Here’s How Media Reps Can Help Clients Beat the Ad-​Blocking Blues

BY Kathy Crosett
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Your clients, like most business owners, probably worried when ad- blocking technology arrived. They feared consumers would never again see a digital ad. While it’s true that plenty of consumers use ad blockers, the situation isn’t as dire as the experts originally predicted.

Why Consumers Turn Off Blockers

VisualObjects has just released a study on the topic of ad blockers. Based on their research of about 500 consumers, VisualObjects analysts discovered how consumers are interacting with ad blockers. The good news is that up to 60% of consumers whitelist (turn off ad blockers) specific pages or domains. About 28% of consumers remove the blocker to restore page functionality. Here are the other reasons:

  • Website contained useful content 22%
  • Website prompted user to disable blocker 22%
  • To access free content 15%
  • To support website 11%

Sites Most Likely to be Whitelisted

Sites that bombard consumers with ads drive them to use ad blockers. Likewise, when a site appears to have a lower ad load, consumers will whitelist them. VisualObjects researchers report that consumers are most likely to whitelist the following kinds of websites:

  • Social media 56%
  • Gaming websites 34%
  • News websites 30%
  • Encyclopedia sites 21%
  • Forums 20%
  • Business blogs 17%

Consumers say it’s a huge turnoff to load a web page and have ads slow it down and suddenly have the audio booming with some kind of promotion. Because social media was late to the online game, page designers have incorporated ads into the feed. They don’t take over the page and therefore don’t irritate consumers.

One way to appeal to consumers who visit ad-​supported sites is to give them more control. Over 60% of ad-​blocker users are willing “to improve their own advertising experience by offering feedback to companies about their ad preferences or customizing their ads.” Many are already doing so, especially on Facebook (45%) and YouTube (31%).

For now, consumers seemed resigned to an online experience that includes advertising. About 35% of consumers do not want to pay for an ad-​free experience and another 24% have no opinion on the subject. This is great news for you as a media seller and for your clients. Talk with your clients about what you're doing to make your sites user friendly for consumers who use ad blockers.

To learn more about which forms of digital advertising influence specific audiences, such as Online Game Players, check out the AudienceSCAN profile, which is available at AdMall from SalesFuel.