A bug in the service that delivers Google ads to thousands of websites went down this morning, producing acres of blank pixels where banner ads once resided. It was a little ad-vacation.
At fault was a global outage in the tool called DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) which reported the "extremely critical issue" in a forum this morning. Websites affected included publications like BuzzFeed, Time, Forbes, Vox, and even this very site you're reading right now was apparently ad-free for some time. The effect was similar to an AdBlock experience, with white or gray blocks replacing ads, or some of them just disappearing entirely. Quartz was quick enough to capture screengrabs:
DoubleClick has since posted a statement noting that everything is back to normal, sadly. Unless you're a brand that advertises online.
While the internet-based companies who rely on those ads for revenue were certainly distraught—it's estimated they lost about $1 million per hour—I can't say many internet readers were upset.
Screenshots by Quartz