Skip to content

The apocalypse is coming! Hide your children, lock up your significant others and quit your agency job right now – Ad Blocker is here!

The apocalypse is coming! Hide your children, lock up your significant others and quit your agency job right now – Ad Blocker is here!

Over the past few months the subject of Ad Blockers has been on our industry’s collective lips. But despite how much some media outlets would have you panic, this young Account Exec doesn’t really believe it’s game over.

Admittedly though, it doesn’t look great. With applications moving across to other devices, growing in popularity and the courts failing to legislate against them, it all seems pretty bleak.

The stats in European markets don’t look so good either: 27% of French, 24% of German and 10% of UK internet users have installed the software thus far and it seems there’s a growing desire for the products amongst UK users. 30% of UK consumers say they’re ‘likely’ to use Ad Blockers while 23% said they’d be ‘very likely’ to use ad blockers in the future. Why, I hear you ask? Well 74% of UK consumers said they want to be in control of the ads they see and 69% found that retargeted ads were, well, downright ‘creepy’.

Don’t worry though! I may be speaking from an agency point of view here, but in our field of interest I don’t imagine this will have any great effect for our lovely clients. And, as it happens, some pretty influential people appear to agree with me.

Ciaran O’Kane of ExchangeWire pointed out that “At the end of the day, advertisers don’t pay for ads if they are not served, those most hurt by it are publishers”. Good point well made, Ciaran. So it seems our clients won’t be hit financially by any meteoric rise in Ad Blocker popularity just yet – though perhaps it’s time to send advanced condolences to our Publisher friends…

JP Moragan also conducted some interesting research which demonstrated that Ad Blockers are still mainly a desktop issue and that reputable platforms, such as the Washington Post, usually ring fence their content from people that use Ad Blockers. Even when we get into the world of mobile 90% of data usage happens within apps and iOS Ad Blockers usually only work with Safari, which, lets face it, no one really uses anyway.

A ComScore and Sourcepoint report also pointed out that at this point of time, most of the Ad Blocking incidents aren’t actually happening in the UK. They’re mainly occurring in China (7.9%) and India (9%), so us Roast Beefs aren’t being hit that hard at present (0.1%).

On a positive note, it should have some interesting implications for the industry, which, as a digital enthusiast, I’m all for.

The rise of Ad Blockers will prompt the smartest of brands to quickly raise their game, both creatively and in terms of targeting. Brands will have to start investing in more premium advertising channels that guarantee a higher ROI, such as native ads on respectable sites or promoted content across social platforms. This could open up a whole new world of exciting and innovative placements for agencies and brands that want to effectively engage with their target consumers. So to Ad Blockers, we at Baber Smith say bring it on!

On that note, I’ll end this with a favourite comment from your friend and mine Peter Markey (CMO of the Post Office) who had this to say on the matter: “What will always succeed is great advertising that connects with customers”. My sentiments exactly, Pete.

If you’d like to discuss innovative display advertising ideas or strategies to beat these pesky Ad Blockers, feel free to drop me a message.

The Drum –
Marketing Week –


Digital Round Up - Wednesday 29th July

Hello again and welcome to another bi-weekly round up from Baber Smith. We’ll be tackling some o...

Instagram's API touches down

It’s here! For those of you not yet in the know, Instagram finally opened the floodgates on its ...

So... How can we help your business?

Get in touch