Marketing, Technology

Effect of Adblock on Advertisers and Publishers

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

As a human, you rely on the senses of sight, touch, taste, smell, and feelings to carry out a lot of activities and this plays out a great deal in marketing. To a larger extent, you will not go for a product you have not seen and this is where Adblock immensely affects advertisers and publishers.

Seeing is believing and this makes the impact of Adblock very important. While advancement in technology and digital marketing have effectively rendered traditional forms of advertisement obsolescent and ineffectual, Adblock is thwarting the efforts of advertisers and publishers who had to recourse to online marketing to take advantage of the far and wide reach of social media as a means of generating revenue.

Despite the fact that pop-up Ads can be distracting when going through content, they are undoubtedly the best ways advertisers and publishers can use to reach their prospective customers online.

Adblocks are thwarting these efforts by practically making it impossible for potential customers to see the Ads, hence depriving them of their expected source of revenue generation and ROI. The Statista reports that The average global adblocking rate in early 2018 was estimated at 27 percent.

These browser extensions allow users to browse the web without having to see sites’ ads. As a result, many site visitors obtain information without seeing ads, clicking through to advertisers’ sites, or otherwise generating revenue for site owners.

How has online advertisement fared? 

Online advertisement can be said to be relatively new, coming on stream in 1994, but at the same time, it has taken the marketing landscape in a storm. The first online banner advertising of AT&T was placed on the website Hotwired. 

The introduction of advertisements on the Internet was a kick-off of one-to-one communication between advertisers and the audience, however, the most important immediate and calculated feedback from the audience resulted from the clicks on the banners which were interesting. This has, therefore, made online advertising to have tremendous growth right from the time of its appearance.

Digital ad spending in the United States exceeded $100 billion for the first time in 2018, this was contained in the internet advertising report released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The report observed that the total domestic spending soared to $107.5 billion, which gave a 22% increase from 2017. 

Also, mobile advertising has become more aggressive, growing 40% year-over-year, to $69.9 billion, while video ad spending also rose by 37% to $16.3 billion.

This is not farfetched from the fact that mobile devices have become a very important attribute of everyday life for the majority of people. It has been estimated that by the year 2020 the number of smartphone owners will hit the 6.1 billion mark. 

The Pew Research Center, in being more specific, reported that more than three-quarters of Americans use mobile phones (77%) as well as 7 out of 10 digital minutes come from mobile. The main reason for the spectacular upsurge in mobile devices’ popularity is their affordability, computational power, multitasking, and a huge number of value-added services and applications. 

Mobile devices are usually kept at arm-reach during the day and even at night. This means that mobile users can have omnipresent access to digital information anytime and anywhere which goes on to give digital marketers a constant reach to the customers. 

One does not need to wonder why online advertising which began on the web, has been able to expand at such a rapid rate into mobile. Mobile devices create room for ample opportunities for advertisers: mobile users are able to surf the web, using numerous apps and social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, all of which enhance the delivery of ad content for the marketers. 

Advertisers can increase their effectiveness of advertising by modifying and serving precise ads to a particular geographic location of the user, time frame, or even weather.

How is the Adblock rendering this unattainable?

Researchers have done a lot of work on online advertising and come up with the result that the ever-growing Adblock usage could only mean one thing for advertisers and publishers and that is a loss in revenue. A lot of market players undergo serious pains from Adblock growth. 

There is no doubting the fact that if nothing is done on the massive expansion of Adblock usage, the resultant effect will be that a lot of publishers will be under the risk of losing their revenue from online advertising which supports their content. The brunt of the influence of adblockers will be felt more by mid-size publishers who have a significant amount of traffic to be affected but who do not have enough power and force to fight against adblocking. 

Publishers will not only be losing revenue directly, but they will also lose the data of their users. Adblockers also block cookies that normally collect first-party data about users which ordinarily should help the publisher to have better insights in order to improve on the product they sell. 

Expectedly, publishers who suffer the most from Adblockers, are those that target the technologically-savvy audience. 


The marketing landscape may be having an entirely controversial view on the problem of adblockers. Publishers consider adblockers unethical because they disturb their third-party activities, have unauthorized control, and prevent them from generating revenue from their own property. 

There is also the argument that adblockers cannot be viewed as unethical because they prevent unfair advertising behavior of publishers against webpage users. This gives rise to another ethical question that bothers on whether the website can make users switch off Adblock which protects users in order to make money out of them. 

There are publishers who are of the opinion that legal actions should be taken on Adblock companies because adblockers are interfering with websites’ ability to display all pixels which are also part of the website. The problems publishers and advertisers have to contend with are that the anti-unfair competition law is not well-defined and also not regulated to the new media era. 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

About John Ejiofor

John Ejiofor is a curious life-researcher, whose quest to finding answers to life's pertinent questions has led to founding Nature Torch. This blog aims to debate and explore many questions about our earth -- including those a lot of people are uncomfortable with asking. He has been published on some of the internet's most respected websites, which you can find online.
View all posts by John Ejiofor →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.