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CIO & Co-Founder | News, Technology

Ad blocking: our view

Improve Digital, Staff Blog, Blog, Tech company, Programmatic

Ad blocking is an issue that as an industry we need to tackle as a unified front. Often, when a consumer installs an ad blocker they give a clear sign that they are not happy with the situation as it is but very likely they also don’t understand what this means for them or our industry.


Publishers are at the front door of this issue and have a direct relationship with their users and need to play an important role in tackling this. They can do this by communicating to their users that great content comes at a cost and it is advertising that has paid for this content.

This is about choice. The user should be asked to choose how they want to pay for the quality content they consume going forward:

a. Whitelisting/viewing the ads
b. Paying a subscription fee to view the content ad-free
c. If the user doesn’t want to do either of the above, they should no longer have access to the content

Publishers are at the front door of this issue and have a direct relationship with their users


Technology providers

Technology providers should support publishers in this process by enhancing the ad viewing experience. A positive user experience will always be the key starting point. We can and always will make sure that the loading times on ads are as fast as possible and that the ads are of a high quality. It’s important that we constantly innovate when it comes to new ad formats, and continue to have a dialogue with publishers to make sure the ads they serve are relevant to the user and that the user experience is a positive one.



The higher quality and relevance of the ads, the less of a problem this will be. Advertisers must produce high quality, relevant advertising that attracts rather than deters the user. It’s important to note that the issue of subsidising content with the growth of digital is not new – we have seen the same issue in the music industry for example. Consumers of content across all industries need to choose how they wish to pay, but understand that content shouldn’t come for free.

Working together, we can ensure the user gets the experience they want, the publishers get the revenue they need, and the advertisers reach their target audience in a relevant and eye-catching way.

Janneke is Chief Innovation Officer and co-founder of Improve Digital. She is the driving force behind the company’s 360 Polaris.   In her industry, Janneke is a sought-after speaker and thought leader, regularly appearing at events to discuss entrepreneurship and digital marketing; and she is an active board and committee participant with industry trade associations such as the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau). She started her career 15 years ago as online media director at the first Dutch online media agency. Janneke went on to co-found DQ&A – an ad operations company with worldwide offices.   Janneke was named 2014 EY Entrepreneur of the Year. At a personal level, she is a strong and vocal advocate for greater computer science and entrepreneurship education, beginning as early as the elementary school years. More broadly, she is an active voice in the Netherlands and across the EU, helping to highlight national and regional market strengths and reinforce their importance within the global technology landscape. Janneke’s true passion is in advancing technology, with a primary goal of fostering innovation today and in the future.