The use of ad-blocking software is growing as Internet users try to deal with the swelling number of ads delivered programmatically and the pervasive tracking of their online behavior.
This growth has set alarm bells ringing within the online advertising industry, with concerns that the use of ad blockers could damage publishers' online revenues. Just last week it emerged that two groups of publishers in France are considering a a lawsuit against, Eyeo GmbH, the maker of AdBlockPlus.
While behavioral advertising ideally makes advertising more relevant to viewers, some people find it "creepy"; data shows that last year’s revelations of the National Security Administration’s attempts to track citizens online has made them warier than ever.
Sarah Baehr, group director of digital strategy at Carat USA, says ad blocking is not one of her major concerns: "Everyone is caught up with bot fraud and viewability right now." However, if agencies see ad blocking as a consumer demand for better online advertising and respond, Baehr sees it as a positive development. "Will it prompt Creative to think differently about what is appropriate or valuable based on the screen being viewed? I hope so," she adds.