Ad Blockers and Context

The list of publishing sites that ban ad blockers continues to grow. The latest appears to be Forbes. Although they are certainly not alone, Forbes now displays the following notice to those of us who use an ad-block tool:

AdBlockThe trend to ad blockers appears to have gathered more traction with iOS 9’s launch. Content-blocking apps that remove ads from mobile browsers have started to proliferate.

As Forbes states, “…content blockers threaten to upend a major system that supports online publishing, that system already works poorly for just about everyone involved – ad blocking consumers, frustrated advertisers and dying content brands.”

What seems to have been forgotten is the consumer. The consumer is the ultimate determinant of value. And value stems from relevancy, which is turn is really about TLC – time, location and context. The majority of ads that get pushed to me are context irrelevant.

And as stated by Mathew Ingram, “The problem isn’t people using ad blockers, the problem is that many websites … irritate users with popups and auto-playing video ads, and pop-unders, and interstitial ads …. What’s more, they use ad trackers to snoop on the behavior of their users, in most cases without telling them.”

There could be a hidden benefit, says Farhad Manjoo “If blocking becomes widespread, the ad industry will be pushed to produce ads that are simpler, less invasive and far more transparent about the way they are handling our data.”

So 2016 should be an interesting year, both for consumers, for publishers and of course, for the ad industry.