back to article Ad networks promise to do something about the awful adverts you're all blocking, like, real soon

The Interactive Advertising Bureau – a powerful association of ad networks and marketing types that shift the vast majority of online adverts in the US – has finally noticed all the hate aimed at web advertising. After months and months of malware-laden ads that exploit Adobe's screen-door-of-the-internet Flash, and the …

  1. Captain DaFt

    Oh yeah.

    The new, improved ads will all be rainbows and lollipops if we quit blocking ads, right?

    Well, I for one, am not holding my breath waiting for it to happen. Because I'd have to hold it so long I'd probably suffer brain damage and might actually believe this bull.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...ads over HTTPS that won't track you and aren't annoying."

    The first part of that sentence simply can't be trusted without blocking and the rest of the array of tools, and the second part is simply ridiculous - the only ad that isn't annoying is one you don't see or hear, however much these fantasists believe otherwise.

    Delightful to be hearing at least a little squeal of pain from the IAB and friends after all these years of giving the rest of us the finger. Y'know, what goes around, comes around.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      "the only ad that isn't annoying is one you don't see or hear"

      I don't agree. Many ads are clever or funny or creatively interesting, a few even brighten up your day. I suppose the odd one even provokes people to buy something.

    2. ThomH

      There is a genuine belief amongst advertisers that people love adverts that are sufficiently well-made; and that if the subject of an advert is something the person actually wants then they'll be grateful for having seen it. I'm not sure those claims are universally true.

      1. JetSetJim

        > There is a genuine belief amongst advertisers that people love adverts that are sufficiently well-made

        I'd even agree with it - have seen many an entertaining advert in the past, from the schmaltzy John Lewis ones, or to the amusing ones for Marmite or cider. Neither of which makes me buy anything - I already liked Marmite before seeing an advert, and I already shopped at J-L for some stuff because their shop assistants actually seem to care, and you get a decent warranty.

        Yes, the adverts "raise brand awareness", but unfortunately the corollary for this is that advertisers then chase every last gram of that, and use a wide variety of budget and skills, which means that the vast majority of the adverts are complete pants. And that paradigm has moved from the telly and into the internet business model.

        The internet is turning into the equivalent of American TV. I'll keep my blockers, thank you very much.

        1. Fibbles

          Most advertising isn't about making you run down to the shops to part with your cash this very instant, its about brand recognition. There's a lot of research out there that says people are more likely to buy something they've heard of before than some product they're just encountering for the first time.

          I expect that you've never researched housrhold cleaning products, they're not something most people spend their time reading reviews of. Nevertheless, I'd be willing to bet currency that you can name at least 5 household cleaning product brands.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            "its about brand recognition"

            That works two ways. If I recognise a brand because it tries to poke its fingers in my eyeballs and eardrums I will avoid it like the plague.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
              Mushroom

              "That works two ways. If I recognise a brand because it tries to poke its fingers in my eyeballs and eardrums I will avoid it like the plague."

              I can state with absolute confidence that Cillet Bang has never, ever been purchased by this household. But we are aware of it :-)

              1. Vic

                I can state with absolute confidence that Cillet Bang has never, ever been purchased by this household

                I find those adverts very useful for training in the location of the mute button on unfamiliar TV remotes...

                Vic.

        2. Len Goddard

          Sneaky?

          > There is a genuine belief amongst advertisers that people love adverts that are sufficiently well-made

          > I'd even agree with it - have seen many an entertaining advert in the past ...

          The problem is that even the funniest, best made and most entertaining ad ceases to be anything but an annoyance when you see it for the 30th time in an hour.

          TBH, this initiative scares me a little as I suspect one of the design bullets will be to make the "LEAN" ads more difficult to block by making them less distinguishable from the main data stream.

    3. LucreLout

      @AC

      Y'know, what goes around, comes around.

      Yup. In my case its now too late. I finally gave in and ABP'd my whole estate.

      The only possible reason I can think of to stop blocking adverts, is if they pay me to do so. I just don't want it otherwise, and I doubt if much that I value on the net would disappear without advertising as the cost of running a webserver is so low as to be negligible.

