Peter Engelshove – Blocking ads, the solution or not?
KLM deals, Telfort’s new all-in-one package and your favourite shoes with an enormous discount. All of them fancy advertisements and with one click there’re gone while surfing the web. Ad blocking is a serious attack on online advertising. But is it a trend? According to the Encyclo dictionary the definition of a trend is: a development in a certain direction, for example in the category: mode, music, technique or language. Ad blocking definitely seems to be a trend, because it is a growing development. Already 200 million people are using ad blocking en this number grew last year with 20%.
At the ‘Shift’ event in London, a couple of experts told their vision about ad blocking. Steve Chester, director of data and industry programmes, thinks people should get a choice between ads. According to him, ad blocking clears the mess but it should retain the qualitatively good ads. Give people the opportunity between a pleasant paid experience with neat ads or an experience like it is now. But according to Chester: “At the moment users don’t have a choice”. Ad blocking also provides an added value to users. They get the opportunity to clear all ads, so that they will have an improved download speed on webpages. Beside users won’t be bothered by obtrusive ads anymore. According to Ian Leslie, author and brand strategist, people will keep using ad blockers until there are ads which will enjoy them.
I think ad blocking is a meso trend, because the subject is at the consumers’ level. Beside it creates attention on people in the digital advertisement sector, who have to watch their job. Ad blocking is based on the mega trend ‘to liberate people’. The corresponding micro trends are plugins like “Adblock Plus”, “Noscript” and even Apple’s web browser “Safari”. Nowadays Safari is also blocking ads. If you look at the lifecycle of ad blocking, then you see ad blocking is between the ‘turning point’ en the ‘followers’ period. Despite that millions of people are using ad blocking, it is a trend that’s still growing until it slowly reaches its maximum. Ad blocking will keep existing, but will get another function in the future. Adblock Plus, Reddit and several other organisations have composed a ‘Manifesto’, whereby they want to allow acceptable ads. These ads must cope with these composed Manifesto rules. In that way people will get a pleasant experience, whereby digital advertisement is still in the game. An other option are the native ads. In this way spam ads will be cleared while the native ads will be retained.
Hannes Ben, International at Forward3D, concludes the following: “Having advertising that doesn’t compromise the online experience of users is crucial to combating the actual reasons that most people would think of using an ad blocker in the first place”. If there weren’t any unpleasant ads, the invention of ad blockers wouldn’t be necessary. But now they are present, this could be the extinction of online advertising. However, research of GOO Technologies proofed that 82% of the people ignores online advertisements. So why are people even using ad blocking?
Encyclo. (2016). Trend – 21 definities. Retrieved 6 September, 2016, from http://www.encyclo.nl/begrip/trend
Newsworks. (2016). The ad blocking debate: you decide. Retrieved 7 September, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhd0ehfLoOU
Warc. (2015). Trend Snapshot: Ad blocking. Retrieved 6 September, 2016, from http://www.warc.com.www.dbproxy.hu.nl/Content/ContentViewer.aspx?MasterContentRef=fd65abb0-8c5c-49e2-b9cb-a85decce8a86&CID=A106205ID=fd65abb0-8c5c-49e2-b9cb-a85decce8a86
Acceptable ads. (2014). Acceptable Ads Manifesto. Retrieved 7 September, 2016, from https://acceptableads.org
Allen, K. (2014). Survey finds most people ignore online ads. Retrieved 7 September, 2016, from http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/Survey_finds_most_people_ignore_online_ads_16264.aspx