ad blocking wars

As of yesterday my AdBlocker Plus plugin on my iPhone had blocked 34,667 ads in total. Today, a matter of only 8 work hours later, my plugin is up to 39,631. That’s nearly a 5,000-ad difference. Granted, I scout for a lot of information and inspiration for different tasks I work on throughout the day, but still, 5,000 ads in only 8 hours’ time is impressive.

Ad blocking in general has become a hot-button topic as of late, mostly because of the rise of anti-Ad software. Try saying that three times fast. To get a better understanding, if you have an ad blocker enabled, try going to Chances are you won’t be allowed to see any content because, short and sweet, Forbes is greedy. They want the revenue that comes from your pain of having to see “a light ad experience” (whatever that means).

When it comes to our own company, yes, we brainstorm and work with clients who use such pay-per-click platforms as Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter and others. Does that mean that we ask others to turn off ad-blocking software? No, but it’s not because we don’t want to ask, it’s moreso because we’re not creating revenue, but rather customer conversions.

Ad Blocking: Good, Bad or Indifferent

All of the above to illustrate not that ad blocking is good or bad, but rather that the world of technology is divided on how ad blocking and ad displaying should function. In Europe, their e-privacy directive specifically denies the right to request or access user information without explicit consent. Simply put, that means that anti-ad-blocking software is implicitly illegal. Here in the US, that’s not the case. Content producers are enabled to do whatever they wish—after all, it is their content.

84.2% of the American population has access to internet, and of those, roughly 45 million use ad-blocking software (that’s roughly 16.7% of internet users). Still, that costs publishers that obtain revenue through ads a considerable amount of money. Does that give them the power to impose ads on those that don’t use them? Should those 45 million be asked to submit to the power of publishers? What’s your take on the ad-blocking controversy?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paul Albee is the digital marketing director of ATS Design Group in Syracuse, New York. Paul and his team specialize in all aspects of online digital marketing including website design, SEO search engine optimization, social media marketing as well as print and advertising design. Paul grew up in Cedar Rapids, attended Washington High School and is Mike Albee’s brother, serving clients across upstate New York, Eastern Iowa and nationwide.