Ad Blocker – Friend or Foe

It’s an easy road to go down… Download an ad blocker browser extension under 1mb, enable it, then you never have to sit through another YouTube ad, scroll past Google search ads, or deal with slow page loading due to the ads that have to load alongside the article you are reading.

Online advertising can be annoying, intrusive, and deceptive (see native ads). And they are easy to get rid of all together. Adblock Plus and AdBlock are the big players in the ad blocking game, but there are many others. They work by blocking Flash and Windows audio and video files from loading on a page, and then differentiating between webpage ads and non-ads. Ad blocker users usually have a choice between blocking all ads or just the intrusive ones.

It is becoming the norm on mobile, too. Last year Apple opened the gates to allow developers to place ad block apps on the app store. Google has a ban on ad blocker apps on Google Play (apps can not interfere with the operation of other apps), but still allows ad-blocking mobile browsers.

Pro Ad blocker Argument

Those in favor of ad-blocking software claim that ads bog down load times and increase data use on mobile devices on which users pay for the data they use. Ad blocker advocates look at the ratio of advertisement to non-ad content and see that advertisers have been able to run rampant on websites. They claim that this is their way of fighting back, putting advertising content back in its place: out of the way or gone all together.

nyt homepage ads

Arghhhh! where’s my content!?

Anti Ad Blocker Argument

But at what cost are ad blocker users scrolling through content ad free? As it turns out, there is a huge cost. Content publishers are not happy about this software because they rely on advertising revenue to produce the content that users want to read. In order to publish high-quality content, often times for free, those ads needs to be there. They support the publisher, help the advertiser, and just want to minimally occupy your web page.

It is in it for the advertisers and publishers to keep ads to a minimum,otherwise it deters users from reading on or returning to that website.

As ad blocker users are fighting back, publishers are fighting back too. The Atlantic, for example, knows when users have ad-blocking software enabled, and instead of showing ads, they display a message asking you to disable it or to support their work in other ways.

Atlantic ad blocker message

Forbes is also fighting back. When you navigate to the Forbes website with an ad blocker enabled, you are greeted with this message:

Forbes ad blocker page

You know, ad light doesn’t sound so bad.

Our Call To Action

As you decide whether or not to use ad-blocking software (and maybe you have already made up your mind), keep in mind the impact that it can have on the publishers whose content you are viewing. You may not want to have to deal with those pesky ads, but would you rather have to pay for a subscription to get that content?

With these things in mind, JAC Creative is taking a stand: disable, uninstall, and ban ad blockers. Help publishers continue to create the content that you are interested in. Take the second to scroll past ads or click the “skip ad” button. Or better yet, embrace the messages that advertisers are sending you, if they happen to resonate with you. Then pat yourself on your back, because you are doing your part to keep publishers, both big and small, creating awesome content!