      Yes, I understand things like El Reg need to be funded, but I'd happily pay a small subscruption for that, provided the articles remain of value. Most web sites I visit tend to be run by hobbysits who make little from advertising anyway.

      Who is to blame for my blocking the adverts after 20+ years web use? Well, it's the advertisers themselves, so it is no use them complaining now.

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    So all we'll get are quiet, non-flashing, peaceful ads featuring unicorns and butterflies... ok.. sure... I was born at night but not last night.

    I do hope they have some success but I don't believe it will happen in my lifetime. If anything, the ads will get more intrusive and more annoying.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ads HAVE TO track you in order for the operator of the Ad network to get credit for generating sales. If they have no metrics for determining if their marketing is effective, they get less money for that advertising. Claiming that ads won't track you on a system where communication with the ad platform is unicast is just dishonest, and calls into question the rest of their claims.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      "... is just dishonest, and calls into question the rest of their claims."

      Pfff! Advertising. Actually, advertising is not bad. Marketing on the other hand...

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Just to be clear, advertising = publicising, i.e. telling you about something. Marketing is trying to make you buy it, usually by lying, misrepresenting or targeting the most gullible/vulnerable group of people for that product or service..

        For example...

        Actual Game Footage... advertising.

        Not Actual Game Footage... marketing.

        Marketing managers are, to the last man (or woman) a bunch of wankers.

        1. TitterYeNot

          "Marketing managers are, to the last man (or woman) a bunch of wankers"

          I think it's safe to say that Bill Hicks agrees with that statement...

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHEOGrkhDp0

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Ha, yeah. Bill Hicks. Playing to a packed house there. Good job they let all those people who bought tickets know that the show was on... do you think it was just from putting up a poster outside the theatre and maybe an ad in the listing section of the local rag? That's fine. No problem with that. Employing someone to ring up chat shows and telling them they can get a cut price appearance from a celebrity in return for pushing the show/book/DVD on the show... thin ice.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Marketing managers are, to the last man (or woman) a bunch of wankers."

          I am as anti-corporate as the next person but this is simply not true. You are conflating product development marketing people and post-development marketing. They are quite different.

          Product development marketing people look for opportunities and, if they are any good, integrate well with the R&D chain. Post-development marketing is where the weasels lurk. These are the people pushing Microsoft into trying to force W10 onto people, for instance, to make the conversion volume look good. It was almost certainly the product development people who eventually managed to tell the Board of Microsoft that W8 was as bad an idea as they said it was before the people in charge started reciting "convergence" as a mantra without listening to market research.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: "Marketing managers are, to the last man (or woman) a bunch of wankers."

            @ Arnaut the less

            I'm in agreement about the distinction. As far as W10 goes it might have been beancounters who realised that if they could save money supporting multiple versions if they could cram everyone onto one.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Marketing managers are, to the last man (or woman) a bunch of wankers."

              "they could save money supporting multiple versions if they could cram everyone onto one"

              Microsoft could save money if they stopped messing around with multiple more or less crippled versions of their OS. After all, bulk buyers of enterprise editions probably get them cheaper than individual buyers of "home" editions. I have the idiot problem that I have to keep an old box around because it has an "Enterprise" licence but owing to a motherboard incompatibility it won't update to W10. I have another box which was originally on W7 home but was upgraded to W8.1 pro. Somehow W10 identifies that it was originally W7 home and will only update to W10 home. I simply can't be bothered and I'm kind of hoping W10 will blow itself up so I can buy a new laptop and convert this one to Mint. (I have this deep unwillingness to pay twice for things.)

              So: to me multiple OS versions and "convergence" looks like product marketing weasels, as if the bean counters were really, really in charge it would be server OS, desktop OS, phone OS and we don't support grandfather versions or older.

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: "Marketing managers are, to the last man (or woman) a bunch of wankers."

                "Microsoft could save money if they stopped messing around with multiple more or less crippled versions of their OS."

                It looks as if that's what they're trying to do but not successfully. Beancounters say to board "it'll be cheaper to force everyone onto the same version". Board says to marketing & tech "can we do that". M & T say "sure" - they're not going to risk saying anything else. Everybody wanders out of the meeting with tech muttering between themselves "HTF do we do that?".

