Ad blocking ‘biggest boycott in history’?

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Ad blocking ‘biggest boycott in history’?


According to PageFair and Adobe’s 2015 Ad Blocking Report, the worldwide number of people who stop ads from reaching their computers exceeded 200 million in May 2015. It’s the new normal. Millions of people are refusing to let intrusive, distracting, or irrelevant ads load on their devices. It’s even true for offline. The Sunday paper (for those of us who still read it) is a good example: Before I even take it into the house I take out any advertising inserts and other unwanted sections – the same goes for junk mail.

Online, we have ad blockers to field-strip websites automatically and before long, most people probably will deploy them. In its Digital News Report 2015, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism reported that 47 percent of people surveyed in the United States “regularly use ad-blocking software.” This is a natural reaction to consumers becoming more protective over their privacy and how their personal information is used.

As boycotts go, ad blocking must be the largest in history. And it will only get bigger now that Apple supports “content blocking” on its devices, opening up even more ways for individuals to control what does and doesn’t get inside their virtual doors. More than ever consumers are seizing the opportunity to demand a more mutually beneficial relationship with online advertisers.

So does this mean that we are nearing the end of online advertising as a medium? Not at all. In fact, the majority of us know the economic role that ads play and can even appreciate the best ones, which can be every bit as good as the content they sponsor. Good ads send strong signals about brands, and as long as they are relevant and respect our privacy and our right to say ‘no thanks’, it’s all good.

For online advertisers it means respecting consumer data, being true and pure in their messaging, knowing their target market better than their competitors, and striking a conversation with them – not shouting offers at them. That will ultimately lead to longevity and a loyal customer base, one that feels they’ve been listened to.

Daniel Gross – CEO

Based on an article on

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