C&B Notes

Disrupting Online Advertising

The adoption of ad-blocking software is growing and has the potential to completely disrupt traditional online advertising.

Ad blocking software use grew 41 percent in the 12 months to August 2015 and there are now 198 million active adblock users around the world, according PageFair.  Ad blocking was estimated to cost advertisers $22 billion last year.  “Shine is the single biggest threat in the history of advertising…it’s a stellar opportunity to reset the relationship with consumers,” Roi Carthy (CMO) of Shine Technologies said.  “We are not against advertising…there’s a misconception that Shine is against advertising…we do believe new rules of engagement need to come about.”  Carthy claimed that consumers were being “abused” by advertising technology.

In a survey conducted by Adobe of 260 adults, 42 percent of people said they feel ad-blocking improves the performance of their computer.  The survey also found that marketers have not worked out mobile advertising either, with many ads using too much data to load, thereby slowing down a device.

The rise of the blocking software has caused backlash from advertisers and particularly companies like Google and Yahoo which rely heavily on revenues from advertising.  Benjamin Faes, managing director of media and platforms at Google, called Shine’s technology a “blunt” solution that punishes users and good advertisers.  “Blocking all ads I think it’s diminishing my experience of advertising and in that case we see an issue for the user themselves.  More and more publishers just can’t afford to give their content for free…a user with an ad-blocker will keep running on websites who ask the user to pay for content then they unblock the ad-blocker and then see all bad ads anyway,” Faes said during the panel.  “I just don’t want to ruin that ecosystem…I’m really concerned by this black-and-white think,” the Google executive added, suggesting that there needs to be a more nuanced approach to the issue.