Ad Man: Ad Blockers Will Kill The Internet

from the just-don't-get-it dept

Want to know why Doubleclick is in so much trouble these days? Just take a look at what their executives are saying. Doubleclick's "Privacy Chief," appears to be channeling Jamie Kellner (the TV exec who announced that people who go to the bathroom during commercial breaks are "stealing TV") and has declared that products that block ads in browsers will kill off any free content online and it will all go fee-only. Of course, ad blockers have been around for a while, and there really hasn't been a problem. Instead, the problems online seem to come from companies like Doubleclick trying to push ever more intrusive ads on everyone. Among the other gems in his talk were that people get upset if they see a page without ads: "You'd go to your local corner shop and buy the daily paper, and you'd have these large holes where the ads were. You'd somehow feel like your 25 cents had not gotten full value." There are two responses to that point. First, if people really felt that way, then they wouldn't use ad blockers and you wouldn't be out whining about them. Second, the only way people would miss the ads was if the ads were actually useful -- which is the point he seems to be missing. Ads work when they're relevant, interesting or amusing in a way that people want to see them. While he goes on to say that any browser that implemented an automatic ad blocking tool "would be harming their own customer relationships to create a short-term, short-sighted, limited-effectiveness tool," he's actually got it backwards. It's the companies that push intrusive, annoying and irrelevant ads on people who don't want them that are harming their own customer relationships with short-term, short-sighted money grabbing techniques, destined to drive people away. Despite what some people in the advertising world seem to think, there's no contractual relationship forcing people to watch ads. The captive audience is dead -- and it's the advertisers and publishers who need to adjust to the changing market.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    no name, Jun 23rd, 2005 @ 10:56am

    Free internet

    The last time I checked it wsn't free for me to get on the internet. I pay a monthly fee and the same goes for TV. If this guy would supply me with a free high speed internet connection I would look at his ads as long as I could still see the content I ws looking for.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    jdw242, Jun 23rd, 2005 @ 11:19am

    prophecy

    if the current trend of retardation (read greed) continues, it is likely we'll be slapped with a lawsuit for leaving the house; simply because we aren't watching the precious ads on tv.

    Last time I checked, I control my life, and I decide what I will and will not watch. If an annoying ad invades my tv show, I'll change the channel. I pay for satellite tv, so don't come bitching to me about not paying for the programming.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Chomper, Jun 23rd, 2005 @ 12:06pm

    No Subject Given

    My monthly cable internet bill tells me that the internet isn't propped by stupid advertisers.

    Really too funny...

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    knight37, Jun 23rd, 2005 @ 12:45pm

    No Subject Given

    It's ass clowns like this double-click idiot that brought this on themselves. They had to make the ads more and more and more annoying. On top of that, they made promises that they could track user's surfing habbits and make targeted-ads. And they did it all behind the backs and against the will of the people they wanted to reach. Now that we've finally got a way to tell those web-abusers to sod off, they're crying wolf that we'll lose the web. I'd rather pay for content than put up with their crap, so I say bring it on.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2005 @ 1:12pm

    no popups in newspaper

    When reading a paper, I don't have ads that jump out and block my view of the article I'm trying to read.

    I don't think people are so annoyed with the newspaper like ads on web pages where your eyes can scan past the ones that you don't care about. Its the ones that require you to close extra windows, or wait for some flash animation to finish that people can do without.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Joe Schmoe, Jun 23rd, 2005 @ 1:45pm

    Re: prophecy

    > we'll be slapped with a lawsuit for leaving the house; simply because we aren't watching the precious ads on tv

    nah, you'll be jailed for sharing music by playing your car stereo loud enough for others to hear before that happens

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2005 @ 3:16pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    > My monthly cable internet bill tells me that the internet isn't propped by stupid advertisers.

    But the sites you use online are. How do you think sites cover their costs? Online resources are not free. I have been fortunate to be able and support my sites of text ad revenue. The users who block my ads and take my content (using tools like adblock) are too naive to realise that they are working against themselves.

    I hate intrusive ads and refuse to show them but I hate this "lets block all the ads" mentality that some people fall into. Like anyplace else, quality content on the net costs money to produce and show. You especially hurt independent content producers when you cut into their ability to even exhibit their information.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Ivan Sick, Jun 23rd, 2005 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Re: No Subject Given

    Sorry bro, not buying it. Did your advertising revenues actually decrease when ad-blockers became commonplace? Did advertisers tell you accusatorily that fewer people were looking at their ads on your site? I suppose that's possible what with clickthrough counters and such, but I just don't believe adblockers really affect you and are hurting the people who use them (by negatively impacting your ability to stay online). Do you think that people who block ads would actually be paying attention to and clicking on them if they weren't blocking them?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    acb, Jun 24th, 2005 @ 4:38am

    Attention rights management

    Either that or the ad industry will take a leaf out of the MPAA/RIAA's book and start pushing for technical measures to prevent customers from pirating their revenue streams by not paying sufficient attention to the ads. This could be coupled with them buying congresscritters and pushing for a legislated implicit contract between consumers and publishers, requiring that consumers pay attention to ads.