          2. TRT Silver badge

            Re: "Marketing managers are, to the last man (or woman) a bunch of wankers."

            I put it to you that there are as many wankers in market research and product development as there are in the "post-production" marketing weasel-fest.

            In support of this, I ask you to consider how far from the truth is the following:

            MARKETING GIRL: When you have been in marketing as long as I have, you’ll know that before any new product can be developed, it has to be properly researched. I mean yes, yes we’ve got to find out what people want from fire, I mean how do they relate to it, the image -

            FORD PREFECT: Oh, stick it up your nose.

            MARKETING GIRL: Yes which is precisely the sort of thing we need to know, I mean do people want fire that can be fitted nasally.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Marketing managers are, to the last man (or woman) a bunch of wankers."

              "In support of this, I ask you to consider how far from the truth is the following:"

              And in support of my point of view, I ask you to consider that DNA was an English graduate who, to the best of my knowledge, never worked for a company that actually made practical products, and was actually writing about the sort of people who pitch things to the BBC. Just as 1984 is actually as much a satire on the BBC as on politics, because Orwell was working for the BBC when he wrote it.

              DNA's dystopias are brilliant but they are not, in fact, real life.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Ads HAVE TO track you in order for the operator of the Ad network to get credit for generating sales. If they have no metrics for determining if their marketing is effective, they get less money for that advertising."

      But presumably there would be a trail leading from a click on the ad to a sale. And that's all the ad agency needs to continuing selling snake-oil to their victimsclients. Any proper feedback, say a button labelled "Never show me any more crap from these weasels", would be excessive.

    3. nijam Silver badge

      > Ads HAVE TO track you in order for the operator of the Ad network to get credit for generating sales.

      No they don't. The only thing they NEED to track is which advertising campaign led to which sales. Historically there were ways of doing this, which they seem to have forgotten. Tracking the user happens because they have the fantasy that they can deduce what you want to buy: "We see you've bought a vacuum cleaner recently, here are some other vaccum cleaners you may be interested in."

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Ads HAVE TO track you in order for the operator of the Ad network to get credit for generating sales.

        No they don't. The only thing they NEED to track is which advertising campaign led to which sales.

        At the risk of sounding like a justly-reviled marketing wanker, I suspect it's a bit more complicated. Originally print advertising was sold on the basis of circulation - the more copies sold, the higher the rate. Then someone invented readership surveys, and it turned out that some publications had many more readers per copy than others, so rates started to be based on cost per thousand readers. Next thing was demographic profiling, so companies selling golf clubs could see the cost per thousand AB males. Then more detailed surveys like TGI allowed advertisers to home in on, say, C1C2 married women who like trying new things (fnaar fnaar).

        The shortcoming of all this was that it depended on surveys, so the information was unreliable and the confidence interval for exotic cross-analyses tended to be unacceptably large. Online advertisers aspire to build a corpus of real information (sites visited, things purchased etc) about identifiable users, or at least their computers, so they can target their ads.

        There's a sense in which this could be a slightly good thing. I hate the ads on TV, but what I particularly hate is the fact that 75% of them seem to be for women's hair and skin products. If somebody found a way to show me only ads for things I'm interested in buying I might be more tolerant.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          The profiling of print media could be applied equally well to web sites. In fact it could be applied better in real time by picking up on the subject of the page. If I search for vacuum cleaners and later visit a gardening site it would make a good deal more sense to show me gardening related ads at that time rather than vacuum cleaner ads. And if I'm looking at pages about greenhouses ads for fruit trees might not be the best choice of gardening ad.

  5. RedneckMother

    I'll do them one better...

    How 'bout this:

    NO FUCKING ADS, ASSHOLES!

    Wow, I feel much better.

    1. dan1980

      Re: I'll do them one better...

      @RedneckMother

      Like most people, I dislike ads. But I also like free, quality content. So that's a quandary because ad revenue is a key part of such sites and I do want to support websites that I like and that are useful (or entertaining) to me.

      BUT, some things are non-negotiable for me and they are things like flash-based ads, pop-ups and anything that takes over the browsing experience or causes content to jump about the page as the ads load, slowing it down and disrupting everything.

