IAB Ireland has responded to the recent publication of the Pagefair 2017 report – which claimed that 39% of internet users in Ireland use ad blockers – by saying that this is significantly higher than research that it has carried out and what is actually being reported by its members.
IAB Ireland points to an August 2016 report it commissioned from Red C which highlighted that 25% of Irish internet users used ad blocking technology. The report also noted that “users’ experience of ad blocking software has been problematic with 38% of current ad blockers claiming that ad blocking technology interrupts their user experience and this rises to 53% among lapsed users of ad blockers.”
It also noted that users are extremely receptive to ‘Turn off Ad Blocker notices’ and that 89% of users would discontinue using ad blockers for their favourite websites if requested to. Intrusive and interfering ads are the main reasons given for using ad blockers, according to the Red C report.
IAB Ireland also noted that the PageFair report for Ireland covers desktop only. Given mobile Internet usage in Ireland is so high (Mobile / tablet account for over 40% of Internet usage in Ireland as opposed to 57.6% on desktop, the PageFair reports excludes a very significant amount of Internet usage in its report, according to IAB Ireland.
“IAB Ireland publisher members are reporting much lower figures for Ad Blocking – with on average levels of 10% being detected depending on demographics. Agency members of IAB Ireland are also recording minimal impact of Ad Blocking on the delivery of online campaigns,” the IAB Ireland says.
“Ad Blocking is a global phenomenon, the growth of consumer disengagement with advertising is being experienced across media with consumers increasingly skipping tv ads as well as advertising on other media. The work of IAB has never been more important in the development of global initiatives designed to improve the quality and delivery of digital advertising as well as explaining to users the value exchange whereby the free content which is provided by publishers is funded by digital advertising,” says Suzanne McElligott, CEO of IAB Ireland.
“As a board member of IAB Europe and as a representative on the Coalition for Better Ads committee, IAB Ireland inputs at first hand on the development of this very important work and shares these learnings with IAB Ireland members, driving the development of better userX of digital advertising,” she says.
According to Colm Sherwin, group digital media director of Core Media: “Over the last few years’ multiple research companies have issued ad-blocking reports with figures here in Ireland ranging from between 25% up to 39% depending on your source, device, demographic audience etc. Sometimes what gets lost in these reports is the impact ad-blocking has on the consumer experience and the impact ad-blocking can have on content in general.”
According to Sherwin, “the IAB’s response to these issues is welcomed within the industry. The new LEAN formats should ensure the user experience is priority, while the DEAL process helps educates the user of the negative impact ad blockers can have on the standard of content produced by publishers worldwide. A combination of both should help reduce the negative perception that’s often associated with digital advertising, and contribute to changing attitudes towards the need for digital advertising as part of a healthy & independent media industry.”