Content publishers: Get used to ad blockers

If a site tells me to turn off my ad blocker to keep reading I leave the site. Ad blockers are becoming main stream because consumers don’t want to be interrupted with irrelevant ads while using the Internet, but content publishers don’t seem to understand that users rule, not them.

I have yet to run into ANY content that makes me want to turn off my ad blocker. To me surfing the web is about me, not about intrusive ads that bother me. Some publishers are fighting back saying either turn off your ad blocker or leave, but frankly that just leads to a decline in readership.

How did we get here? The answer is simple; too many bad ads from bad brands. I’m talking about ads that have nothing to do with me because of programmatic buying. Rather than test ads, as part of the online ad development process, brands just put up ads that could apply to the masses rather than micro segments.

Earlier this year we conducted a test for a client. Half of his online media spend went to programmatic buying the other half went to direct purchases of ads on sites aligned with the psychographics of the audience. The “human” allocation outperformed the program buying by more than 5 to 1 in every metric, including the valuable bounce rate and time on site.

There are rumors that Apple’s next version of Safari and Google’s Chrome may have ad blockers built in. If that’s the case, it’s going to finally force marketers and agencies to think about the best way to reach today’s busy, “don’t bother me” Internet user.


Originally published at on October 19, 2016.

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