Just a matter of weeks after its CEO threw a huge tantrum about ad blockers, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has bowed to the inevitable and conceded that treating consumer like mugs was probably not a sustainable long term strategy.
The organisation has conceded that the balance has shifted too far away from acceptable consumer experiences.
According to a blog by Scott Cunningham, senior vice president of technology and ad operations at IAB, and general manager of the IAB Tech Lab, “We messed up”
Cunningham writes, “Through our pursuit of further automation and maximisation of margins during the industrial age of media technology, we built advertising technology to optimise publishers’ yield of marketing budgets that had eroded after the last recession. Looking back now, our scraping of dimes may have cost us dollars in consumer loyalty. The fast, scalable systems of targeting users with ever-heftier advertisements have slowed down the public internet and drained more than a few batteries.”
The industry he argues, “… over-engineered the capabilities of the plumbing laid down by, well, ourselves.”
Users were steamrolled, their devices depleted, and their patience seriously tried, he said.
“The rise of ad blocking poses a threat to the internet and could potentially drive users to an enclosed platform world dominated by a few companies. We have let the fine equilibrium of content, commerce, and technology get out of balance in the open web.”
It is beholden upon the IAB, and more importantly it’s members to educate the business, and to push back if need be. “We lost sight of our social and ethical responsibility to provide a safe, usable experience for anyone and everyone wanting to consume the content of their choice.”
In response to the blinding revelation of its short sightedness and UX malfeasance the IAB has launched its L.E.A.N Ads program
“Supported by the Executive Committee of the IAB Tech Lab Board, IABs around the world, and hundreds of member companies, L.E.A.N. stands for Light, Encrypted, Ad choice supported, Non-invasive ads. These are principles that will help guide the next phases of advertising technical standards for the global digital advertising supply chain,” wrote Cunningham.