Don’t Blame Us for Ad Blocking, Says Developer

adblocking1“Brands and publishers need to ‘be thoughtful’ with ads on the mobile web, or else face mutiny from smartphone users installing ad-blockers en masse.”

That’s the sentiment being credited to Dean Murphy, developer of a technology that’s set to make ad blocking a reality on the new iPhone OS release, according to Shona Ghosh in Marketing Magazine.

“Murphy is building Crystal, an add-on for the mobile version of Safari that will arrive with the latest iPhone software update,” Ghosh writes. “One new feature of iOS 9 that has attracted significant attention is the arrival of ‘Content Blocking Safari Extensions’.”

And by “content,” we all know they mean “ads,” and this has serious implications for mobile advertisers.

Here’s where it all gets muddy. Some ad blockers take money from Google and others to allow certain ads through, while other ad blocking technology allows ads that meet certain criteria to get through, Ghosh explains.

And Murphy says he does understand what’s at stake for advertisers. “I do know ads need to come through – that’s the sites’ financial model. I would like to support websites, just not bad ads that come through.”

In other words, he feels it’s the advertisers’ fault for creating this mess. Ad bloat and other invasive practices have led to the situation where users have had enough, and Apple is supporting their decision to have some say in the matter.

So we continue to wait and see how severe the blocking will really be, while many of us grapple with the ethics of ad blocking in the first place.

Meanwhile, back in print magazine land, the tide is turning back to traditional media for reader engagement, and so far they can’t block that.