The effect of Acceptable Ads on the internet

With over 200 million users, the online impact of Acceptable Ads is unparalleled. By supporting a nonintrusive, fair and sustainable online exchange between all players in the ad ecosystem, Acceptable Ads represents a sea change in the way the ad industry views the subject of cooperation and compromise. 


But what about the deeper, further-reaching implications of Acceptable Ads? What do those—and what could those—look like?


We have ample reason to think that these implications are significant. If the advent of ad blocking was, to quote Doc Searls, “the biggest boycott in history,” then Acceptable Ads has the potential to be the biggest post-strike deal made in history…and one that leaves all parties in the value exchange satisfied.


Off-the-charts user engagement


The 2018 report “The Effect of Ad Blocking on User Engagement With The Web” showed that “ad blocking has a positive impact on user engagement with the Web”. Users that have an ad blocker installed on their device show “significant increases in both active time spent in the browser (+28% over control) and the number of pages viewed (+15% over control), while seeing no change in the number of searches.”


The demographic study includes the 90 percent of ad blocking users who have consented to see Acceptable Ads. 


With findings like these, it’s not hard to imagine a long-term effect of a more engaged and active user base across platforms. With increased browsing and pageviews, and zero decreases in the search numbers, the future is looking rosy for the entire ecosystem, and indeed for the future of the free web. 


Goodbye, ad-irritation and ad-annoyance


The two terms “ad-irritation” and “ad-avoidance” help explain why so many people turn to ad blockers, and why Acceptable Ads can go a long way in terms of changing the ecosystem.


These terms address a major issue in the public perception of ads online. After all, ads being seen as annoying is one big reason why users adopt ad blockers. In a landmark 2018 study, GlobalWebIndex found that nearly half of all ad-blocking users cite ad-irritation or ad-annoyance as the number one factor that led to their installing an ad blocker.


A recent paper out of the KTH Institute of Technology explores this subject, posing the question: “How do the Acceptable Ads guidelines affect the consumers’ feeling of annoyance towards ads?” Its findings “suggest that the Acceptable Ads guidelines affect user experience positively, i.e., leading to less ad-irritation or annoyance.”


Since research supports the claim that “ad-irritation is highly associated with ad-avoidance” (Source), it’s logical to assume that users of Acceptable Ads, free from ad-annoyance and irritation, will be less likely to avoid ads. And this, of course, paves the way for a healthier and more robust ad ecosystem. 


Curious about what exactly makes acceptable ad types… acceptable? Learn more about the Acceptable Ads Standards here

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