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An 'Anti-Advertising' Ad Contest?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Oh, the irony. Over at The Creative Challenge (.org), Adblock Plus, a company known for whiting out online advertisements, is running a competition to see who can come up with the best "anti-advertising" ad. 

Truth be told, the name of the contest doesn't give Adblock Plus the justice it deserves. Till Faida, the managing director of the company, is actually doing more good activities than ironic. Actually, in the article, Faida — who lives in Germany — acknowledges that a "native speaker" probably should have helped them create the name of the contest.

The contest, which is an effort to bolster the Adblock Plus community, challenges creatives to produce ads between 30-90 seconds. The winning ad will get class time or video equipment from a film company in the Philippines, a prize worth around $5,000.

Adblock Plus, as the name suggests, wasn't always advocating advertising. No, it attracted its near 45 million users by its ability to make online advertising disappear. But why the sudden change of heart?

Advertising is business.

Adblock Plus switched from a donation-based organization to a for-profit company, while at the same time admitting that many companies rely on advertising to keep the doors open and the prices lower for consumers.

So instead of blocking all online advertising, Adblock Plus is becoming an advocate for good online advertising. That is something we can get behind. We agree with Faida; a lot of online advertising out there is just bad. It is untargeted and creates an annoying online experience. As digital advertising continues to spread throughout technology, there must be certain gatekeepers that keep the bad advertising out, though the best case scenario is for that kind of regulation to appear within the industry; we have seen that time and time again, but we fail to rise to the occasion.

So calling all creatives, designers, and producers: show Adblock Plus that good online advertisements can happen.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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