Mobile advertising fraud leads to rise in ad blocking adoption

Mobile advertising is a huge market, scheduled to make £70 billion in 2016 worldwide. However, the growing pains of a new platform are starting to show, with many of the adverts on mobile being either fraudulent or obnoxious.

Ben Williams, Head of Operations at AdBlock Plus, believes this is the start of another ad blocking surge. Similar to the late 1990s early 2000s on the desktop web, we are going to see more mobile users turn to ad blocking technologies to stop invasive and annoying ads.

“Earlier this year a survey from YouGov revealed that 72 per cent of consumers in the UK felt concerned about their private information online, including the safety of their emails, files and pictures,” said Williams. “As consumers start to place a greater reliance on mobile technology for viewing, storing and sharing data it’s likely these concerns will transcend across and if that is the case, the mobile advertising industry is going to have to start addressing some pretty big grievances currently in the market, notably the rise in mobile advertising fraud.”

Even though security is one reason for moving to ad blocking technology, the other is invasive, slow or obnoxious advertising. In surveys on why consumers use ad blocking tools, the most prominent reason brought up over a range of surveys is adverts are aggravating.

“The popularity of ad blocking shows just how eager consumers are for wanting to avoid annoying and intrusive adverts regardless of whatever device they are on,” said Williams.

There has been some progress made in this regard on desktop. Google has worked hard to maintain advertising standards on Search, YouTube and AdSense. Google CEO Larry Page even said most of the reason people use ad blocking technology is due to poor advertising standards by other industry leaders.

AdBlock Plus has over 250 million downloads and the next target is mobile. While this may be harder due to constraints with mobile web, Apple launched an ad blocking feature on Safari and Google plans to make extensions available on Chrome mobile.