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Ad Blocking Programs Continue to Vex Marketers, Publishers

How are entities like Vox Media, Quartz, the IAB, and the ANA combating ad blocking programs?

As ad blocking programs proliferate and become more popular with consumers – especially younger consumers like Millennials – marketers and publishers are feeling the heat in trying to confront what they consider a common enemy.

Recent news about Google’s efforts to neutralize the software with unskippable YouTube ads has captured the attention of brands & digital magazines looking to come up with their own countering tactics. Some are taking a laissez-faire approach, believing the storm will pass as a natural phase in the digital media evolution, while others are trying everything they can to stem the tide with everything from direct appeals to readers to further restricting content.

The battle is still taking shape, and is yet to be settled as the ethics sort themselves out. Ad Age keeps us up to date with the latest strategy in a series of recent articles. Let’s take a look at what they have to start the week!

The Strategy on Ad Blocking Programs From Digital Publishers

The answer for some digital-only publishers like Mic? Native advertising. Though not all native components survive ad blocking programs, actual branded content – ie, advertorial – can slip through to readers.

“Almost all of our ad campaigns include branded content, either text or video. That type of marketing is not blocked,” Mic CEO Chris Altchek told Tim Peterson.

“Leaning into that is what we’re currently doing to deal with people that have ad blockers. … What the programmatic ad community has built is not going to work. It’s not going to work because of AdBlock. It’s not going to work because a lot of traffic is going to stay inside of Facebook and Apple News now. So a lot of what mobile advertising was built on is going to go away. And so we’re working with a couple of these platforms directly to build new ad experiences that will be native to these platforms and leverage all of our content expertise to redefine mobile advertising.”

For many publishers like Vox Media and Quartz, the aim is higher-quality ads, faster load times, and more seamless adoption of platforms like Facebook Articles and Apple News, Ad Age reports.

The Strategy on Ad Blocking Programs From the IAB

The approach from the Interactive Advertising Bureau has been a little bit different: With upward of 200 million web surfers deploying ad blocking programs costing publishers nearly $21 billion according to PageFair and Adobe survey data, the IAB is hosting executive conferences and summits to address the issue, and has even explored the possibility of lawsuits, Ad Age reports.

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The Strategy on Ad Blocking Programs From Marketers

So, what about advertisers themselves? The Association of National Advertisers is treading carefully, Ad Age reports, but is considering tech options capable of blocking the ad blocking programs themselves, à la Google, or circumnavigating them. Stay tuned!

What’s your strategy on ad blocking programs? Let us know in the comments!

To read more about ad blocking programs in the news, visit Ad Age.

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