Quality and Quantity

Hayley Tsukuyama who writes about technology for the Washington Post commented in a recent article that the situation between advertisers and consumers is like an arms race, where everyone loses. 45 milllion people are using ad blockers, that is 15% of all U.S. Internet users, and a number that is rapidly growing, representing an increase of 48% between June 2014 and June 2015. A study by Adobe and PageFair says the use of ad blockers costs advertisers $22 billion in revenues. Consumers of course find the adsannoying. Many in the ad industry believe that people are used to have a free Internet and do not realize that advertisers pay for it. They say that if sites can’t pay their bills, then they will have to change and charge. Increasingly, some advertisers are putting messages on their sites asking people not to use ad blockers. But consumers don’t trust advertisers, since they collect personal data and then use it or resale it for their profit. And too some advertisers are placing ads in unexpected places, ads that cannot be avoided. Some addressing the issues of this debate/war think it may help if advertisers were more transparent about the data they collect. There are also consumers who are willing to give up personal information in order to get something in return, such as a deal from the advertisers. That’s the basis of what is called personalization, and is seen as an option with possibilities.
I freely admit I find ads annoying, but what disturbs me more is advertisers feeling entitled to my attention and taking no responsibility for their behavior. During the Superbowl the ads are the stars along with the teams, no one minds, people expect the ads and look forward to them. Maybe the answer is maintaining the quality of the ads that are shown during the Superbowl, instead of the quantity that can be squeeze into a short visit to a site.