AdLand cannot stop talking about the ad-blocking phenomena. Don't get us wrong; the infatuation with it is warranted, especially when there are reports out there that are saying ad blockers could cost advertisers and publishers between up to $22 billion.
With that kind of money in the air, ad blocking deserves at least a conversation.
As platforms like Apple release more software that can block advertising, advertisers and publishers are getting nervous about how this can strain a relationship. AdWeek got right in the middle of it and hosted several major parties in this conversation, including the largest company for ad blocking, AdBlock Plus.
But what we want to talk about is the effect that ad blocking could have on the consumer. A while ago, we looked at the concept of "ego depletion," the theory that a consumer can withstand persuasion only so long before giving in to a certain desire, good, service, or action.
If the ads that consumers see on sites and from content providers that they regularly visit are blocked, wouldn't that add additional time for the consumer to refill their tank to resist? If those ads slowly caused the consumer to give in to their curiosity and visit a site or seller for something, those ads were direct contributors to the ego depletion the consumer experienced.
Taking them away could influence the consumer in a way publishers and advertisers will not particularly appreciate. We wonder if there could be a study on the correlation of ad blocking software with lost sales. Though there are plenty of variables that can make a consumer buy or not buy, if there was a way to control the major elements, we could determine exactly if ad blockers and sales are directly correlated.
Again, the sudden rise of ad-blocking software is just that: sudden. We can speculate and make conjectures, but until all of these blockers are in place across all platforms, we can't totally be conclusive about whether this is really the big deal everyone thinks it is.
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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