An Apologetic Digital Marketer

With the release of MacOS 10.13 — High Sierra — Apple has updated Safari to include some technical barriers to tracking cookies. I’ll provide more thoughts on this move in a future post. But for now, I wanted to share 3 quick thoughts I jotted down in September 2015, when the iOS ad blocker debate first emerged:

  • Ad-blockers failed at a fundamental level in their messaging. Just look at their names: 1Blocker, Blockr, Peace, and NoAds. They should have never positioned themselves as ad-blockers only. If Tivo came out as solely a ‘commercial blocker’, there would have been similar outrage by media companies. What if ad blockers had instead positioned themselves as a tool to speed up the mobile web. Very different.
  • I’m surprised I haven’t seen more talk about ‘read it later’ services like Pocket and Instapaper. They have been blocking ads for years — with virtually no outrage. More so, there are so many comparisons between ‘read it later’ services and DVRs. However, these services positioned themselves as more than just ad avoiders. They provided additional value.
  • Lastly, regardless of how publishers feel, people want to block ads because ads are annoying. Online ads, with the tracking tools that are available, should be great. They should (and can) deliver so much more value than other traditional advertising mediums — connecting shoppers with cool, personalized products that they want to buy when they are shopping for them. However, online ads are largely done poorly and technically a wreck (slow-loading 3rd party javascript for days). When was the last time you purchased something online and then saw that company’s remarketing ads for weeks afterwards? That is lazy online marketing and one of many examples of how online ads are done poorly.
Everyone hates advertising in general, but we love advertising in particular. — Cindy Gallop