- In an effort to combat ad blocking tech, publishers have taken to asking visitors to disable the software or whitelist the site to allow ads to be served, and some have gone as far as blocking content for visitors who don’t comply.
- A problem for publishers is that the approach is far from successful: research from PageFair finding a miniscule one third of 1% of website visitors unblocked ads after being asked to do so.
- In related news, publishers are realizing that native ads – ad content that once seemed impervious to blocking – served via third-party ad tech firms are also subject to ad blockers.
Ad blocking technology is an ongoing challenge for ad tech firms and marketers, but it really hits those publishers providing free content in exchange for advertising revenue on their websites. In order to address this challenge some publishers such as the Washington Post and the Atlantic are asking visitors to disable ad blocking software or whitelist the website to allow ads to be served. And some publishers are going as far as blocking content from visitors who refuse to disable ad blockers.
The problem with this approach is it doesn’t work. Studies from several groups, including PageFair and Sourcepoint, found an overwhelmingly large majority of website visitors ignore pleas to disable ad blockers. In one case the approach completely backfired: messages that thanked visitors for not using ad blocking tech only served to get those visitors to learn more about a tech they might not have been aware of before.
And ad blocking is impacting an area that publishers previously felt was safe from the practice – native ad sponsored content. As more native ads are moving off of publishers’ internal content management and becoming more often served by third-party ad tech firms, those ads also become subject to blocking.