Commentary

Fairy Dust

 NEW YORK, NY (March 28, 2016) – The IAB Technology Laboratory today released a new, two-part Augmented Reality solution for publishers to persuade users to stop deploying ad blockers.

First, the dual solution turns the page on the acronym DEAL, unveiled three weeks ago, just as it then abandoned the previous formulation LEAD as a recommended approach for publishers to discourage ad blocking. 

“In view of the challenges facing digital publishers,” announced IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg, “we believe DEAL -- Detect, Explain, Ask, Lift -- had simply outlived its usefulness. Our new acronym encapsulates a more thoroughgoing approach to reducing an insoluble structural problem to a series of inane pieties. You will note, for instance, that the new acronym contains 7, not 4, letters -- an increase of 75% in only three weeks. On an annualized basis, industrywide, our simplistic sloganizing will increase a breathtaking 1300%.”

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With ad blocking now costing publishers an estimated $100 fucktillion per year, the replacement for DEAL is both bold and elegant.

Pretend that half of our members aren’t causing the crisis for the other half of our members. 

Rage against the user victims who pay dearly in wasted time, data costs and soul-killing annoyance for the “free” content the ads so magnanimously support.

Accuse those users of immoral conduct foravoiding the ads they never contracted to receive to begin with.

Tell members that the advertising model simply has to translate to the digital world, because, well, it just has to. 

Treat ad-blocking providersas terrorists, ensuring that no accommodation can ever be reached that can discourage worst ad practices but give safe harbor to good actors.

Layer even more code on your content to detect and block the blockers. When the blockers respond to detect and circumvent your detection script, rinse and repeat.

Educate consumers that avoiding advertising ultimately will deprive them of the very content they desire. Continue to do this until you are literally blue in the face.

This is PRATTLE, and we have no doubt it paves the way for a bright future, in spite of the utterly conflicting interests of our membership.

But, as the man once said, “Wait, there’s more!” The IAB Tech Lab simultaneously released its exclusive Enchanting Fairy Dust, providing all IAB members around the world with alchemic solutions to intractable problems til now addressed only through acronymic incantations.  

“The release of this magical substance in conjunction with PRATTLE will open the door for more favorable behavior or death for site visitors using ad blockers,” said Scott Cunningham, general manager, IAB Tech Lab, and senior vice president, technology and ad operations, IAB. “We believe that this two-fold means of augmenting reality throughout the ecosystem will allow publishers big and small the chance to cut through the blockade, ensuring the strength of the open, ad-supported internet.”

Application is simple: Sprinkle liberally on the Internet. Then resume the fetal position and sob.

NOTE: Due to a columnist error, the paragraph beginning "LAYER" was missing from the original version.

8 comments about "Fairy Dust".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, March 28, 2016 at 9:12 a.m.

    What does the L stand for?

  2. William Mount from The Crafton Group, March 28, 2016 at 10:10 a.m.

    I'm going to guess that the "L" stands for "Lure You In" by making you ask what the "L" stands for.

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, March 28, 2016 at 10:15 a.m.

    L for luck as in Good Night and Good Luck ?

  4. Ari Rosenberg from Performance Pricing Holdings, LLC, March 28, 2016 at 11:50 a.m.

    I love Bob Garfield.

  5. Ted Faraone from Faraone Communications, March 28, 2016 at 12:50 p.m.

    Bob, Why do I remember this post from an April Fools joke of many years ago?  Cheers, Ted.

  6. Kevin Lee from Didit, March 28, 2016 at 3:37 p.m.

    April 1 comes early this year.  If the April 1 column will be even more "enlightening" should be quite treh read.  Perhaps there exists a solution to the "problem" of AdBlockers that doesn't kill hallf the publishers on the web in the processl ;-) 

  7. Steven Lentz from Lifevideos.com, March 28, 2016 at 4:25 p.m.

    Dear Bob, not a comment on Fairy Dust, however were you watching the NC vs. ND basketball game Sunday?  Near end of game or in post game show on TBS, up pops an ad which starts with a squeeze bottle of ketchup or mustard and the sound it makes when going empty.  Next an old lady sitting next to a toilet.  The old lady's head pops up out of the toilet and we find out this is an ad for a toilet which has new technology to thoroughly clean the bowl from the embarrassing side staining BIOYA mess.  Who were they marketing to?  Didn't know old ladies and men with this problem were big basketball watchers.  

  8. Neil Mahoney from Mahoney/Marketing, March 29, 2016 at 9:27 a.m.

    I've said it several times before: In print media the ads are not intrusive.  The reader can choose to look at the ads or not.  In electronic media the ads are forced upon the reader, which is aggravating.  It's up to the publishers of electronic media to solve the ad problem and not aggravate their readers.  Blocking ad blockers is not a solution. 

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