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It seems as though for years advertisers have been fretting about ad blockers while consumers have been singing their praises. But perception and reality are sometimes different things: In Germany, at least, Bundersverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) and Online-Vermarkterkreis (OVK) report that the share of desktop display ads blocked has been virtually static for the past year, and in fact dipped under 20% in Q2 2016.
Instead of measuring how many internet users block ads at least some of the time—figures that tend to be rising, according to research—BVDW and OVK reported the share of desktop page impressions served to users who blocked ads.
There are various tactics advertisers and content administrators take to discourage ad blockers, from simply not allowing users running them to visit the site to asking visitors to add their web page to a whitelist, which allows for ads to run.
A June 2016 survey by YouGov provides more insight into the motivations of ad blocking users in Germany.
About 60% of those surveyed say they block ads to avoid the annoying ones, and 60% also said they do so to block intrusive ads. While “annoying” might be more difficult to clearly define, intrusive is not: Get rid of those ads and perhaps even fewer ads will be blocked.
But a sizeable minority of respondents also cited concerns about privacy and digital attacks, which means that advertisers and content administrators need to find ways to convince ad blocking users that its ads aren’t parasitic, or there to violate your privacy. That may be a harder task, but it’s certainly one worth pursuing, if blocked ad rates are to continue to fall.
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