Ad Block Digest: Major coalition seeks new global ad standards

Adblock Plus faces challenges as users rebel and the industry unites against it

Online giants unite as coalition to take on ad blockers

Google, Facebook, P&G, Unilever, Group M, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the Washington Post and the World Federation of Advertisers (among others) have formed the Coalition for Better Ads. Announced at an industry event over the weekend, it intends to address the rise of ad blockers by improving the quality of online ads with global standards. Where companies like Eyeo (which runs Adblock Plus) currently act as gatekeepers by determining what makes an “acceptable” ad among its hundreds of thousands of users, the coalition seeks to take back that authority by implementing its standards through some tech developed by the IAB. Business Insider reports that the technology “will essentially score ads based on a number of criteria — such as page load time, the number of tracking pixels, and the type of creative — with only ads that meet a certain threshold making it through to the web page of participating companies.”
Read more at Business Insider

Google and AppNexus step back from Adblock Plus

When Eyeo launched Adblock Plus’ ad exchange last week, it touted involvement from Google and AppNexus (a.k.a. big exchange players). But with a few quick statements, both companies stabbed that idea in the heart. “It’s an uncomfortable development for us,” said Google’s Sridhar Ramaswamy in Ad Age, “moving from being an ad-blocking company to being a driver of ads.” The announcements happened so swiftly and with enough media coverage that it immediately undercut any clout that evoking holy Google’s name could have brought Eyeo.
Read more at Advertising Age

Adblock Plus users rebel with ratings

Furthermore, in its coverage of Eyeo’s ad exchange launch, the New York Times captures what could be the beginning of a revolt among ABP’s users. As word gets out that ABP is now selling ads, people are rating the service poorly on, for example, Google’s Chrome web store. “‘You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain,’ one Reddit user wrote in a thread of nearly 2,000 comments discussing the change.'” Eyeo would likely argue there’s more nuance behind its move into exchange selling than the “sellout” line that users are bristling at. But it’s now facing a crisis from the throngs of users who, until now, have been its greatest weapon to wield against advertisers.
Read more at The New York Times

Having a laugh with ad blockers

As Mary Poppins once said, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Thusly, we’ve seen humour used online to deliver bad news such as “we can’t find the web page you’re looking for.” One German publisher is now using humour to address its ad-blocking users. Gruner + Jahr have had great success in decreasing ad blocking by 50% on its niche titles, but their more generalized news sites have, until now, been open to all manner of blocking software. Now it’s using a humourous campaign to engage those visitors with visuals that follow the format of anti-addiction ads (for those who are addicted to ad blocking, you see).
Read more at Digiday

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