To begin with, funding anti-consumer technology isn't cause for
celebration (Disclaimer: Shine provides mobile ad-blocking
technology to consumers).
But let's move past misguided sentiment to the methodology
through which anti-ad blockers offer publishers the ability to
recoup their lost revenue by:
Step 1: Forcefully disabling ad blockers that users legally
opted into and activated.
Step 2: Re-bombarding these same users with ads they clearly
didn't want in the first place.
Step 3: Charging advertisers for targeting those who most resent
If the value proposition is eyebrow-raising, the economic
rationale of anti-ad blocking is just plain baffling: What
advertiser would buy anti-ad user traffic? That is, what kind of
media buyer would pay to show ads to a consumer who very clearly
doesn't want to see ads? What could possibly be the conversion or
brand lift expected from such a media buy?
Maybe it takes drinking ad-tech Kool-Aid to rationalize answers
to these questions along with what motivates individuals to wake up
in the morning, go to work and develop anti-consumer
Shine's origins are in cybersecurity and white-hat hacking.
We've used our technical know-how to outwit malware and
malware-like technologies such as ad tech with much more on the
line than a team of wunderkind with Bay Area and toolbar
We are therefore, shall we say, a tad skeptical when it comes to
finite statements such as the ability to eliminate ad blocking
Sabre-rattling aside, instead of advertising to those who want
to be advertised to, or making ad targeting and tracking less
intrusive, the industry believes it can curtail the uptake of
ad-blocking solutions by deploying "anti" technology. If it can't
learn from the history of consumerism, the industry will soon learn
anyway: That it can only succeed in accelerating ad-blocking
adoption. (Napster, anyone?)
The fact is, consumers have a right to block ads. That's why
Apple is allowing ad blocking on iOS9. That's why even Google's Larry Page has said
ad blocking isn't about removing ads, but forcing the industry to
embrace more consumer-friendly tactics.
IAB Chairman David Morris has referred to ad blocking as "a
growing problem." But his problem isn't ad blocking. It's consumers
who are fed up with an industry that has gone unchecked for far too
Consumers aren't blocking ads to block ads. They are standing up
to say the current model for online advertising is abusive, and it
will not stand.
Rather than demonize frustrated consumers just because they now
have the power to correct questionable business practices, the
industry should be taking a new look at its "best practices."
Now that would be "super."
Of course, it might take another 200 million consumers opting-in
to ad blocking for this to happen. Luckily, we are well on our