Due to the face that ad blocking has become a huge threat to the digital advertising industry, and to the publishers that rely on it for income, there’s been a discussion among industry leaders to address the issue of bad ad experiences at a holistic level.

The issue of ad blocking became more urgent, which reached a crescendo last year when Apple allowed ad blockers on iOS.  There was an interview that took place during Advertising Week last year, where Google SVP and ads and Commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy  said of the rise of ad blocking, “This is something we need to address together as an industry. We need standards of good ads that you and I would find acceptable as consumers. Ad blocking presents creative challenges and certainly a business challenge.”

The DMEXCO conference that took place this week in Germany is where this industry-wide effort was first unveiled.  The Coalition for Better Adsis an effort of 16 different companies and trade groups to fix the digital advertising experience.  The founding members of this movement includes:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • GroupM
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Unilever
  • The Washington Post
  • Interactive Advertising (IAB)
  • IAB Europe
  • The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As)
  • The Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
  • The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA)

“Our members recognize that there is room for improvement with the current consumer online advertising experience, as indicated in part by the emergence of ad blocking,” said Nancy Hill, president and CEO of the 4As. “Now is the time for advertising professionals and marketers to look at ourselves to understand why consumers are not responding to these types of ads, and figure out how we can correct the issue to better engage with the consumers we’re trying to reach.”

In announcing the new group, the Coalition stated its initial tasks are to:

  • create consumer-based, data-driven standards that companies in the online advertising industry can use to improve the consumer ad experience;
  • in conjunction with the IAB Tech Lab, develop and deploy technology to implement these standards; and
  • encourage awareness of the standards among consumers and businesses in order to ensure wide uptake and elicit feedback.

The group said it will use consumer research to inform the new standards.

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