     

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  10.  
    icon
    W Klink (profile), Jun 24th, 2005 @ 7:09am

    Re: No Subject Given

    > ...I hate this "lets block all the ads" mentality...

    The "block them all" attitude is a result of the excessively obtrusive nature online advertising has taken.

    Others have mentioned that newspaper ads don't jump out at them. Well, newspaper ads also don't report back to the advertiser everytime you view them or keep track of which other ads you read or track you in any other way.

    If advertisers had behaved respectfully from the beginning (never used popups, never track individuals, no flash/sound, etc) most people would have never felt compelled to block ads and developers wouldn't have made "block by default" as a selling point.

    They brought this on themselves. If they want out, they should try creating standards for advertising that is respectable and subdued. Attempting to "guilt" people into unblocking is never going to work. Why should I behave "morally" towards advertisers if they won't behave "morally" towards me?

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Marc Smith, Jun 24th, 2005 @ 9:25am

    No Subject Given

    I have had a web site online since January 1996. By 2003 it became too expensive to keep online. Google's adsense 'saved' the site. It's an information site, mainly, but my point is - If ad blockers start significantly denting income, people will probably see the internet become like cable or satellite TV - You'll pay for most content in addition to paying for your connection. Enjoy what you can for free now.

    As a last thought, I see a lot of comments which essentially say 'Heck, I'm already paying for the connection'. That is totally independent of web sites. Web site owners don't get any of that 'connection' money. It may be one day you'll pay for the connection but there won't be any 'free' sites. At one time it was fun to watch network feeds and various programming for the price of the equipment. Now most 'content' is scrambled. Right now I'm looking at ways to reject visitors with ad blocking software turned on. For those of you who say "Who would want to visit anyway", I say no problem. I don't need to spend the bandwidth on your visit.

    I'm not a fan of advetisements - on TV, radio, in newspapers, in my mailbox or anywhere else. And I hate popups. But there is no free lunch.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    achiappanza, Jun 24th, 2005 @ 10:56am

    Behaving respectfully

    >> If advertisers had behaved respectfully from the beginning (never used popups, never track individuals, no flash/sound, etc) most people would have never felt compelled to block ads and developers wouldn't have made "block by default" as a selling point.

    Ironically, most adservers "behaved respectfully" by adhering to Internet standards so that all ads included /ad/ in the URL. Then ad blockers behaved disrespectfully by exploiting that convention to block them.

    Yeah, I remember back in the 80's when any attempt to commercialize internet content or e-mail was met with hostility. See how that's stopped the viability of commercial activity on the net and e-mail?

    Basically, I like the Salon model: Pay for the content and you get no ads. Don't pay, and we have to stay in business somehow, and the ads help.

    Freeloaders always have a hard time taking the high road.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Ivan Sick, Jun 24th, 2005 @ 7:13pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Nobody (on the forum for this article) ever said "Who would want to visit anyway".
    Earlier, though, I did say I'm not going to pay attention to ads, whether they're blocked or not. So have all the damn ads you want. I don't block them, personally. What I DO block are those ads that have of sound popups, popunders, and other windows opening.
    I misspoke when I said I ignore all ads. Where do I read the ads? Well, somethingawful.com, for example. Static ads that are unobtrusive and located on the sides. Tom's hardware guide is another example of a site with unannoying ads.
    Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but you can't block text-only ads that are located in the originating site.
    I can only speak personally, but I for one only block the ads that are obtrusive and obnoxious. Ads that don't move, make sound, and open extra windows (just like the the sites I'm looking at) are not blocked and are occasionally even read, clicked on, etc. (by the way, don't those ads themselves also cost you bandwidth? Even if the ad itself comes from the advertiser's server, the graphic or the link still needs to be loaded along with your page. If you don't need [want] to spend the bandwidth on my visit, why are you even online in the first place?)
    Summary for webmasters: Low bandwidth ads not only make things easier on you, but are more effective. Everybody wins. >:P

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Aaron de Oliveira, Jun 24th, 2005 @ 8:02pm

    Paying for the Internet

    The internet is not based on advertising, despite what people might think. People who build their business models around advertising might suffer from blocked ads, but this will not kill the internet.
    first, the internet itself is a communication platform that connects people to people, that is why it's popular. content is just a benifit. secondly, there are many businesses online that don't use advertising to fund themselves. Advertising is an easy rode to fund things. I know. I ran a very small software company for 4 years. I looked at advertising as an option, but i funded my company through sales. It was harder, but it didn't dry up and and wasn't as up and down as advertising revenues.
    So, I feel the pain of the people who support their projects via ads, but i don't agree that the user is at fault or that the web is doomed...

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    ali claus, Mar 12th, 2006 @ 6:20am

    being a claus

    Hi if i ever marry my boyfriend jordan claus i will become a claus

     

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