World Advertising Federation wants industry to take more responsibility for mobile ad blocking


Following the release of the latest PageFair report, the World Advertising Federation (WFA) is asking marketers to take more responsibility against mobile ad blocking. The study highlights that 419m smartphone users are now blocking ads on their devices globally, whilst Asian countries are leading the rise in mobile browser blockers.

Advertisers to take more responsibility for mobile ad-blocking growth



David Wheldon, CMO at RBS and WFA President, says:

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“[It’s clear that] the industry needs to reflect on the rise of ad blocking. Advertising has always been cultural wallpaper and we have a duty of care to make it as attractive and engaging as possible so that people enjoy it, not want to shut it out.”

The WFA has called for the industry to take action and suggests 1. the creation of international standards for digital advertising, 2. enabling consumers to establish clear preferences and 3. manage a regular monitoring process.

The federation confirmed that it was already working with third parties to identify granular data for formats, frequencies and ad volumes which are deemed unacceptable by consumers. Whilst these findings are likely to differ by location and demographics, the WFA hopes to single out the similarities.

Having begun to identify the most credible methods of gathering consumer data, the WFA hopes to act on the information over the coming months.

Stephan Loerke, CEO, WFA, told RTBlog:

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“The irresistible rise in ad blocking poses a very real existential threat to the future of digital marketing–and perhaps even the digital economy. Something has to give, and brand owners are determined to take the lead. This is a number-one priority for WFA and its members, given the future of the value exchange represented by the existing digital business model is contingent on the industry changing its current practices.”

The mobile advertising industry has to find sustainable solutions and focus on consumer expectancy, relevancy and experience.

Among those who are calling on the industry to implement a change is Luis Di Como, Senior Vice-President of Global Media, Unilever and member of the WFA Executive Committee: 

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“As an industry we need to focus on creating content that is authentic, relevant for consumers and drives talkability – creative that enhances rather than detracts from users’ online experiences. We have an ambition to create a billion one-to-one relationships with our consumers through providing positive brand experiences.”