Ad blocking: The people have spoken

And, we must listen

The digital advertising ecosystem is a complex, highly-dynamic environment entrusted to transmit trillions of creatives representing billions of euros each year. A weighty charge, these transactions serve as the foundation of most global advertising campaigns, and the success of these campaigns are critical for brands and publishers, alike.


This channel is at risk. The rapid adoption of ad blocking by users signals a major paradigm shift in the brand-consumer relationship, which affects all the parties contributing to those relationships, i.e., agencies, publishers, and ad tech providers. There are three undeniable truths:

  • Consumers are irritated by intrusive, data-collecting ads
  • Publishers and ad tech providers lack visibility into and control of what flows through their advertising ecosystems
  • Agencies/buyers want to understand their role and do their part

Everyone agrees: ad blocking is a serious concern for publishers, ad tech providers, agencies and brands.


However, what can be done about it?

Delivering a clean user experience while balancing ad revenue objectives is difficult to accomplish in today’s fast-changing environment. Ongoing performance issues, poor creative quality, and a lack of realistic industry best practices leave publishers and ad tech providers vulnerable to revenue-impacting events—audience loss, regulatory violations, interrupted campaigns, reputational/brand damage, and more.


Fix the problem

Different groups have tested different approaches to ad blocking with some success. From ad block detection and white list request to ad evasion and ad re-insertion, these activities fail to address the root of the problem.


Consumers chose to block ads that ruin their overall website experience. The primary reasons cited include annoying creative, slow website performance, invasive personal data collection, and security concerns. But, all hope isn’t lost. Research reveals that many ad block users are not “hard core” in their “anti-ad stance” and are open to viewing ads.


All players in the digital ecosystem have a role—and best interest—in fixing the problem. Publishers need to appraise and control what renders on the browser. Ad tech providers need to better qualify the ads they serve. Agencies—and the advertisers they represent—need to QA and verify creative at campaign outset and continuously work to deliver cleaner ads.


It’s time to get SMART

Fortunately for you, The Media Trust has a SMART solution to support the efforts of each participant in the digital advertising ecosystem. SMART is a holistic creative quality assurance solution designed to detect and remediate ads that are detrimental to the user experience.

By providing the metrics to evaluate ads according to industry best practices, processes to remediate violations, and mechanism to pre-certify creative when initially placed into the ad ecosystem, SMART is the first step in stemming the ad blocking tide. How can you assure acceptable ads? You need to be SMART.