Recent news is troubling as the tide has clearly turned on the online advertising community. As I outlined nearly five years ago, the failure of the industry to put in place meaningful controls and consumer choice regarding data collection AND stem the tide of malicious advertising will bring about a “tragedy of the advertising commons”.
Don’t get me wrong I love advertising and value the benefits I receive from ad supported services. That said the risk vs reward is increasingly being questioned. Data today suggests upwards of 10-25% of users are blocking ads and increasingly corporations are doing the same and in many cases they take for granted the services they are receiving which are ad funded.
For many their decision has been amplified by the lack of security safeguards and circuit breakers to help block and prevent malicious ads being served on legitimate web sites and the blurring of the line between content and native advertising. The increased impact to businesses's infrastructure and bandwidth is providing justification for others consider blocking.
This not only impacts consumers and business users, but equally as important the publishers and brands that rely on advertising. Unfortunately while they depend on this revenue, many publishers have shared they have little impact on the action of the advertising platforms. Perhaps if consumers block ads they should be required to pay an annual subscription. As an alternative publishers could consider restricting or blocking access to their content.
While Apple’s business model does not depend on advertising, they are making privacy and consumer control part of their value proposition and competitive differentiation. Unlike Google which has blocked solutions from Google Play (i.e. Disconnect), Apple appears to be embracing it. The answer is we need to work together for the long-term health and vitality of interactive content and advertising.
Combined these changes are having a real impact, yet if we work together consumer trust, privacy and online advertising can co-exist and prosper. Get involved with the OTA Advertising Integrity working group. This needs a true multi-stakeholder effort. Read more >