IT Best Practices

The End of Internet Advertising as We’ve Known It

It is normal for people to immediately remove unwanted advertisements from their paper or mailbox upon arrival, so why not do the same with advertisements online? In an article for MIT Technology Review, Doc Searls discusses the implications of using ad-blocking software.

In a recent study conducted by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, they discovered that 47 percent of people surveyed in the United States “regularly use ad-blocking software.” PageFair and Adobe indicated that more than 200 million people used this software last May. This technology is not something that has been newly invented, but in recent years it is something that has really taken off.

The popularity of ad-blocking is driven by tracking. Companies like to monopolize on advertisements to gain important demographics about their users, and people do not like this. The “best in class” marketing only ever gets an average of 10 percent of people to willingly respond, because people just want to live their lives without being heckled by pop-ups and surveys. Most people started utilizing an ad blocker because they wanted to avoid “misuse of personal information.” This concern for privacy and protection is steadily rising.

Advertising companies mostly ignored the “Do Not Track” or other preemptive measures people implemented on their computers, and because of this, people no longer trust advertisers. They took matters into their own hands and got something more powerful: ad-blockers. Advertisers obviously do not like this, which places a great deal of bargaining power back into the hands of the users. So what should we ask for?

Advertising that is not based off of tracking would be ideal. Advertisements that seem to fall like snowflakes from the newspaper may be obnoxious, but they respect privacy and thus are appreciated for what they are worth.  It is also important to keep in mind that any of the big-name ad blockers can be morphed to better align consumer demand and advertiser supply. What a better world it would be if everyone could get what they wanted.

You can read the original article here:

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