I have had many conversations with digital marketers about ad blocking and how it can be stopped. The most curious always revolve around the assumption that it can be countered by better ads. The obvious point here is how ad blockers would know that the ads they are blocking have just got better? If I no longer go to a restaurant after a bad meal, I have no idea whether it has gotten better or not, surely?
So we're effectively talking about limiting the trend toward ad blocking. That actually makes sense. Give people less motivation to block ads and hopefully, fewer will choose to do so. The Coalition For Better Ads, by the way, is all about having the technology to deliver non-intrusive ads and to monitor that standards are being adhered to, as well as being communicated with the public.
It may be just me, but isn't fighting ad blocking mainly a publisher issue? The brands signing up to be non-invasive and not get on audiences' nerves are the big respectable names in advertising. They have no desire to annoy the public and so they don't. The real issue is the spots that publishers make available. Look at the most annoying experiences and it's nearly always a publisher's fault. They could choose to only have audio played when a viewer click on play and they could stop their own pages being taken over up by pop-ups which you can skip after a few seconds. They could choose not to litter their pages with intrusive ads that either cover over content or appear at the end of every paragraph.
Ultimately, of course, the cure for ad blocking lies in the hands of publishers because it's they who can deny access to their content. If consumers want a free ride by receiving content without any accompany ads, then it's down to publishers to educate them that you really can't eat your cake and have it. This could be done through an ad-free subscription model, which is unlikely to attract people who are expecting a free ride, or a simple message that a site will only work if white-listed or better still, ad blocking software is disabled.
So, it's great that responsible brands are redoubling efforts not to be annoy audiences with intrusive advertising, but the proverbial elephant in the room is that they didn't start this, so they can't finish it. Only the publishers can do that.