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Ad Blocking

Strategy By: MarketingApr 4, 2018

Everything you need to know about programmatic series featuring extracts from our co-authored guide with ISBA - This extract is taken from Vol Three ... Download the full guides here


Although not a programmatic advertising issue per se, ad blocking is impacting the entire digital advertising industry. The number of people using an ad blocker in the UK has been estimated at over 20% (IAB, 2016), and 400m active users globally.


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Although advertisers don’t pay for blocked adverts, ad blocking reduces the ability to track users. There is a worry that advertisers will find it increasingly difficult to reach younger audiences who are ad blocking at scale.



Despite consumer concerns, IAB research reveals that over one-fifth of people who have downloaded an ad blocker no longer use it. Publishers, at risk of losing out on crucial ad revenue have begun to fight back. Technology that ‘blocks the ad blockers’ prompts an alert on a user’s browser to inform them of the importance of advertising revenues to publishers, and requests the blocker to be switched off to access content. The same IAB research shows that 54% of users would switch off their ad blocker to get the desired content.


The battle between Facebook and AdBlock Plus, the world’s biggest ad blocker, shows that the tech war between ad blockers and ad block blockers will only intensify.


WARC research discovered that just 16% would be willing to pay for online content that is currently ad-funded, suggesting that consumers broadly favour an ad-supported internet.


The IAB revealed that people would be less likely to block ads if they didn’t interfere with what they were doing, if they weren’t so numerous on web pages, and if they were more relevant. This is the challenge for the whole ecosystem: advertisers, agencies, ad-tech, and publishers, with the IAB itself suggesting a rallying point behind its LEAN Principles, which are fully supported by ISBA.


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