Interactive Advertising Bureau
09 March 2016

A ‘DEAL’ for publishers to engage users on Ad blocking

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IAB is providing publishers with tools to identify and persuade consumers to turn off blocking software and open themselves up to the free news, views, information, and entertainment that is only available on the ad-supported web.

Earlier this week, the IAB Tech Lab released an ad blocking detection script, making it freely available to all IAB and Tech Lab members around the world. With this script in place, publishers big and small can easily identify visitors who are using ad blockers and start a very important conversation. It is essential that consumers understand how the free internet functions – that they are aware of the value exchange between websites and advertisers and don't take the ad-powered engine behind the world wide web for granted.

Publishers have already proven that conversation is critical in convincing web visitors to remove ad blockers. It is all about offering a good “DEAL.” I put “DEAL” in quotes because it is an acronym for a new engagement strategy developed by IAB, standing for “Detect, Explain, Ask, and Limit.

  1. Detect” I addressed above with the script the IAB Tech Lab is offering members around the world.
  2. The next step is “explaining” the value exchange that takes place when an ad-blocking consumer visits the site, anticipating free access to quality content. Research has shown that free content is a powerful motivator, and more than 75 percent of consumers say they prefer ad-supported sites with free content to those where they have to pay to access articles, videos, etc.
  3. This is key when it comes to the “ask.” With a newfound understanding of how ad blocking prevents a publisher from supporting its business model, a consumer is now ready for a choice. Do they want to turn off their ad blocking software, or pay a subscription fee for access in an ad-free or ad light environment, or accept another alternative?
  4. Publishers that have been experimenting with this “ask” have been finding great success, ultimately “lifting” restrictions when a consumer agrees to remove ad blockers from the equation. And, for the minority of web users that aren’t convinced, publishers are “limiting” their admittance to their sites, placing them firmly behind a wall.

We’ve encapsulated this new “DEAL” and several tactics that have proven fruitful for publishers in a primer. Take a look. Test out various approaches and then let us know what works and why. The more tactics we have at our disposal the quicker we’ll be able to get consumers to forgo ad blocking for the virtues of the open, ad-supported web.

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