      Very few sites provide content that one cannot get elsewhere and if it came to a situation where my only option was to accept intrusive ads or not view the content, it would be goodbye from me.

      If the words being spoken are honest and the result of some real soul-searching* then I think they've started on the right path. People may choose not to believe them and that is fine - I am skeptical myself. But hopefully people encourage them in this endeavour rather than criticise them. After all, we - the consumers/users/viewers/contributors/customers - are the ones who have spoken and attempted to send the message that we will accept sensible, unobtrusive ads but they have themselves to blame for everyone using ad blockers.

      It seems that they have heard us. So let's remain skeptical by all means but let's also applaud them for admitting that they have dug this hole for themselves by not respecting users.

      Hopefully they have come to the understanding that the previous view that the important relationship was between sites and advertisers misses a crucial stakeholder: the visitors, and you can't just ignore them and still expect it all to be fine.

      * - Or whatever passes for a soul in advertisers.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: I'll do them one better...

        Scott Cunningham said that in the past 10 years, advertisers have made the mistake of making ads too bulky, unwieldy, and, well, absolutely completely dreadful.

        Ten years. It's taken them ten f***ing years to work this one out?

        Or has it taken 10 years for things to get so bad that even the non-techie general public have started to look for ad blockers, or walk away.

      2. Jim 40

        Re: I'll do them one better...

        @RedneckMother said:

        ">Like most people, I dislike ads. But I also like free, quality content. So that's a quandary because ad revenue is a key part of such sites and I do want to support websites that I like and that are useful (or entertaining) to me."

        Nope. Not for me.

        I'm hardline about this. I've been on the net for twenty years, since before the adslingers were here. It's been downhill ever since. I've racked my brains but cannot think of anything I can do, or get, now which I couldn't all those years back.

        The adslingers need to be told as loudly as possible that they are parasites. The internet is not theirs, and that if they are there at all it is by sufferance, so they better fucking well behave. It appears that some of this is just begining to permeate their neanderthal skulls but I'm not holding my breath.

        The ad model of funding is broken.

        Lots/Most of the best of the web is not ad funded anyway. Let's get the ads banned so attention can be focused on other ways of funding content.

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: I'll do them one better...

          I'm with you. I'd rather visit a site where the owner is an enthusiast that pays $10 a month for a site with simple HTML, and has real content, with an IRC channel for fellow enthusiasts to chat on, than a site with elaborate java script and html5 complexity that's run for profit by someone with no interest in the subject other than profit, with a comment system that's run by a company that monitors every response to provide marketing feedback.

  6. Gene Cash Silver badge

    > publishers can simply deny their service to users who choose to keep on blocking ads

    Who just go elsewhere. It's a big internet out there, folks.

    My life has not suddenly plummeted since I stopped reading Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, the New York Times, and the rest of the people that have put up paywalls. Everybody reports the news, and none of their "editorials" are any added value.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      NYTimes?

      Why did you have to stop reading the New York Times? Just run adblock, noscript, don't accept 3rd-party cookies, and clear your cache on exit...and it works just fine, every time. Admittedly, since Pogue quit, I don't read it nearly as often.

    2. dan1980

      @Gene Cash

      "Who just go elsewhere. It's a big internet out there, folks."

      That's absolutely true, but I hope this marks the start of something can evolve to a point where that's not necessary.

      I am skeptical but my medication has kicked in so for the moment I am also optimistic.

      It would be wonderful if this resulted in a new standard of advertising that websites could proclaim with pride as a measure of differentiation, that they only display 'LEAN' ads.

      Many people have said that if ads were sensible and non-intrusive then they would have no problem so it would be great to see things reach a state where that is actually a reality again and visitors can disable ad blockers on the sites they want to support and be confident that the sites will respect them and not go over-the-top.

      Trust might be hard to get back but if there is a real effort to get rein things in then I would be prepared to come to the party. If that gets abused of course, it will be doubly hard to trust again.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        @dan80

        I agree with you but the paragraphs at the tail of the article suggests that the weasels will try to continue as before:

        'Cunningham did note that the "lean" initiative would not be aimed at replacing all online ads, and in some cases "lean" ads would be able to run alongside other formats.

