Tags: Financial Markets | Money | ad | blocking | facebook | zuckerberg

Digital Marketers Brought on Ad-Blocking

By Friday, 03 June 2016 01:40 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Mark Zuckerberg knows there are people who, for whatever misguided reason, don’t choose to be part of the Facebook “community.” The “community” where he makes billions marketing other people’s lives — while at the same time turning marketers loose inside his captive “community.”

But Zuckerberg doesn’t hold being standoffish against nonparticipants. On the contrary, Mr. Facebook has a program in the testing stage that works just like African hemorrhagic fever: A single visit to someone else’s Facebook page inflects the visitor’s computer or mobile device and allows Facebook advertisers to pursue the unwary like the pack of hounds in Cool Hand Luke.

One can certainly make a case for a willing Facebook user suffering through targeted ads in exchange for use of the Facebook service. If you don’t want Facebook advertisers on your devices, then don’t have a Facebook page.

Except that doesn’t work anymore.

Any digital contact with a Facebook user leaves one open for the marketing equivalent of cyber stalking.

How does this attitude of technological superiority and condescension differ from the imperialism the lefty tech elite condemns on the part of Western governments led by whites?

Tech marketers lure us with a handful of shiny beads and click–trinkets and in return the companies colonize our hard drives and mobile phones with tracking software that monitors web use, and sends ads our way that take up bandwidth and time.

Give me a handful of missionaries any day.

A marketing strategy built on annoying your customer base and ignoring complaints is a marketing strategy with a limited shelf life. Now the natives are fighting back and Hernando Zuckerberg and the rest of the Internet imperialists aren’t happy.

Earlier this year Apple made digital ad blockers available in it’s app store and the New York Times reports the marketing shield “quickly became among the most downloaded apps.” For those of you unfamiliar with the product, ad blockers are the Trump border wall come to the digital realm.

These free or nominally–priced apps prevent unwanted ads from trespassing on a computer or mobile screen. With an ad blocker users see what they want to see.

The days of ads expanding to block content, playing videos without permission, floating over what you really wanted to see and generally hollering “Look at me, Look at me” until a user either watches the video, finds a cleverly hidden “close” box or drops his phone in the toilet are gone.

Vocativ.com ran the numbers and found 419 million people, “22 percent of smartphone users,” installed ad blockers. China alone has 159 million users where they may mistakenly think an ad blocker also blocks the secret police.

Numbers are smaller in Europe and North America where there are only 14 million active users. But even that smaller number is having an impact on digital marketer’s bottom line.

Digital media companies are starting to sound like illegal alien lobbyists.

How dare Internet users limit access to their own devices! They claim “blocking ads violates the implicit contract that people agree to when viewing online material, much of which is paid for by digital advertising.”

Particularly shameless digital marketers contend blocking ads you don’t want and that count against your monthly data limits are a violation of the Obama administration’s “net neutrality” regulations.

Apologists for digital intruders offer a service called AdChoices that requires consumers to visit a website, register, go through an opt–out song and dance and hope it results in fewer ads and no tracking. I'm sure AdChoices will be the same fierce protector of consumer rights and avenging angel on miscreants as the Do Not Call list has been for telemarketers.

Digital marketers, like Hillary Clinton, brought their troubles on themselves. Ad blockers are the screen equivalent of call blockers.

If digital content providers want to be paid for their product, either by subscriptions or by ads, then providers need to think more about the user experience and less about click rate.

As an experiment I visited Newsmax.com — the wise Internet editors that host this column — with a spare browser that’s completely defenseless. It doesn’t block ads, plug-ins or pop–ups.

Newsmax.com is a good test because it doesn’t have paid subscribers. Digital marketing pays the bills, yet during my ad blocker–less session I only saw what I clicked upon. No videos played automatically. No floating ads blocking content. And no demands to let the site plant a beachhead on my hard drive with a “cookie.”

If more websites followed the Newsmax example, the market for ad blockers would be limited to pay–by–the–minute cellphones and Alex Jones paranoids.

Too many digital marketers have worn out their welcome on user’s screens. Ad blockers are the result.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher (for the League of American Voters), and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.


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Digital marketers brought their troubles on themselves. Ad blockers are the screen equivalent of call blockers. Digital content providers need to think more about the user experience and less about click rate.
ad, blocking, facebook, zuckerberg
Friday, 03 June 2016 01:40 PM
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