Online advertising must be as attractive and engaging as possible, so that consumers don't want to shut it out, says the World Federation of Advertisers
The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has called for global action from brands, marketers and the advertising community to tackle the growing problem of digital ad blocking. WFA believes the industry as a whole must listen to what consumers are saying and take action.
“Advertising has always been cultural wallpaper and we have a duty to make it as attractive and engaging as possible, so that people enjoy it [and don't] want to shut it out,” says association President David Wheldon in a media statement issued in early June.
In calling for the industry to take action, the WFA envisages a three-point process involving the creation of international standards for digital advertising, allowing consumers to establish clear preferences for the advertising they are willing to see, and then regularly monitoring their responses.
Efforts are now underway to determine the type of online advertising that consumers will no longer accept. “The findings will differ by demographics and geographies, although there are likely to be some commonalities in terms of what triggers people to block ads,” the association says, adding: “It is essential that any action must have at its heart the consumer experience.”
According to Luis Di Como, Senior Vice-President of Global Media at Unilever and a member of the WFA Executive, marketers and their agencies 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”.
A recent study by digital advertising consultancy PageFair into ad blocking on mobile devices indicates that 22% of the world's 1,9-billion smartphone users are now preventing ads from reaching them.