The Rise of Ad Blocking

Ad blocking, long a concern of agencies, marketers and publishers, has emerged this year as the hot topic in the digital advertising industry. In fact, ad blocking stole the spotlight at this year’s Advertising Week: it was addressed by nearly every panel.


Ad blocking is nothing new, as software allowing users to block or obscure online advertisements has been around for years. But in the past, this software existed primarily as extensions on desktop browsers, and went largely unaddressed by publishers.

Recent developments, however, have significantly broadened the potential for ad blocking technology to become a game-changer. This is partly because the use of ad blockers is on the rise, especially among millennials; usage (by some measures) has grown by over 40 percent in the last year. As the sheer amount and intrusiveness of ads increases, especially on mobile platforms, users are becoming increasingly averse to slow sites and the risk of malware.