Marketers Aim to Take a Bite Out of Apple Ad Blocking

In marketing, we’re always talking about disruption. That’s so often a good thing because the idea is that a campaign, idea, or trend is so revolutionary that it changes the game in a positive way for companies and their customers.

But last week, there was a major disruption that most brands are not so happy about.

I’m talking about last Wednesday’s Apple launch of its new software update for the iPhone. With the release of iOS9, users can now surf the Web on their mobile devices without ads cluttering up their screens. That’s because Apple’s software now supports ad-blocking. And as of last Friday, three of Apple’s top paid apps in the United States are ad blockers.

Yikes.

This latest development in mobile marketing reeks of trouble for publishers, ad-tech companies, and marketers who as of late have been relying on native-content strategies, not just pop-up and banner ads. The blockers also track scripts, cookies, images, and auto-play videos. Although the impact of the operating system’s new update won’t be felt so much on in-app ads, the knees of marketers and advertisers on Madison Avenue are knocking because their content will be affected on the Safari browser and the mobile Web.

Already, brand marketers who have built entire strategies around serving native mobile ads are crying foul, insisting the move threatens not only the lifeblood of their businesses—but also the economic foundation of the free Internet. Marketers are beginning to mull over what they can do to keep their messages at the fore of mobile users’ minds.

Many users, however, seem to be in a state of euphoria with more control of their mobile Web-browsing experiences. I culled just a few of their responses from Twitter. And I have to say one thing after reading these: I don’t think ad blocking is going anywhere soon.

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