Clicks Lie: Buy Ads Where Quality Is or Be Blocked

Mobile apps Marketers like easy. Who doesn’t? But easy isn’t going to work much longer, because ad blockers are gaining traction among consumers, says Quartz. To avoid being rolled over — or worse, ignored — stay away from buying display ads next to clickbait. Instead, opt for sourced, quality content because consumers are sick of listicles and other articles that patronize rather than explain.

So says John West in the Quartz post “Ad Blockers Will Destroy Listicles and Other Dumb Clickbait.” Especially avoid ads atop interchangeable “#content” about crazy cats and mac-and-cheese pizza. [Editor’s note: That pizza’s a thing?! Horrors.]

“Just because publishers have landed on an advertising model that is satisfactorily monetizable doesn’t mean they’re producing work that is valued by humans,” West writes in the Quartz post published on Oct. 22. “Maybe people want to eat their vegetables! We wouldn’t know, because publishers’ business model subsidizes high-fructose corn syrup.”

In other words, clickbait may not stick with consumers as long as, say, this article of mine from 2010: “Analytics Work Better With Data Than With Broccoli.” Plus, clickbait victims are opting to block ads more and more, West says. The New York Times, for instance, found last month that mobile ads suck up data and slow down page load times.

Apple, which serves high net-worth consumers over which marketers salivate, stepped up its ad-blocking game last month when introducing its mobile operating system iOS 9 and approving an app, Been Choice, that blocks ads in other apps — including Facebook.

This could be a problem for the social media giant, considering next week is the debut of its consumer location-targeting ads for brick-and-mortar marketers, according to re/code. Beacon-pushed notifications are coming from Facebook, too.

“Assuming you have location settings turned on within the app, Facebook already collects info on your location,” writes re/code on Thursday. “Now it will share that info with advertisers — in bulk, so no individual users are identified — so they can learn about the foot traffic near their shops, like gender and age demographics.”

The ad options are moot if consumers block them. West emphasizes that Apple already allows “content blocking” in its mobile Safari browser. But Apple isn’t the first to take a bite out of ads. “In 2014, 41 percent of 18-to-29 year olds polled by the anti-ad blocking company PageFair said they used ad blockers,” he says.

So for now, marketers still do have the option of buying native ads from publishers because they aren’t yet being blocked, West says.

With performance levels that are 3.5 times that of Upworthy’s original content last year, some marketers may believe native ads are a worthy choice.

What are marketers’ thoughts on this?

Please respond in the comments section below.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.
Publish date: November 6, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT