The anti advertising opportunity gets even bigger

Written by on January 26, 2016 in Opinion with 1 Comment

brick wallLike a black hole, there is a huge opportunity developing in the ‘anti advertising’ arena. What is surprising is that the advertising world does not seem to be too worried. Or they are burying their heads in the sand. We have dared to suggest that not only is the advertising world standing on the edge of a large cliff, but also that those companies that rely to a large extent on advertising are running risky businesses.

Perhaps this is an outsider’s view, but industry observers are one minute reporting that advertisers are following their customers into apps and the next that industry gurus are predicting that advertisers should head back to ‘legacy’ TV. And yet the ‘legacy’ TV advertising market is set to drop in value this year, for the first time ‘outside a recession.’ The development of ‘catch up’ TV will mean that advertising is becoming completely avoidable.

It is hard to fathom and it has that feel of the ship that has lost its rudder or a snake that has lost its head. Flailing and direction-less.

Ad blocking software can now boast 400 million downloads. A few short months ago that figure was half that. One of the purveyors of ad blocking software was recently excluded from a big advertising conference. Publishers are expending huge energies in working out how to get round ad blocking software, trying both the carrot and the stick.

Now, some industry heavy hitters are spotting the ‘anti advertising’ opportunity and levering it open. As an example, one of the founders of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, has just launched a new browser called Brave. Brave is designed to block ‘harmful’ advertising and tracking technology, while being ‘generally’ more secure. Handsets are out there that protect customers’ privacy complete.

Meanwhile, the battle between industry and Government, privacy and security continues to sway back and forth. There is no easy answer.

Add all of these ingredients together and you get a complete mess. To formulate a strategy for advertisers, publishers and even Governments is simply too difficult. What happens is that instead of a strategy you end up with tactics (of the flailing, headless snake variety).

So, maybe Jack Myers (he of the ‘get back to legacy TV’ comments) is right. Maybe advertisers need to head back to TV, as the bigger fish dominate (for the moment) Google and Facebook advertising. But if you watch TV as it is broadcast you are generally watching crap, which may be wise for some advertisers, but still looks like a knee jerk reaction.

And if that is the solution, then heaven help the industry.

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About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .


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  1. Michah says:

    Hi Guys,
    How about Pay-To-View advertising?

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