3Qs: The cat ​​and ​mouse game of blocking digital ads


Digital advertisements continue to change to meet both user and consumer needs. Photo by Webb Chappell, Northeastern University.

Recently featured in news@Northeastern’s 3Qs, Yakov Bart, D’Amore-McKim School of Business assistant professor of marketing, spoke on the topic of advertising in the digital age, focused on the failings of ad-blockers created by websites, and those who pay to feature content on them.

A recent report found that almost 200 million people use desktop ad- blockers while working or surfing the net, leaving websites to either allow the content to continue to be blocked or change their sites to disable ad blockers. The use of ad-blockers can be extremely detrimental for websites such as Facebook, who industry experts estimate loses up to 30 percent of total ad revenue due to blocks.

Through his studies of digital media, Bart believes page visitors will ultimately be forced to choose between not using an ad-blocker and maintaining a seamless, user-friendly experience, but still be forced to view ads, or use an ad blocker and view zero ads, but lose an edge of the website’s interactive, seamless feel.

“Publishers and makers of ad-blocking software will continue working to convince consumers to join the former (publishers) or the latter (ad blockers) camp,” Bart said.

The use of ads on digital mediums continues to change, whether they are personalized, easy to shut off, or seemingly everywhere on a screen at once.

Read more on news@Northeastern.