As advertisers and media owners alike come to terms with the rise of adblocking as a serious problem, it’s inevitable that multiple solutions to the same problem arise.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) proactively tackled the revelation that 15 per cent of web users have adblockers installed and announced the LEAN initiative in October last year.
The LEAN initiative aims to reform advertising to create a better user experience. The handy acronym stands for Light, Encrypted, Ad choice supported, Non-invasive ads.
LEAN asks advertisers to use less of user’s data, reduce load times, be as uncreepy as possible about data and generally promote a good user experience.
It’s an idea that’s caught on
Now that the issue of adblockers has gained traction, other industry bodies are releasing their plans to tackle the problem.
Most recently, Three announced that they would minimise “excessive and irrelevant” mobile ads in collaboration with Shine Technologies’ adblock tech. They won’t block ads though, rather filter them so users get content they’re likely to enjoy.
Three want advertisers to pay for data consumed by ads, not the customer, a similar bigger emphasis on data privacy and security and more relevant and appropriate ads for mobile users.
It’s an approach that lines up neatly with the LEAN initiative, a fact that has left the IPA cautiously optimistic.
Commenting on Three’s announcement, Nigel Gwilliam, the IPA’s consultant head of media & emerging technology said: “This is a very significant development in mobile ad controlling rather than adblocking. While we will have to wait for full details, Three’s principles suggest ads won’t be blocked so much as rrestricted – they will act as gatekeeper and exact a toll of advertisers on their network.
“The IPA believes in an ad-funded internet and the rise of adblocking is a serious issue. With our cross-industry partners we want to promote a better user experience and we support the IAB’s LEAN initiative.”
On the face of it it seems obvious that a better user experience would benefit users and advertisers, and in hindsight a more considerate approach from the off would have eliminated the problem of adblockers before it even began.
Since we can’t go back as an industry and change it (probably) we have to hope that mobile users opt for Three and LEAN’s more forgiving approach to ads, rather than implementing the adblock software announced by iOS and Android.