Big guns join forces to beat annoying ads

Posted on: September 22nd, 2016


Some of the world’s biggest brands are joining together to help resolve the one thing most of us hate about using the internet: irritating adverts.

As Marketing Week recently reported, a new coalition featuring the likes of Google, Facebook, Unilever and Procter & Gamble has been established to try and improve the online user experience. The aim of the initiative is to create global digital advertising standards that rid the internet of annoying adverts and frustrating formats.

Speaking at the recent Dmexco convention, the CEO of the World Federation of Advertisers – Stephan Loerke – explained that the ‘Coalition for Better Ads’ will use data, research and consumer insights to help produce the standards.

Loerke told delegates that the three main aims of the coalition will be: creating well-informed standards that companies can use to improve the consumer online ad experience; developing technology to implement these standards, alongside the IAB Tech Lab; and promoting uptake by spreading awareness of the standards among consumers and businesses alike.

And how will they go about achieving this? Well, ads will be scored based on a variety of factors, from load time to size and format; they will have to adhere to certain standards if they are to grace the websites of publishers.

During the initial phases, any publisher, brand, agency, ad tech provider or ad industry body is able to sign up and offer their thoughts on what these standards and the criteria to meet them should look like. This means they will have to put their competitive issues aside and work towards a common goal, explains Ben Barokas, CEO of ad-blocking consultancy Sourcepoint.

“We need something global so users can say ‘I hate that ad, I don’t want to see that product’. We need to create a tech bridge across the chasm of users, publishers and advertisers,” Barokas added.

With the rise of online advertising, ad blocking has also seen an increase. The IAB estimates that more than a fifth (22%) of people now block ads in the UK, and Loerke feels that it has now reached “inflection point.”

“The ad standards will be global and will help transform the current ad experience, which in many cases lets people down, to something that people welcome,” he added.

Meanwhile, Scott Spencer – director of product management at Google – noted that consumers are just as likely to blame the publisher as they are the advertiser when it comes to annoying adverts; with this in mind, the challenge of ads and ad blocking is one “that affects the entire online ad industry.”

Image: Masificación de Internet by Ministerio TIC Colombia available under the (CC BY 2.0) license

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