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Ad Blocking Challenges the Online Advertising Industry

Laurie Sullivan’s article for Media Post addresses the billions of dollars that search engines and Web publishing are losing as a result of ad blocking.  The author refers to an estimated loss of $6.6 billion by Google last year due to ad blocking.

By installing browser tools that identify and remove advertisements, site visitors avoid the ads and prevent advertising networks from tracking them across the web.  Consumers are unhappy with unwanted personalization, tracking, abuse of their privacy, and slow page loads according to Doc Searls, President of The Searls Group.

Ed Papazian, President of Media Dynamics, is concerned that the growth in ad dollars, especially from branding TV advertisers, will slow dramatically.  He points out that 30% of the most desirable consumers use ad blockers, and thus cannot be reached by a branding advertiser. Papazian  suggests that the industry needs to instill strict rules about how much ad clutter to allow per page, how ads are displayed, what constitutes visibility, realistically, and stop enabling ad avoidance.

Johnny Ryan, head of ecosystem at PageFair, a firm that measures blocked ads, explains that ad blockers can seamlessly block YouTube ads and ads on network members’ Web sites across Google’s display and video ads by using AdSense or DoubleClick. Google’s ads in search are also blocked by AdBlock Plus users who have not opted to view “white listed ads,” which Google pays to circumvent software from companies like Adblock

Ryan suggest that drivers of ad blocking include factors such as seeing inappropriate advertising, suffering from installations of ransom ware, and an unease about where one’s data ends up. A possible additional factor is malvertising.

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