Ad Blocking in the eyes of a Media Agency

October 28, 2015

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Ad blocking is a topic you’ve most likely been hearing or reading about quite a bit lately. But what exactly is it? Essentially just as it sounds – a technology which allows the blocking or filtering of ads before they are loaded by a web browser. As advertising professionals, we’re protective of our corner of the world, and when our bread and butter comes under fire, we jump into action. With Safari now allowing ads to be blocked on iOS devices and Chrome allowing ads to be blocked on Android devices, the ad-blocking rates are climbing and climbing… But we’re here to tell you that this is something advertisers can mitigate the risk of with a few key points:

  • Advertisers who use third party ad servers are not paying for impressions that are blocked
    • Norbella employs a third party ad server as well as preventative software across all of our digital campaigns, so we can ensure that all of our ads purchased are being served
  • Ad blocking does not impact all digital channels equally
    • Currently, ad blocking is the most prevalent within mobile and video where there is less standardization in ad sizes, making the ads appear more intrusive to users
    • It is important to consider the user experience of each channel when placing ads to create more integration between content and ads
  • Ad blocking is a bigger threat for publishers whose business model relies on revenue from advertising
    • The Boston Globe recently quoted Pagefair Ltd, an Irish company responsible for services to fight ad blockers, stating that “[ad] blocking will cost publishers $22 billion worldwide in lost revenue this year.” While the figure has not be supported by other firms, everyone agrees that there will be an impact to publishers’ revenue
    • Consumers need to realize that the benefit of advertising is the free content they consume on both websites and video streaming services.
      • For instance, the Washington Post started testing out a platform that locks out users that block ads. Additionally, Hulu requires users to shut off ad blocking services before viewing video content
    • Ad blocking is likely to drive growth in native advertising
      • It is integration of advertising within content of a publisher’s website, to mimic the look and feel of the publication. Native reads more closely to an article than an ad, and can still reach the desired audiences through similar targeting as digital display

Phil Decoteau, Associate Director of Digital here at Norbella, explains why this might actually be a benefit for brands. “Ad blocking technologies will force advertisers to think more about providing value and utility for users,” he said. “They are no longer interrupting them but rather helping them with either useful content or some other valuable experience.”

What do you think? Tweet us your thoughts on ad blocking @Norbella