- The Interactive Advertising Bureau is using Sweden’s publishers for a widespread test on blocking ad block-using website visitors, according to a report by Digiday.
- The plan is to have 90% of Swedish publishers during the month of August force ad block users to turn the software off, pay a fee to view content or view the content at a reduced quality such as incomplete articles and video at a lower frame rate.
- The IAB has been active in facing the ad block issue, most recently releasing a primer on ad blocking for publishers, and in January, IAB president Randall Rothenberg stating that ad blocking is at war with freedom of expression.
Charlotte Thür, CEO of the IAB Sweden, told Digiday that the idea began around a year ago when ad blocking usage was at around 20%, a number that has since risen to 30%. Thür said, "We thought it was a problem then. Now we have to do something more powerful."
The idea behind the test from the IAB’s standpoint is it will release the results so other countries can learn more about the impact of publishers blocking ad block users simultaneously. Increasingly, publishers and advertisers are being reminded of ad blocking and how necessary it is for them to enter into the conversation. For the IAB, the test in Sweden will serve to help shed light on how best to move forward as the community addresses the issue.
“Sweden has a strong socialist culture concerned with fairness, that’s not to say we don’t in Britain, but it’s stronger in Sweden” Steve Chester, director of data and industry programs at the U.K.’s IAB, told Digiday.