Ad Blocking: Beyond Tech vs. Tech

2015 08 10   Peter Feinstein   Online vs Offline Media    

The ongoing battle between online publishers and Internet ad blockers is like a baseball game. Inning after inning, publishers dream up new ways of delivering ads, only to have the ad blockers catch up in the bottom of the frame.

Two articles last week eschewed the game-replay format, instead looking at the whole season, and beyond.

In “Ad Blocking: A Problem in Need of a Creative Solution” (Ad Age, July 28), Kevin Conroy of Univision Communications argues that instead of blocking the blockers, we should focus on making advertising better.

One of the best concepts he expresses is: “The fact is that strong, relevant, entertaining commercials have always done well. Great creative gets viewed, discussed, shared, talked about and remembered for years to come.” Radio, TV and print still get this and, to a significant extent, practice creative excellence on a daily basis. Online, aka digital media, just hasn’t figured it out, except for the offline brands that have turned to digital for add-on’s to their offline campaigns.

In another article, British Vogue’s Emma Geary suggests “How Apple’s embrace of ad blocking will change native advertising.” (Digiday, July 28)

This is certain to end up in the column of unintended consequences. I think we’re going to have to wait and see how the human spirit responds to the gauntlet being thrown down by Apple. I applaud it’s stand, and hope to see truly creative approaches to online advertising that are relevant, engaging and not stupidly disruptive.