ISP Adblocking Puts Net Neutrality for Next Billion at Risk

David Barton Adblocking, Uncategorized

Several mobile operators have threatened to deploy adblocking measures in some European Union countries, but, as we have previously argued, ISP adblocking is unlikely to survive impending EU regulatory changes. However, the example of Digicel in the Caribbean shows that not every region has the will to resist threats to net neutrality. The rise in user support for adblocking has given ISPs the perfect excuse to finally extract even more money out of online advertising and publishing, but it could also help create a sinister future where political and intellectual freedoms are stunted before they ever have a chance to develop.…

How Adblockers Can Deliver Value to Procurement

David Barton Adblocking, Uncategorized

We recently argued that procurement departments could play a crucial role in the ongoing fight against adblocking. With their unique long-term overview of how their brand is to be marketed, procurement can measure success on a more strategic level and help marketing avoid running the kinds of below the line campaigns that have led to the debasement of online advertising and the rise of adblocking.

Procurement Could Play Vital Role in Stopping Adblocking

David Barton Adblocking, Uncategorized

The PepsiCo decision to eliminate its global marketing procurement department last year has left some questioning whether there is still a role for procurement. Ad Age explained the move as being motivated by the need “to improve speed and flexibility in an era in which brands must pump out marketing content on a weekly and sometimes daily basis”, but we believe this assumption to be flawed, and indicative of a general misguided faith in metrics that is leading online advertising down a dangerous path. Brands are understandably tempted by the instant feedback mechanisms of social media and measurable clicks or impressions offered by ad platforms. The digital era has given advertising campaigns immediate and incontrovertible proof of value. Or has it?…

Adblocking in Court: Napster All Over Again

David Barton Adblocking, Uncategorized

The IAB last year made it clear that lawsuits were still very much on the table as a potential measure to fight adblocking. Publishers in Germany have repeatedly brought the makers of Adblock Plus to court, losing another case just a few weeks ago. A recent survey of high traffic websites has indicated significant support for collective legal action, while the Brave browser earlier this month received a rather bellicose cease-and-desist letter from leading publishers in the US. It seems almost inevitable that everyone is going to end up in court. While we sympathize with publishers and understand why they would turn to legal action, we think this approach is a costly and time-consuming mistake that could ultimately lead to the downfall of the publishing industry.…

Rights or Respect: the Ethics of Adblocking

David Barton Adblocking, Uncategorized

More legal headaches for adblockers could be on the way, with a recent survey by Medianomics suggesting that high-traffic websites in the United States are at least willing to consider legal action as a potential solution. There have already been several unsuccessful cases against Eyeo in Germany, but their luck might well run out in the US, where legislators may be less sympathetic towards what has been called the new wave of piracy. The saber rattling may have already begun, with newcomer Brave browser recently being directly threatened for its unusual business model.…

Four big ideas emerge from PageFair global stakeholder roundtable

Dr Johnny Ryan Adblocking, GDPR, Uncategorized

A growing segment of Web users sees few or no ads. Publishers are suffering mounting revenue losses as a result. But even as blocking of advertising harms publishers it also undoes the mistakes of the first 20 years of advertising on the Web. Several vendors including PageFair have the technology to display ads in a way that is not affected by blocking. In the future it is likely that major industry incumbents (such as SSPs and CDNs) will also gain this ability. We believe that the ability to defeat blockers should not simply enable a return to the situation before adblocking. Hundreds of millions of users have rebelled against the status quo in advertising. We must listen to them. Advertising can be better.…

Behind the Scenes: How Adblocking Lists Work

David Barton Adblocking, Uncategorized

Lists are at the heart of adblocking. The adblocking community just needs to add a line of text to a list to block an ad. The largest of these lists is called EasyList. You’ve probably seen EasyList mentioned in one of the many articles about adblocking appearing recently, but you may not be sure exactly what it does and how adblocking software depends on it and other lists to function. Read on for a layman’s guide to how lists operate behind the scenes of adblocking.…

Adblock Walls: Doomed Arms Race or Heroic Last Stand?

David Barton Adblocking, Uncategorized

Last week, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) started telling publishers how to D.E.A.L. with the problem of adblocking.The IAB’s Publisher Ad Blocking Primer suggests a range of tactics, including “access denial”, in which adblockers are prevented from accessing content. Otherwise known as an adblock wall, denying access to adblockers can seem logical and fair. The reality is that this approach leads to a costly dead end for publishers.…

Adblock users in their own words: what makes them tick?

David Barton Adblocking, Uncategorized

We’re in the process of carrying out a series of surveys to get a better idea of why Internet users are resorting to adblockers in ever-increasing numbers. We expect the usual suspects to show up, but with adblocking rapidly becoming a mainstream phenomenon, we want to see whether the extensive media coverage and debate in 2015 has had any significant effect on how people think about adblocking. Are users more inclined to worry about privacy, have moral qualms about adblocking increased, or is it ultimately all about escaping from annoying ads?…