        "Publishers should have the opportunity to provide rich advertising experiences, LEAN advertising experiences, and subscription services," he said. "Or publishers can simply deny their service to users who choose to keep on blocking ads."'

        It will need ad networks that only serve LEAN ads and ad blockers that block everything else to make this work. Publishers and advertisers alike need to learn one simple fact:

        THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A RICH ADVERTISING EXPERIENCE.

  7. Grikath

    ummm...

    Yeah... Right....

    And we're supposed to trust Marketeers on their pretty blue eyes and they we'-weally-weeeaally-sowwy faces?

    I'd rather chance a Dibbler Sausage-inna-bun.

  8. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    The very worst part is that people still somehow manage to make purchases without seeing ads. It's almost as if they weren't even... No, that can't be!

    1. tfewster
      Joke

      Shhh .. websites need the advertisers dollars. Don't burst the bubble!

    2. P. Lee

      Adverts are rarely there to inform or educate. How many people don't know macdonalds and coke exist?

      Advertising exists to stop competitors advertising. Don't go to x burgers, don't eat a carrot, eat a double cheeseburger from us.

      1. Little Mouse Silver badge

        Re: McDonald's & Coke

        What? Are you suggesting that they didn't become globally dominant purely on the merits of their completely nondescript products that provide the consumer with no tangible benefits whatsoever? Have at you, Sir!

        Proof of the fact that, with the right marketing, you can sell anything.

        1. Gnosis_Carmot

          Re: McDonald's & Coke

          I know a guy who managed to sell pre-sealed envelopes.......

          No really.

          And this was well more than a decade before Idiocracy came out.

  9. raving angry loony

    Belief?

    Yeah. I'll believe them. Not. The same people who created the pop-over, the pop-over, the punch-the-monkey, the personal information sucker, the jitterbug ad, the flashing ad, they're all going to change their tune?

    There is one constant in the advertising industry: they lie, all the time, to everyone. Including themselves. I'll *never* believe anything they say. Ever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Belief?

      You forgot the pop-under. I never will.

      1. raving angry loony

        Re: Belief?

        I didn't forget it. I just typed "pop-over" twice and didn't see it before the edit ran out. My bad.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We're so clever

    "We were so clever and so good..."

    Wow. Skeevy narcissist ad men, meet the Dunning–Kruger effect. Ads are the worst examples of code on the web. Chain-loading literally couldn't be more bloated crap. Studying them reveals something of the horrible tangle of middlemen behind it all, which offers an infinite surface for malversting to slip in.

    I've never (successfully) visited Forbes (It's a US news site right?)

    Something about my setup, and what I assume is a splashpage ad, leaves me with a white blank page. Anti-adblocking results in sky-high bounce-rates, loss of brand recognition, and lost opportunity to offer value-added services. Good luck with that.

  11. oneeye

    thanks I needed a good laugh today!

    What I did not hear,is,just how they are going to prevent their networks from serving up malware ads. How they will vet each company that places ads,and filter those before they get distributed. Https will only mean malware being served over an encrypted connection. So wtf ! These guys are disingenuous at best, or complete morons. Not good choices.

    1. Chris King

      Re: thanks I needed a good laugh today!

      Have an upvote on me, this is the MAIN reason I block ads.

      Don't get me wrong, Invading my privacy ticks me off, but nowhere as much as having to help a friend, colleague or relative deal with malware in adverts.

  12. gregthecanuck

    Radical suggestion

    I understand that there exist some previously standardized file formats that, after sufficient evaluation, testing and pilot studies may provide a suitable cross-platform industry-standard solution.

    These are lean formats that require no plug-ins, Flash, HTML5, JavaScript, JAVA, or any other technologies.

    GIF and JPG files you bloody wankers!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Radical suggestion

      Why use images when a text link is more than enough?

  13. heenow

    Do Not Move

    My rules are real simple:

    If it moves in any way whatsoever, ad-block is engaged.

    Make it like a newspaper or magazine, where it simply sits there and may attract my interest through content or creativity.

    Don't be so damn lazy.

    1. illiad

      Re: Do Not Move

      I'll add to that... DONT use the same adserver as those noisy, moving ads.... have some brain...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This might have been worthwhile in 1998 or so. To little and very much too late.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I know that I shouldn't do this but...

