Have you ever come across somebody in life that you just can’t win against?

That’s how it feels watching the current arguments for and against adblocking. When one side makes a statement, the other comes out with an answer that, whether it’s right or wrong, is akin to a “I know you are by what am I?” retort.

That’s how we feel from the outside looking in at the argument between adblock creators and online marketers. It comes across as a battle as black and white as the EU referendum; you either support adblocking or you don’t.

Except, the stats appear to be weighing towards adblocking software if you’re to believe Accenture. One of “the world’s most admired companies” recently commissioned a global consumer survey to measure digital users’ thoughts on the state of online advertising.


Adblocking's more popular than ever, but is it costing you money?


The results have thrown up some truly astounding statistics, with 84 per cent saying they found ad interruptions too frequent while 73 per cent said ad interruptions did not meet their personal interests.

Tellingly 61 per cent said they were “aware” of adblocking systems and software. That may not sound too impressive, until you consider that the IAB itself commissioned a study not too long ago that shows awareness is usually all it takes for someone to install adblocking software.

28,000 digitally-connected people over 28 countries were interviewed overall, giving a fair representation of what people think of adblocking on a global level.

What does that mean for your business and its growth, though, and how do you avoid it?

What do you think? Is adblocking software fair and do you use it? Or is it effectively costing you money in an advertising sense? Let me know in the comments section below.

Block the casbah

Adblocking and how to circumnavigate it has been something that we’ve covered before, but though we predicted the argument would rumble on and that it was ingrained in typical users’ behaviour, we never thought the problem would grow so big so fast.

Some new statistics have surfaced too, with ad verification company Meetrics estimating that marketers in the UK are wasting over £600 million a year on ads that simply aren’t being seen. That’s despite ad viewability being at its highest level in 18 months.

It doesn’t take much to put two and two together; the theory of viewability being up and visibility down being down to adblocking software is a very plausible one – but it’s unfair to blame those losses solely on adblocking technology.


 the theory of viewability being up and visibility down being down to adblocking software is a very plausible one


Because that’s been the high ground a number of online publishers and marketers have taken over the months when a lot of the problems revolve around basic user experience and the content they’re publishing. There’s an excellent article over at Search Engine Watch listing how some major publishers are tackling the problem.

Not only does it show the sheer amount of options available for publishers to take, but also encapsulates some of the best and worst examples from being discrete and instead asking people to donate or log in through Facebook, to shoving pop ups in users’ faces or outright banning them from viewing the site.

And here lies the crux of the argument. The internet is an incredible tool for advertising, of course, but at its heart it’s essentially a communications tool. It always has been and always will be, and the better you communicate with your audience and the personas you want to reach out to, the less of a hindrance adblocking software will be.

Will there ever be a winner in this battle? Do we have to wait for one side to concede or is inbound advertising the solution people are looking for? Let me know below!

People-based personas

Adblocking software is becoming so intrinsic in the browsing experience because of an insistence on intrusive marketing, and it’s getting increasingly harder to see why advertisers online are still backing a disruptive user experience to generate data and leads.

 EU privacy laws are changing and adblocking software has already been successful in German courtsSpeaking with Ad Age at the start of the month an outgoing US Federal Trade Commission worker who had worked on privacy issues for six years rounded on the ad industry saying it was currently reaping what it’s been sowing.

Julie Brill says “We’ve seen an incredible rise in consumers taking matters into their own hands, which is precisely what I said would happen […] It would have helped industry and consumers to have some rules of the road in online tracking,” in response to the failed Do Not Track process of some years ago.

So what’s the solution? People-based advertising may be one solution according to Econsultancy which says in a recent report that 50 per cent of people agree that ad blocking will make the current advertising model obsolete, and that 66 per cent are increasing ad spend on people-based advertising.

A lot of it revolves around the collection of first-party data, but we’d like to put it in a simpler way: using an inbound model to build trust and creatively attract a core base of targeted customers that will help you grow in the long-term.

Because an inbound model helps drastically reduce all the problems we’ve mentioned here, especially if done properly. An inbound campaign strategised around trust can be an awful lot more effective than simply paying and spraying your company across the internet through banner ads that may be blocked by fed-up users.

Millennials for instance prefer shorter video content while older crowds prefer long-form videos. Are you using information such as that to profile and personify your target market, or are you happy to waste money firing blindly across all demographics?

Don’t forget, EU privacy laws are changing and adblocking software has already been successful in German courts recently. It’s here to stay, and you need to work harder on your creative strategy to show rather than tell when it comes to marketing your brand.

If you’d like to know more about inbound marketing and how to grow your business online contact us today to speak to a Webpresence representative.