Rebecca Nava

Rebecca Nava

Content Creator

Weekly Roll-Up: Week of Sept 10-16

Good day readers!

This week, our focus is on ad blockers. Here are three major developments in the ad blocking realm that have happened in the past fortnight:

1. Facebook Takes on Eyeo

We’re seeing big plays from big players in the fight to defeat ad blockers. Here’s an excerpt of what Facebook has been doing, as read on Adweek:

“The most aggressive force in ad-blocking technology is pitted against the world’s mightiest social network. The stakes have never been higher for both parties. And there seems no end in sight, as Adblock Plus continues to attack Facebook with the bloody ferocity of a Mongol horde.

Last month, it looked like trouble for Eyeo GmbH, the Cologne, Germany-based maker of the popular ad-blocking software—and tormentor of digital publishers and advertisers everywhere—after Facebook introduced coding that made it impossible to wipe out its desktop display ads. But now, the company is preparing to launch a next-generation version of Adblock Plus (which boasts 100 million users worldwide), making it even more difficult for Facebook to defeat. Or at least it hopes.

Facebook has said it is determined to vanquish the ad blockers, working around the clock to bypass their software and ensure its ads are seen by its billion-plus users worldwide. But Adblock and other players including Shine Technologies (whose website proclaims that “ad blocking is a consumer right”) are digging in, promising to weaken Facebook’s advertising stronghold. “The bottom line is, this doesn’t show any signs that it’s going to stop anytime soon,” says Ben Williams, communications and operations manager at Eyeo GmbH, adding that “there’s an infinite number of ways that you can circumvent and work around.”

2. AdBlock Plus Seeks to Sell Ads

Adweek has the story:

“It’s hard to know which crowd Adblock Plus will upset more with its announcement today—marketers, publishers or its users.

The ad-blocking software brand, owned by Eyeo GmbH, revealed in a blog post that it’s created a service that lets brands buy the right to place “acceptable” ads that appear in front of consumers who actually want ads blocked. The company’s endeavor, dubbed Acceptable Ads Platform (AAP, for short), will let publishers sign up for the service and then sell ad space via an automated system.

The Germany-based company has hooked up with ad-tech player ComboTag to build the exchange, which will operate on a real-time bidding (RTB) mechanism seen across the digital ecosystem. It’s unclear how the ad buys will be priced, but how the general public reacts to an ad appears to affect to some extent whether it will get placed. Thanks to the whitelisting-style program, the ad blocker almost certainly will take a sales cut, though financial details are scant.

“The AAP will offer a feedback mechanism embedded in each ad, which will let you say whether you thought that particular ad was great, good, bad or complete shit,” Ben Williams, a communications and operations exec with Eyeo GmbH, wrote in the blog post.

“This feedback will then figure into which ads get selected on a live auction,” he explained. “This feedback mechanism, in turn, sets the stage for the second AAP benefit, making the real-time bidding process (RTB) better by making it more human. RTB is the process by which ad inventory is bought and sold in real time on ad exchanges. It literally takes milliseconds for winners to be crowned on an auction, then appear on your page; which ads appear to you in particular is normally based upon a number of criteria, many of which are based upon tracking.”

3. AdBlock Plus Powerplay Incites Response from Google

This week, Google cut ties with ad tech company ComboTag. Adweek has the scoop:

“Only one day after AdBlock Plus launched an advertising marketplace claiming that Google would sell ads that would be served to people who have installed an ad blocker, Google’s ads boss told reporters this morning that the company is terminating its relationship with ComboTag—the ad-tech company that AdBlock Plus’ parent company Eyeo GmbH is working with.

“We were just as surprised by the announcement as you were,” said Sridhar Ramaswamy, svp of ads and commerce, while talking to reporters before his keynote at Dmexco. “We certainly have no relationship with Eyeo when it comes to this effort.”

“So, we are moving to terminate our relationship with ComboTag, which is the intermediary that Eyeo is working with. In all of this, it reinforces our—and my—strong belief that the core issue is the need for an ads standard that the industry endorses.”

Google works with ComboTag to help publishers that are plugged into the DoubleClick ad network place their ads on exchanges. According to Ramaswamy, Google is ending its relationship with the ad-tech company because, “They in turn have created this relationship with Eyeo, which is now going from being an ad-blocking company to being a provider of ads—this is not a business that we want to be a part of.”

That’s all folks!

Signing off,

Rebecca

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