    Hey you DDOS'ers out there.

    Go hit those AD factories. Keep on hitting them until they go bust. This will do the rest of us a great service.

    I am joking but this is how I feel when sometimes 80% of the screen on an unprotected (ie no adblocker etc) device is covered in Crap - i.e. Adverts.

  16. msknight

    "and hopefully lead many to turn off their ad-blocking tools."

    Two words, and the second one is, "off."

  17. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    I'm not switching off my ad blocker...

    Too late I'm afraid, ad networks. We don't trust you and we don't want you.

    But some blame must surely go to individual website creators: they're the ones who let the ads in; they're the ones who are happy to allow an untrustworthy 3rd party to ruin their core user experience by serving up multiple amounts of visually intrusive and technically awful content.

    If you run a website and you allow an ad network to serve ads right on (or over, or under) your pages, that you know your audience hates, then don't whine about ad blockers or that people decide to take their page views and custom elsewhere.

  18. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    A new framework and a new format, designed by the people who couldn't even use the existing frameworks in a secure way? What could possibly go wrong?

    No doubt it will also attempt to disable ad and script blockers, since they would no longer be necessary in this bright new world of warm, cuddly, desirable adverts. That will only open up a whole new world of potential DDoS for the bad guys.

    It's good that they're feeling the pain, now we just have to tighten the thumbscrews even more.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
      Happy

      "A new framework and a new format, designed by the people who couldn't even use the existing frameworks in a secure way? What could possibly go wrong?"

      I'm prepared to believe that they could manage to do it now they've cottoned onto the fact that they have to. OTOH I'll let others turn off their adblockers first & see what happens.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    Ad tracking.....

    ...I'm reading between the lines, so I presume is they will track links, e.g. click on an ad on The Reg and the Reg gets it's 0.1p

    What I presume they mean, is they won't cross site track. For example go to Ikea, look at some beds, go to Yahool and look, Ikea beds just so happen to be the advert: Yes that's happened.

    1. Stuart 22 Silver badge

      Re: Ad tracking.....

      " For example go to Ikea, look at some beds, go to Yahool and look, Ikea beds just so happen to be the advert: Yes that's happened."

      When we started serving GoogleAds they were great - and profitable. Google used keywords from our text to serve a relevant ad. Something that some users found a useful adjunct and didn't make it look like they were being stalked and/or bamboozled as they do nowadays.

      Indeed our single most lucrative ad was from a far right/religious nutty american organisation at presidential election time. It picked up on some (to UK people) innocuous words that are dynamite to a kook and they paid top dollar to be at the top with their provocative, ludricous and irrelevant proposition to our UK audience (vote Republican or die). Our visitors, nethertheless, just couldn't resist clicking to see what nutters they were. We won, the nutters lost and a reminder to always make ads demographically relevant!

      Frankly the flashy/stalky ad model is breaking or already broken for many of us. Providing quality (ie costly) material free at the point of delivery and not going bust requires a new business model. I haven't found it yet. But then i'm retiring next year!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ""Or publishers can simply deny their service to users who choose to keep on blocking ads.""

    As the old saying goes "Cutting off your nose to spite your face".

    I make donations to sites which are provided by people who know their stuff and who have a desire to share that information.

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Paul Shirley

      ...you haven't already noticed that happening? Pages with rafts of 'news' links pointing at sponsored crap you would wipe with if it was on real paper?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "crap you would wipe with if it was on real paper"

        Somehow I don't think your metaphor works. But have an upvote anyway.

  22. MJI Silver badge

    Their own fault

    As before, I only started blocking when the advertisers declared war on us.

    I allow forum speciifc ads from companies I would deal with, but they are usually GIFs or JPGs. A car forum will have adverts from parts suppliers.

    Hoverovers and popups were the two which started me, and since that was pre adblocking I used HOSTS

  23. MrWibble

    "Interactive Advertising Bureau"

    That's the whole problem - being "interactive". Make them static images / text, non-tracked (unless clicked on), and I'll unblock it, no problem. Until then, I'll only unblock for sites I feel are worth my annoyance at the ads.

