Story 2015-10-23 RBRR Advertisers admit causing uptick of ad blocking

Advertisers admit causing uptick of ad blocking

in internet on (#RBRR)
story imageThe Interactive Advertising Bureau issued a remarkable mea culpa last week about the state of online advertising. In response to the rise of ad-blocking software, IAB VP Scott Cunningham said digital advertisers should take responsibility for annoying people and driving them to use ad blockers:

"We messed up. As technologists, tasked with delivering content and services to users, we lost track of the user experience".

"We build advertising technology to optimize publishers' yield of marketing budgets that had eroded after the last recession. Looking back now, our scraping of dimes may have cost us dollars in consumer loyalty"

"The consumer is demanding these actions, challenging us to do better, and we must respond."

The IAB goes on to introduce new advertising principles called L.E.A.N. (Light, Encrypted, Ad choice supported, Non-invasive ads) as a start.

This is a fundamental shift in vantage point for the Ad Tech world. In 2013, LUMApartners famously created its first LUMAscape capturing all of the fragmented, disparate Ad Tech players involved in the processing of serving up an ad to a consumer. It's an industry organized around itself, not around the needs of the consumer. Thus we see retargeting ads for sweaters we've already bought, video ads that auto-play with sound, and pop-ups that take over your screen.
Reply 25 comments

The uptick I've noticed (Score: 1)

by on 2015-10-23 21:09 (#REBZ)

The uptick I've noticed is websites serving ads from their own servers, with URLs that are very similar to their content. I've had the experience multiple times now where I go to create a new block filter and the URL is something like "," and all of their visual content is along the lines of "" I'm left with the filter "^*" (or creating a more complex, and my-time-consuming, filter based on the html entity containing the ads) and everyone loses.

The more websites that follow this tactic, the less useful ad-blocking filters, as they are designed today, will work.

Re: The uptick I've noticed (Score: 1)

by on 2015-10-24 01:33 (#RETZ)

There's a considerable obstacle to first-party hosting of ads: trusted traffic measurements.

The advertisers pay for views and clicks, after all, and they're not going to trust you to give them honest numbers.

Re: The uptick I've noticed (Score: 1)

by on 2015-10-28 06:43 (#RV3T)

Ad blockers these days have subscription lists specifically because just blocking a domain or a pattern was never sufficient. While 1st party ads with non-obvious names will require much more effort, they're still easily blockable. And considering the huge amount of money Adblock Plus has flowing in, they're very much in a position to police it.

About Time; The Web Is Nearly Unusable (Score: 1, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-10-24 01:48 (#REVH)

It has gotten SO much worse over the last year or two. I spend much of my browsing time on mobile, which until recently had been somewhat of a refuge. Now it's MULTIPLE screen takeovers and autoplay videos with sound on mobile sites, and jiggles and refreshes and jerks as pages try to load, complete with additional takeovers that pop up after you've finally begun reading. Infuriating.

Turning off Javascript (selectively if you can run a Mozilla browser) and turning off images entirely seem like reliable old standbys that help save sanity. I appreciate decent page formatting but 93% of the time I just want to read the damned text.

As to the points above about ad blocking locally hosted ads, it's an arms race certainly. But sites need to track the ads in some way, and most of the time those conventions (naming or script related if not 3rd party hosted) will be discernible in the HTML or perhaps the content of the files or data passed by URL/cookie/etc. Determining the naming or retrieval scheme used by a given site shouldn't be harder than bypassing something like DVD encryption, at worst. It should be manageable at least in the near term.

Re: About Time; The Web Is Nearly Unusable (Score: 1)

by on 2015-10-24 04:52 (#RF2W)

You should install an ad blocker on your mobile. Plenty of choices for most of the platforms. No need to prevent loading images or to completely stop js.

Re: About Time; The Web Is Nearly Unusable (Score: 2, Informative)

by on 2015-10-24 18:13 (#RGHK)

Actually, there were almost no options for mobile ad blocking a short while ago... Both Google and Apple forbid them from the application stores.

Firefox was the only one that held on to its ad blocking extensions, but is a dog on older phones. Now there's a handful of other options in the market, and those with rooted phones can install custom hosts files, but still not a lot of choices.

With Apple opening the floodgates, things may improve for ad blocking on both platforms.

Re: About Time; The Web Is Nearly Unusable (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-10-25 09:02 (#RHVD)

Ghostery have a mobile browser now

Re: About Time; The Web Is Nearly Unusable (Score: 1)

by on 2015-10-25 11:27 (#RJ4C)

On android there were and there still are LOTS of options if your phone is rooted. I have been using adaway on android for a few years. It uses hosts file to blocks ads in browsers, apps etc.

Too late (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2015-10-24 04:59 (#RF2X)

They will have hard time "selling" less intrusive ads back to people. Everybody I know has already tasted the freedom of not having ads thanks to the ad blockers and I am sure that going back to ads would be a step back.What guarantee is there that ads won't start being intrusive again in a while? Intrusive ads are better noticed than other ads and over time they would become dominant again.

Re: Too late (Score: 1, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-10-24 05:16 (#RF3K)

In my opinion, the only certainty is that ads would go back to being intrusive and annoying before very long, as every advertiser tried to outdo each other.

Re: Too late (Score: 1)

by on 2015-10-24 07:05 (#RFA4)

Off topic, any idea why newline disappears when I post from Chrome on Android? Everything appears as one long paragraph. Posting from desktop Chromium is fine.

Re: Too late (Score: 2, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-10-25 09:08 (#RHVR)

Insert newlines manually using HTML br markup.

Re: Too late (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2015-10-25 11:30 (#RJ4D)

Thank you.
Let me try...
New line.

Re: Too late (Score: 1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-10-27 08:11 (#RQMF)


Re: Too late (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-10-27 13:03 (#RRDD)

I am is a punk
Exploding fountains of foam
Where has my love gone?

Re: Too late (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-10-27 13:08 (#RRDX)

Elsewhere you go now
Performing your bad haiku lines
Our ears bleed in sync

Re: Too late (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-10-27 13:13 (#RRDY)

Conquered I now sleep
The mighty tower crashing down
White heaven fluid gushing

Re: Too late (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-10-27 13:15 (#RRE4)

Too late, she did reply
My moon has now passed us by
Soon vader you will be

Re: Too late (Score: 1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-10-27 13:27 (#RRFH)

Give us garlic bread
lead us not into vegetarianism
deliver us some pizza

Re: Too late (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-10-27 13:34 (#RRH0)

Please send some help now
I am stuck in a haiku
Die I will in here

Re: Too late (Score: 1, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-10-28 05:18 (#RTYJ)

I always hated haikus, since the 5th grade. Thanks for the illustrations why -- these are no worse than "real" ones. A load of tripe.

Prose rocks. Falsely imbued meaning via brevity and manufactured mystery is for the weak minded. Haikus are a lower form of poetry than limericks.

Nice what the IAB is saying there (Score: 3, Funny)

by on 2015-10-27 16:13 (#RS1R)

And of course, I believe them 100%. Just as I believe all advertising messages. :-D

Re: Nice what the IAB is saying there (Score: 1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-10-28 02:49 (#RTQE)

Find out the truth of the matter with this one weird trick!