Should You Block Advertising On News Sites? The IAB Says No, But The AANA Isn’t So Sure

Should You Block Advertising On News Sites? The IAB Says No, But The AANA Isn’t So Sure
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The AANA has responded to the IAB’s call to advertisers to stop blocking advertising on essential news sites.

IAB Australia this morning issued an urgent call to action for brands, agencies, ad verification firms and other digital advertising players to stop blocking the news.

“Credible news and media organisations are seeing huge jumps in online traffic, but many brands are blocking advertising from appearing near content mentioning coronavirus,” said IAB CEO Gai Le Roy.

“It’s essential that brands support news and journalism because with this content now so ubiquitous, without advertising support it will be simply unworkable and unsustainable for the production of news content.”

Last month Integral Ad Science revealed it had blocked the “coronavirus” keyword 38.4 million times leading to pricing opportunities for advertisers around things like packaged goods and pharmaceuticals.

IAB Australia and Nielsen earlier this week revealed that overall time spent on digital news sites and apps is up 29 per cent for March to date compared to the same period in February, with records being set daily.

While the IAB maintains that advertisers should be blocking keywords that “are 100 per cent” unsafe, it is recommending the use of contextual targeting to ensure the editorial context is understood when approaching coronavirus reporting.

However, AANA CEO John Broome has taken a slightly different stance, with the view that advertisers should do what they believe is right for their brand.

“Australian advertisers will continue to make decisions on where their advertising appears based on what the community would deem appropriate and what is commercially sensible,” Broome said in a statement.

“If programmatic or other practices are leading to undesirable outcomes, advertisers and the Media Federation of Australia and others will need to work together to mitigate against any unintended outcomes.”

Broome added that the AANA has not seen data that would allow an analysis of media spend by category, but that it is evident both business and consumer behaviour “has altered radically”.

 

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