Ad blocking becoming the bigger issue in UK
According to EMarketer’s first U.K. forecasts on the new trend, 27 percent of the British population will be blocking ads, approx 14.7 million people, across desktop and mobile by 2017.
EMarketer says that majority of the people who currently block ads are blocking ads on desktop and laptop and not on the Smartphone. Statistics shows that among the ad blockers 90 percent do it on desktop or laptop and only 28 percent apply it on their Smartphone.
Ad blocking; a major issue for marketers
The Guardian’s chief revenue officer, Tim Gentry spoke candidly on the issue, he said, “Ad blocking is one of the most material disruptions I’ve ever seen in the entire time I’m worked in the digital industry. We all have to respect the wake-up call it’s brought and must reinvent the way we treat our audiences.”
At first, The Guardian has taken soft and easy approach towards ad-blocking. They used the polite way to informing users with pop-up message that this is harmful to the revenue of the company and allowed them to process.
Tim Gentry said that one part of the problem is that over the years, the publishers have failed in putting enough efforts to make the necessary value exchange apparent to users. He said, “It’s been so implicit users haven’t even been aware. We started off with very polite messages at the Guardian. Nothing happened. What we’ve seen with those tests is that the more loyal the user, the more willing they are to the white list. Up to two-thirds of them have whitelisted, because they value the content.”
At last, Gentry added that the Guardian will carry on with this test approach until it has hit up to the level of advertising experience a reader is comfortable have.
Lately, Publishers in Sweden and France have been trying to solve the issue of ad blocking in masse, and they have come up with the good results. In the UK, the approach from the publishers have not found focused together and it is more separate efforts. For example, City AM has decided to go with hard ad-blocker bans, while others are keeping the smooth and easy approach.
‘E-marketers need to stand together for Ad blocking issue’
There is no apparent united voice on the subject. Bob Wootton, who was until very recently the director of media at advertising trade body ISBA, said, “the publicly funded BBC is very much a clear and present danger in that sense.”
AdBlockPlus owner Eyeo has received a lot of criticism for its “Acceptable Ads” program but has proceeded on establishing an independent committee to judge the types of ads acceptable through proper discussions both in the U.S and Europe.
Global ad sales director at the Financial Times, Mr. Dominic Good said, “It’s like having my wallet stolen and then being asked for money to get it back. I don’t think we need a commercial body telling us what’s acceptable.”
Rotem Dar, an international account manager for Eyeo, fielded a lot of the bitterness around its commercial business model by saying that ad-blocking companies have just failed to do what trade bodies should have done long ago.
In response to Rotem Dar’s comment, Bob Wootton from the ISBA admitted that ad industry trade bodies usually don’t reply to issues like, for them to do so they need to be “pricked very hard.”