The Interactive Advertising Bureau represents companies that produce 86 percent of all internet advertising in the United States. In a blog post published on Thursday, Scott Cunningham of IAB opened the post by saying “We messed up.”
Over time, online ads have become increasingly intrusive and slow. This led to a pretty terrible user experience on many sites that were overloaded with advertisements. These more unreasonable ads led software developers to create ad-blocking applications.
These ad-blockers keep the online consumers from seeing most advertisements. While they’re great for the consumer, ad-blockers are a nightmare for content creators and advertisers. When an ad is prevented from being displayed, the content creator or website owner doesn’t get any money.
— IAB SA (@iab_sa) October 15, 2015
Cunningham claims that the industry simply didn’t think enough about the users when creating advertisements online. While trying to maximize profits, they lost the loyalty of the consumers.
“Through our pursuit of further automation and maximization of margins during the industrial age of media technology, we built advertising technology to optimize publishers’ yield of marketing budgets that had eroded after the last recession. Looking back now, our scraping of dimes may have cost us dollars in consumer loyalty.”
He continued by saying while the industry messed up, ad-blocking is not a good thing.
“The rise of ad blocking poses a threat to the internet and could potentially drive users to an enclosed platform world dominated by a few companies. We have let the fine equilibrium of content, commerce, and technology get out of balance in the open web.”
According to Cunningham, the online advertising industry must respond to the complaints of the consumers. In response to the complaints, the IAB is introducing LEAN ads. The LEAN ads program will be optional for content creators and marketers. They can either participate in the LEAN ads, continue using current advertising practices, or block content for users with ad-blocking.
— Randall Rothenberg (@r2rothenberg) September 10, 2015
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, ad-blocking has recently become a big issue. Apple released iOS 9 last month, which enabled developers to create ad-blocking apps for iOS. The ad-blocking apps quickly became very popular on the App Store and had advertisers and content creators worried.
Previously, iOS had not been ad-block supported. It was one of the last platforms that was virtually adblock-proof. As a top mobile operating system, the loss of ad revenue from iOS 9 is a major problem for advertisers and content providers.
Obviously, the ad industry was strongly opposed to the new ad-blocking tools for iOS. Apple supports ad-blocking and push for a better user experience.
In response, many people criticized Apple for harming content providers. Bloggers and website owners took to the internet to voice their concerns over the implementation of ad-blocking in iOS. Others thought iOS 9 was a victory for the online consumer. And it appears it was the last straw for the advertising industry, forcing them to change their ways.
As Ars Technica notes, the announcement made by IAB was not an admission that the ad-blockers were right all along. Most advertisers and content providers think that ad-blocking is ethically wrong. They argue that as an internet user, you owe it to the content creators to endure a few ads.
Hopefully, the new LEAN ads will strike a balance between intrusive, annoying ads and no ads at all. If not, the industry will need to come up with another solution and quickly.
[Photo by Handout / Getty Images]