Blocking adverts on the internet is the equivalent of theft, according to the chief executive of PageFair.
Sean Blanchfield, who is also the founder of the anti-adblocking company, described adblockers as “like the Napster of the advertising industry”.
“[Adblocking] is really concentrated on exactly the kind of people that advertisers are targeting – millennials,” he said.
“You can basically see a large cohort of adblockers growing up – as adblockers. And this isn’t good news for the advertising industry, or publishers.”
About 144 million browsers have some form of adblocker installed, according to research carried out by PageFair and Adobe.
The research found that the majority of adblockers are plug-ins for either Google’s Chrome or Mozilla’s Firefox browser, and that 41 per cent of American internet users aged between 18 and 29 used adblocking software.
In Poland, Sweden, Denmark and Greece, Adblock has now been installed in just under a quarter of every computer, while countries including Japan and China are installing it on machines at a growth rate of 134 per cent in the space of a year.
“The thing about advertising is that the end user isn’t part of that contract; the contract is between the publisher and the advertiser, Blanchfield said.
“And the end user who installs Adblock really isn’t mindful of the fact that they’re impacting the revenue of the publisher.”
Here’s some advice for the internet advertising industry – tone it down a bit. Maybe less people would block your ads if they weren’t so intrusive?
Ads that popup, take-over and block the page you are trying to read, video ads that autoplay when you open a page – all these things do is drive potential customers away.