Digital Transformation

IAB gives publishers the tools to ask people to turn off ad blockers

By Jennifer Faull | Deputy Editor

March 7, 2016 | 3 min read

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is trying to help publishers to get people to turn off ad blockers with the release of new guidelines plus an ‘open source detection script’ which can be used on any IAB member’s website.

The combination of both tools, says the IAB, will help publishers identify and then talk to people using an ad blocker with the ultimate aim of persuading them to whitelist the site.

Current IAB members include Time Inc., BuzzFeed, Financial Times, Reuters and Forbes, among many more. Some have already been experimenting with ways to block or limit access to content to people using an ad blocker, often involving bespoke solutions. However, the IAB is hoping the detection script will allow publishers – big and small – to see when someone is using an ad blocker.

It falls into what the IAB has dubbed a ‘DEAL’ approach which advises publishers to follow a four-point process.

  • Detect ad blocking, in order to initiate a conversation (this is where the detection script will help)
  • Explain the value exchange that advertising enables
  • Ask for changed behaviour in order to maintain an equitable exchange
  • Lift restrictions or limit access in response to consumer choice

The IAB is also continuing to advocate for publishers to adhere to its LEAN (Light, Encrypted, Ad choice supported, Non-invasive ads) principles, released in October 2015.

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“The release of this primer in conjunction with the open-source ad blocking detection script will open the door for transparency and meaningful dialogue with visitors using ad blockers,” said Scott Cunningham, general manager, IAB Tech Lab and SVP of technology and ad operations.

“We believe that a combination of tools and the DEAL approach to communication with consumers will allow publishers big and small the chance to cut through the blockade, ensuring the strength of the open, ad-supported internet.”

Last year, the IAB reported that over six months (between June and November) some 1.3 million people had adopted the technology.

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