  24. Danny 5

    Sure

    I don't use ad blocking software, i have learned to ignore ads. Those sites that have big, in your face ads, or ads that automatically start playing, go on my shitlist. three strikes and you're out, i will never visit that site again. Sites that misbehave are easily replaced, it's not like there's anything unique out there anymore.

    Also, the products offered in those big ads and autoplay ads get a special note from me, i will never buy anything from those companies ever again.

  25. Paul Shirley

    legal liability seems a good start

    Can't see the biz delivering any partially trustable solution until multiple site publishers get hit hard by lawsuits over malware. Quickest fix here would be explicitly making sites responsible for the consequences of their ad serving unless they use very carefully vetted ad suppliers, who would assume that responsibilty. Should wipe out the entire nest of brokers that enable malware.

    At some point maybe they'll accept that the supposed advantage tracking gives over other ad media has to be abandoned. Probably not in my lifetime though and so the blocking will continue whatever else they fix.

  26. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "We were so clever and so good at it"

    More like so stupid and so full of their own importance. They've brought this on themselves. Ad blockers are now no longer a matter of removing annoyances; thanks to the malvertising that that stupid & self-important industry has allowed to develop ad blockers are simply part of internet users' security set-up alongside anti-virus and firewalls.

  27. Joe Harrison

    Unfixable

    I too remember when there were no ads on the www, although that didn't last long. When "banner ads" (there were even standards for pixel sizes) came along I didn't adblock because it was so easy to train yourself to ignore them. The advertisers knew that so they got clever with punch the monkey and so on, at which point I had to start getting creative with my hosts file.

    So what are they going to do, go back to static ads which they know didn't work the first time? If you as a site operator really feel you should get paid for your content then there will have to be some other way than ads.

  28. url

    Yep - we're gonna get busy bolting this barn door

    Just as soon as we can locate the horse

  29. StuartW

    An <advertisement> tag for all adds, excellent that will make ad blocking so much easier...

  30. Chris King

    Yeah, Right...

    Real world adverts still get banned - TV, newspapers, bus stops, hoardings and so on, because advertisers like to push the limits to get their point across.

    If they think I'm stupid enough to trust them on-line just because they say they're going to clean up their act, Satan will be modelling winter clothes before I turn off my ad blocker.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LEAN as a Kite Mark

    Sounds to me like they are trying to set up a kite-mark quality assurance system to get volumes of ads waved thru the new AdBlock 'we'll let through unobtrusive ads (that pay us)' scheme on an industrial scale.

    Ultimately, it may be the best solution, if you accept that publishers of free content do need advertising revenue...

  32. Cuddles Silver badge

    Group promises more secure, less pushy banners

    The trouble is that's just not good enough. With no adverts, it is impossible for adverts to be used as an attack vector. Unless they can make adverts as secure as that, I don't want adverts. "Not quite as dangerous as they are at the moment" is not a useful thing to promise.

    The same goes for "less pushy". I don't want adverts that's aren't quite as annoying as current ones, I want them to not be annoying at all. At least unlike security this is not physically impossible to achieve, but I don't believe for a second that they'll actually do it, or even try for that matter.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Finally installed AdBlock

    I used to make a point of clicking on the occasional Ad here on El Reg to show my support, but of late the adverts have caused so many lock-ups on IE 11 (yes, yes) that I finally took the plunge and installed AdBlock. I was stunned how much quicker the page load was, but regret that I can no longer provide my little bit of support to The Reg.

    If you ever stop slinging video ads at us, tell us via one of your headlines and I will turn AdBlock off again.

    Regretfully,

    AC

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Confused... I thought Ad revenue came from clicks?

    Something I haven't seen anyone comment on is that I thought the great majority of Ad revenue comes from clicks (PPC not PPV). I thought Google, FB, etc sell clicks to people willing to buy those prospects.

    So why do sites ask me to turn off ABP to 'support them'. Even if I turn off ABP and see the stupid ads I'm still not about to start clicking them... so why do they bother?

    Or are these sites running PPV and they just want to get paid for showing me something?

  35. still me

    I don't want _ANY_ adverts, ever. Not ever. They steal my bandwidth, track me when I don't want to be tracked, try and distract my attention from what I'm trying to do to what THEY want me to do, and use up valuable screen space. If that means some crap website can't justify it's existence, then fine. I have no problem with a shed load of looser websites going to the wall. BTW, did I say I HATE them?

