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Is native advertising blocked by ad blockers?

Do ad blockers block native advertising from appearing? Learn more about native advertising and ad blockers. 

The real answer to this question is Yes, and No. And it largely comes down to the technology you are using and how publishers distribute the content. It’s a yes if: any of your native advertising is distributed via a javascript tag from a third-party.

This could be programmatic native advertising platforms such as ADYOULIKE, content recommendation companies such as Outbrain and Taboola, or any other technology that has ‘code on page’. These scripts are what ad-blockers effectively block out: so users don’t see ads. The only way around this – and it is something many publishers adopt – is to run native advertising content, for example their own in-house branded content – directly in their publisher content management system (CMS).

What this means is that in terms of the code, there’s no way for the ad-blocker to know what is branded content and what is editorial. Except there is. All branded content/native advertising must legally carry with it full disclosure – normally labelling about the fact that it is an advert, sponsored by, promoted by or similar wording. This is normally emblazoned on the preview and content page. Savvy ad-blockers can pick up these text rules in the design of the publisher sites and block that if they want to.

Publishers and technology businesses are continually looking at ways to circumvent the problem, but the truth is that if someone really, really, wants to block your digital ads, there’s always a way.

Ad Blockers & Native Advertising

Consumers want better ads. The main reason millions of people go to the effort of downloading ad blockers is not really down to the fact that they have a pathological hatred of advertising: it’s just that the advertising they have been exposed to online is infuriating and overly interruptive. The digital industry is all too guilty of these things. In the race to monetize digital publications the user experience went out of the window. Ad blocking is a consumer reaction to this.

As an industry advertisers and publishers have had to sit up and take notice.

Native advertising is part of the response to this.

NATIVE ADVERTISING REDUCES THE NEED FOR AD BLOCKERS

Native advertising is not a technical solution to the technicalities of ad blockers. But it is a format that could help reduce the desire to install an ad blocker in the first place. Why? Native advertising formats are less intrusive. They do not take over the pages of websites – they sit within the look and feel of a publication; and as a consumer you choose to interact with them. The challenge for advertisers is to take away the desire for consumers to want to use ad blockers. How to do that exactly?

Be less annoying. Native adverts are less annoying than most other digital advertising formats. Ad blocking has been a wakeup call to the digital advertising world. It’s a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to take digital advertising to the next level using better advertising formats, technology and the tools already at our disposal.

Native advertising is part of the change in what consumers deem acceptable advertiser behaviour in the digital space. It’s about maintaining the correct balance between advertiser and consumer; it’s about maintaining the value exchange.

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