempt to "beat blockers by becoming one itself," according to TechCrunch.

Poor start to the year for Publicis Groupe
The holding company said Thursday morning that revenue was down 1.2% organically in the first three months of the year, dragged down by the U.S., where it dropped 5%. The owner of MSLGroup fared considerably better in the U.K. and France. Outgoing Publicis CEO Maurice Levy described his "nightmare scenario" for the French presidential elections to CNBC: a second-round runoff between far-left and far-right candidates.

Corporate users hit brakes on Uber
The number of corporate travelers expensing Uber trips increased by 1% in the first quarter, its slowest rate since Q1 2014, according to business-expense tracker Certify. The ride-hailing company, which is facing a series of culture crises, continues to outpace rival Lyft, which saw a 2% increase in the first quarter, according to CNBC.

Colbert and Colbert have the last laugh about Bill O’Reilly
Stephen Colbert (the late-night talk-show host) and Stephen Colbert (the fictional right-wing blowhard) dedicated much of Wednesday night’s Late Show monologue to poking fun at the man they call "Papa Bear," sacked Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. Rupert Murdoch and his sons told News Corp. staffers on Wednesday that the host of The O’Reilly Factor—suddenly rebranded as The Factor on Wednesday night with guest host and former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino—would not return to the network after his Italian vacation. New York Times: O’Reilly, Ailes exits to test the loyalties of Fox viewers. Vanity Fair: After O’Reilly’s ouster, Fox executives fear there’s more to come.

Oh look, another crowd-size dispute
Proving that nothing is non-political in 2017, the New England Patriots’ official Twitter account waded into a story about many of the team’s players sitting out their official visit to the White House on Wednesday. The account pushed back against a New York Times tweet that showed far fewer players standing behind President Donald Trump than during the 2015 visit for the Super Bowl winners. The team said players and staff were just positioned differently. Thirty-four players went to the White House on Wednesday, down from 50 two years ago, according to CBS News. 

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