Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why Ad Blocker has become a necessity

Ashley Thomas

I have to be completely honest, I love ad blockers. In fact, I have one running on my web browser as I type this. And while I completely understand that I'm negatively impacting companies' ad revenue, I just don't seem to care because of how annoying the ads on the internet have become. And I'm not the only one!

Increase in Ad Blocking (Source).

According to Tech Crunch, ad blocking software will cost publishers $22 billion in revenue this year alone. And it's no wonder! There are so many different types of ads online now. There's banner ads, side bar ads and probably the most annoying of them all the popups. While I appreciate that these companies are just trying to gain traffic to their site I don't appreciate the influx of pointless ads covering over words of an article or a video. It's not the right way to go about advertising your product or service because all it does is anger your customers.

Ad that ran on Facebook (Source).
The quality of online ads has decreased as well. It's not that all ads are sloppy, but a lot are. Some ads are even fraudulent or could be considered spam. For example, in 2013 an ad for an online dating site for Canadians used a picture of a dead teenage girl who had hung herself after not only being raped but also bullied. The ad which ran on Facebook was quickly taken down and Facebook apologized but the fact remains the same, this ad for an illegitimate site ran a picture of a recently deceased girl and no one at Facebook noticed.

Ads shouldn’t be something that can just be thrown together by anyone and then put up online. That’s what blogs are for. Ads need to be screened. They need to be professionally done and tastefully placed online. I wouldn’t mind looking at an ad for some company before I go to a site if it was professionally done and I could exit out of it once I’m done looking at it. I wouldn’t mind because I would know that what I’m looking at has been approved and verified. Plus, I would be given the opportunity to make my own decision on whether I want to look at it or not.

Steve Rubel talks about how “earned media” is the solution to ad blocking and I think he’s right. If companies want the consumers’ attention they have to earn it. He also compares the trend of blocking ads to what happened a decade ago when the DVR became popular and supported the fast forwarding of commercials. Rubel then goes on to mention how this paved the way for binge watching and subscription services like Netflix which then, “created a robust market for branded entertainment and product placement.”

Some would say that product placement is cheesy and cheap but if it’s done right it can be a benefit to both the viewers and the parties involved. Some television shows and films even mock the fact that they are promoting a product in their program, like Stephen Colbert has repeatedly done, which can be just as effective.


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