    1. ConstantineXI

      Totally agree. I've been pushed to the point that there is NO SUCH THING as an "acceptable ad" to me anymore. Not no way, not no how. "Don't call me, I'll call YOU" if I am interested in your product.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lean

    I bet I know who's going to pay for this (you, you and you). Anyway, lip service. The current monstrosity of ad-fuelled internet circles around the fact that humans are greedy cunts and they want more, and don't stop to get this. If ten of them decide to play by the rules, there'll be another ten who says: fuck the rules, it's a great chance to get the "edge" and make more dosh, so let's do it! And then, they'll say, oh, it was a rogue engineer, but we're good, essentially.

  37. Graham Marsden
    Facepalm

    "publishers can simply deny their service to users who choose to keep on blocking ads"

    That rather relies on the publishers' service actually being important enough to the users that said users will stop blocking ads in order to see the content.

    Sorry, publishers, but the vast majority of you are not indispensible...

    1. ConstantineXI

      Re: "publishers can simply deny their service to users who choose to keep on blocking ads"

      That's because the bloggers do a better job than the so-called "professional" newsies.

  38. TRT Silver badge

    I've just found what I think must be a contender for worst ad-ridden site in the .uk

    westbriton. A local newspaper. Full screen pop-overs, ninja self-rolling audio equipped videos and javascripted so you can't back button out of the site.

    Anyone who argues that adblockers are evil should be sent to westbriton's site.

    Other contenders below please, and experiences of visiting with and without adblockers.

    1. VinceH

      Re: I've just found what I think must be a contender for worst ad-ridden site in the .uk

      Just looked at westbriton.co.uk - but note that I don't run an AdBlocker, because NoScript effectively achieves the same thing. And with NoScript, the site works, and I see no ads.

      I doubt it's the worst example, though - I note it's a Local World website. I suspect the websites of all the papers they run are just as bad.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: I've just found what I think must be a contender for worst ad-ridden site in the .uk

        Yes, I just found that with my local newspaper's website. They've changed something and the ads have become even more intrusive.

        A few months ago, I read a news article about a big spender visiting a local strip club. The advertising on the page picked up keywords from the news story and started showing adverts about "legitimate bussinessmen's clubs". That, somehow, influenced the targeted ad vending on other pages, not even news related, in such a way that about a quarter of the ads were suddenly for things from the seedier side of the web.

        It's changed now, thank God, but for a month I was getting a vastly increased advertising from casinos, strip clubs and "executive" services. All from reading the news.

  39. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Click on this story, you won't believe what happens next...

    Yay, you've been clickjacked. Welcome to the internet.

  40. ConstantineXI

    Sorry Marketers, you don't get a second chance

    You had total freedom and abused the HELL out of it. To the point that even my mother asked me to install an ad blocker on her PC.

    It's to the point that people will no longer TOLERATE ads at all. I passed that point years ago. Better learn how to survive in a world that won't tolerate ads. Because that's the present and future.

  41. VinceH

    Dear Scott Cunningham

    I can solve both the format and delivery problems for you.

    My method will allow you host the advertisement files on your own servers, rather than the page on which they are being displayed, and you will be able to monitor on what pages the adverts appear, and how many times, as well as which ones generate clicks.

    Your adverts will be unobtrusive (provided you don't go overboard and bombard users with too many), and should be safe.

    This is a very valuable technical solution, and I feel is worth at leat £10 £100 £100 £1,000 £10,000 £100,000 £500,000 (plus VAT), so if you get in touch, we can arrange payment and I'll send you the details as soon as that's out of the way.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scott Cuntingham

    I remember the internet before ANY commercial activity of any sort. You were not needed then, and are not needed now.

    You may go fuck yourself off the highest building you can find, as can everyone else at IAB and all their supporters.

    If I want to buy something online, I KNOW where to go, and how to make my own decisions based upon independent reviews, and circumspect acceptance of user ratings.

    Advertising should be strictly constrained and monitored in all aspects of life. Appropriate placement only that does not interfere with the quality of life of the community.

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