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Adblock Notifies Users of Update With What Looks Like a Pop-up Ad


Adblock is seeing a considerable amount of attention lately. With the news that their rival Adblock Plus has declined the opportunity to enter the Acceptable Ads program - whereby only unobtrusive, appropriate and transparent ads reach consumers - Adblock Plus has decided to do the opposite and hop on the bandwagon.

In the past, ad blocking has been a source of contention. With the recent update to Apple's iOS 9 operating system came an installation of an ad-blocking feature to Safari, which will arguably have a dramatic effect on the online revenue of both large and small sites and could potentially only stand to benefit Apple. This raises just one of many questions regarding the ethical issues of ad blocking.

But how does it work? Ad blockers interrupt the programmed requests of webpages to download or show ads from external bodies by putting them on a 'blacklist'. In doing so, they take away much-needed advertising income from the developers and publishers that create and provide them. As a sort of peace offering between the blockers and the creators, some of these extensions offer a 'whitelist' that supports ads that are do not cause intrusion or disturbance to the viewer.

And how does Adblock notify you of this change? Well, through a pop-up ad (or notification, same diff).

So what effect does Adblocking have on the advertisers? Well, when it comes to budget, not much. In a graphic provided by Bloomberg Businessweek, we can see that despite the vast amount of technological advance in new media, such as broadcasting, cable television and, of course, the internet, the money assigned to advertising has remained remarkably unaffected compared to other areas of business:-

However, as ads become increasingly inaccessible, whether the user wants to see them or not, the ROI on advertising looks to take a hit.

Another moral argument against ad-blocking centralises around the consumer. Marco Arment, developer and subsequent withdrawer of successful adblocker Peace, has openly discussed the negative affect on the user:- 
Web ads are dramatically different from prior ad media, though — rather than just being printed on paper or inserted into a broadcast, web ads are software. They run arbitrary code on your computer, which can (and usually does) collect and send data about you and your behavior back to the advertisers and publishers. And there’s so much consolidation amongst ad networks and analytics providers that they can easily track your behavior across multiple sites, building a creepily accurate and deep profile of your personal information and private business.
All of that tracking and data collection is done without your knowledge, and — critically — without your consent. Because of how the web and web browsers work, the involuntary data collection starts if you simply follow a link. There’s no opportunity for disclosure, negotiation, or reconsideration. By following any link, you unwittingly opt into whatever the target site, and any number of embedded scripts from other sites and tracking networks, wants to collect, track, analyze, and sell about you.

Not so unobtrusive hey. Still, the question remains whether or not the rise of ad-blockers looks to change the business model of digital marketing permanently in the future for the sake of optimised user experience. Watch this space.

SMF rookie, fresh out of academia, looking forward to more creative ventures. With a love of current affairs, green tea and an ever insatiable wanderlust, Katie is ready to have her voice heard. Follow her @KatieAtSMF

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Adblock Notifies Users of Update With What Looks Like a Pop-up Ad Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, October 06, 2015 Rating: 5

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