Mark Higginson

How attention flows on the web


27 October 2014

Working in coordination with Ad Block Plus, AdNauseam quietly clicks every blocked ad, registering a visit on the ad networks’ databases.

Clicking ads so you don’t have to

While this extension does “obfuscate browsing data” I wonder if this is both a benefit to the user and a benefit to the ad networks. Given the industry suffers from widespread problems with click-fraud it doesn’t seem that the quality of the data is the issue provided advertisers are still willing to throw money into display. More clicks across more areas of interest generating more data for ‘targeting’ is superficially good news. The accuracy is not something the networks are likely to shout about.

Given this extension requires AdBlock Plus and adblocking has gone mainstream if reporting consists of showing a chart that goes up it’s in no one’s interests within the marketing industry to look too closely.

This is incredible. Furthermore, in Europe anywhere up to 1-in-3 users are utilising adblockers with 15% of UK internet users availing themselves of this technology – especially among the more technically able where users who download and install an alternative browser are five times more likely to also use an adblocker.

The response from a marketer is predictably delusional:

“… successful ad campaigns for producers that are viewed as neither intrusive nor annoying by consumers… must involve such tactics as improving ad targeting, increasing the variability of ad content, and diversification across ad forms.”

People’s motivation is simple: they don’t like advertising. Once an adblocker is installed they aren’t coming back.

Let me know what you think on Twitter