Tuesday 26 September 2017

Advertisers to ditch 'annoying' online pop-up ads in ad-block war

The stop/start nature of online ads annoy most consumers of digital content
The stop/start nature of online ads annoy most consumers of digital content
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Irish and European advertisers are to be warned by industry regulators about internet pop-up ads, overlays and other 'annoying', content-obscuring online advertisements in a bid to fight the rise of ad-blocking.

The chief executive of the Interactive Advertising Bureau Ireland, Suzanne McElligott, said that such ads would be "called out" by a new IAB advertising charter that aims to stem the rise of ad blocker usage for online content.

"The annoyance factor is never a positive one," she said. "Some ads are being called out as being overly disruptive. In terms of pop-ups and overlays, we are seeking to get agreement for advertisers to minimise these and other ads that obscure content."

McElligott said that the new charter, which is expected to be finalised this summer, will also ask advertisers to sign up to online ads that take up less computing space.

The IAB initiative comes as millions across Europe download ad-blocking technology to prevent the display of advertisements on web pages and smartphones. One in five Irish people now use ad-blockers when viewing content online, according to recent figures from Adobe and Pagefair.

The trend is set to cost publishers billions in revenue this year, according to analysis from the two companies. Last month, the mobile operator Three said that it was going to start blocking online ads at a network level. It will start this in its UK and Italian mobile operators, while the Irish operator will "watch and see" how things progress with the move. Digicel, the Caribbean mobile operator chaired by businessman Denis O'Brien, has also pledged to filter out online ads at a network level.

However, McElligott said that ad blocking had not yet halted a rise in digital advertising revenues.

"The growth in the uptake of ad blocking is ultimately damaging for the industry, but the market is still growing dramatically," she said.

She was speaking as the IAB released an ad-blocking detection script that lets publishers and advertisers know whether a visitor is using ad-blocking software. Publishers and titles such as Forbes and Wired use such scripts to cut off readers.

Sunday Indo Business

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