Many ad blockers, especially those for mobile devices, claim that they’ll be able to cut down on people’s data use. The New York Times put that to the test, and they found that blockers can make a huge difference. Fifty news websites were analyzed, and in many cases, the content took a back seat – or possibly was put in the trunk – when compared to the amount of data consumed by ads. The worst was Boston.com, with a whopping 31 seconds of loading time for ads versus a mere eight for editorial content.
I’m guessing that Digicel, a Jamaican wireless provider, didn’t actually send advertisers notes with the letters cut out of newspapers saying, “Send us money or people will never see your ads again,” but their actions are about the same. The service has the ability to block both video and banner ads, so users don’t see them, and it says that it will start doing so unless they get a cut of ad revenue.
It looks like big names in the digital advertising industry are finally cottoning to the fact that ad blockers are popular because ad experiences are terrible, and Sridhar Ramaswamy of Google recently stated that there needs to be a standard for acceptable ads. His talked about this a few days ago at Advertising Week in New York, and he’s feels that the industry needs to come together and agree on a definition. The problem is that it’s not always the ads themselves that are the problems; in some cases, it’s their sheer volume, something that lies with publishers, and not advertisers to resolve.
For the first time since 2013, the Interactive Advertising Bureau updated its guidelines for ads-focused technologists to include recommendations on how to best use HTML 5. The fact that they’re just getting around to doing this now, in spite of Flashes’ slow, drawn-out and painful death makes me think this is perhaps not the best resource in general. It was noted that Flash is a horrible choice because everyone is deprecating it, it makes malvertising easier and is slower than HTML 5 at loading media.
London residents who looked at posters advertising Bahio coffee might be surprised to hear that their reactions were being monitored. The posters were equipped with a camera that could inspect up to 12 people in the area of the poster. People’s expressions and apparent reactions were documented, but the company running the campaign stated that no personal information was saved. The chief innovation officer for M&C Saatchi, who were partially responsible for creating and running the ads, said that they were trying to not be creepy, which I’d call a spectacular failure.