Global advertising trade group, The World Federation of Advertisers WFA, has proposed plans that could see the creation of a global advertising watchdog that would regulate internet ads.The announcement follows a report released earlier this week from PageFair — a tech company that provides ad blocking solutions to publishers — that claimed there are at least 419 million people blocking ads on smartphones worldwide.
That's in addition to the 198 million desktop ad blocker users.
The coalition will help technology partners to collect data on the kind of advertising consumers find annoying.
Unlike other studies looking at this issue, which usually rely on survey data, the WFA wants to actively monitor real user behavior to identify the type of formats and frequencies that people find annoying.Then, the coalition will create a set of advertising standards that the industry should adhere to — some of which will be applied globally prohibiting the kind of advertising seen as "universally problematic" , while others will be applied locally, respecting different cultural perspectives.Speaking to Business Insider, WFA CEO Stephan Loerke, explained that the proposals go one step further than other existing plans to identify and remedy the cause of ad blocking because they will be based on real consumer data — "removing the arbitrary opinions of industry leaders or self-appointed consumer representatives.
There are clear barriers to launch, including differing opinions from all players in the ad chain as to what an acceptable format looks like and the fact that the laws in different countries surrounding areas like privacy and advertising vary wildly.Loerke wouldn't discuss at this stage how the self-regulatory body would be funded — but he did say the cost would only be a fraction of global ad spend.Eyeo, the owner of popular ad blocker Adblock Plus, already operates an "Acceptable Ads" program, whereby ads that are not deemed irritating are white-listed for its users and users of other ad blocking apps that have signed up to the program, like Adblock.
Via email, Loerke set out his intentions for the WFA's plans:Brands will stop investing money in formats and delivery frequencies which the data indicates to be generally problematic.Ad technology companies will stop serving formats and frequencies which the data indicates to be generally problematic, and will invest in developing experiences better aligned with consumers.Publishers will stop hosting formats which are seen to be generally problematic.NOW WATCH: We dare you to oversleep with Dwayne The Rock Johnson s new motivational alarm clock appLoading video...