Various sources are reporting an interesting new initiative from Google. An upcoming Chrome functionality in which you can review information about any ad seen on a display network. Here are some examples of what it looks like on a mobile phone:

Google Launching Display Ad Disclosure Info

Google Launching Display Ad Disclosure Info

Currently, it is taking the form of a Chrome plugin, but eventually will be integrated into the Chrome core.

You’ll get to see information like the company behind each ad; where that company is based; and what targeting criteria led the ad to target you.

This isn’t surprising because it builds on a similar initiative from Facebook, initiated a few months ago. In which Facebook allows you to view comparable information for any ad on Facebook.

Good or bad? That is all in the eyes of the beholder. For those using display ads to test out concepts, this is a source of frustration. For those curious about their competition, this is a great help. For the consumer? Well, the purpose is to increase transparency, but it is likely that it merely increases the cost of being less transparent, leaving transparency for the business folk.