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The latest chapter in the ad-blocking saga

This month, the Dmexco Conference unveiled an industry wide initiative, the ‘Coalition for Better Ads’ to rid the web of bad ads. The founding members included advertising trade associations (the 4As), advertisers (Procter & Gamble, Unilever), publishers (Google, Facebook) and agency groups.

The initiatives of the coalition include:

  • Create consumer-based, data-driven standards that companies in the online advertising industry can use to improve the consumer ad experience
  • Work with the IAB Tech Lab to develop and deploy technology to implement these standards
  • Encourage awareness of the standards among consumers and businesses to ensure wide uptake and elicit feedback. Its first iteration of the scoring system will be released in Q4.

It’s unlikely to be coincidence that AdBlock Plus – one of the most popular ad blocking browser extensions – also announced its own ad marketplace recently. This will allow publishers to insert ‘acceptable ads’ into their content, based on a set of predefined criteria. Although users may not be pleased, AdBlock Plus will use the revenue generated to continue to offer their tool for free.

All Response Media Viewpoint

The complexity of the consumer’s purchase journey makes quantifying the scale of different media contribution tricky. Marketers and advertisers need more data and assurances over risks such as ad blocking, ad fraud and viewability. They must address these issues before they start to plough more into the likes of publisher sites, Facebook and Google.

It is more important than ever that consumers get safe, fast and smooth experience when visiting sites. From the number of tracking pixels to site’s load time, best practice guidelines can help improve the advertising experience for users. Soon enough, only ads that meet a certain threshold will be making it through to the web page of participating companies and so on.

Addressing the problems of bad ad experiences at a holistic level is the only way forward. Continuous testing of different ad formats, targeting lines, and suppliers can show us why consumers do not respond to certain ads. We can then figure out how to correct the issue to better engage with the target audience.