Ad Blockers Affect Everyone


NO ADSThe sudden rise of Ad Blocking software and Apple’s integration of this software on its iOS9 program have created a lot of buzz in the digital marketing world. Users are fed up with advertisements taking up their screens and intruding on their content. It’s incredibly frustrating to visit sites with awful user experiences.It’s no different than enjoying meal after meal at your local restaurant and then having an awful experience and writing about it on Facebook or Yelp. The few negatives always stand out more than the “expected” outcomes.

What exactly is an ad blocker?

An ad blocker is hardware or software that blocks certain ads on a page. Ad blockers can come in the forms of extensions on web browsers, or mobile-specific ad-blocking browsers. No matter how an ad blocker is deployed the purpose is the same: To remove ads from the viewer’s screen. Ad blockers aren’t exactly new. This technology has been around for years, but Apple’s interest in the space, a move geared towards garnering partnerships with content publishers, has certainly driven the recent interest in the topic. The Interactive Advertising Bureau refers to ad blocking as “highway robbery.” So there’s another definition.


What does ad blocking do to the free content eco-system?

It won’t be a surprise to anyone reading this that I, a digital marketer, am not a fan of ad blocking. I like getting a paycheck, but more importantly I love how digital has changed the way we consume information and socialize with friends and businesses. The data has allowed us more targeted and relevant advertising to consumers.


Great content isn’t free. Stories, reports, websites, and most importantly, TIME, is not free. Throughout much of advertising’s existence the understanding between content consumer and publisher was that if I provide you content there will be advertising around it to support the business of creating such content. If we remove ads from the ecosystem, there will be no revenue coming in to support said content. Publications, TV, Radio, Newspaper and digital-only content would have to become subscription-based. Many of these mediums already are for some. But imagine a place where I can no longer go on for political updates. I again would have to pay $100+ for a satellite or cable provider to show me CNN, or more accurately in the near future, pay $1 per month or $0.25 per pageview. Many favorite blogs would need subscriptions, or find a major distribution partner, to stay afloat.I don’t know many people interested in this scenario. Without the free web, many entrepreneurs and start-up bloggers wouldn’t have the opportunities if people had to pay for that same beginning content.


Where do we go from here?

Great question. Thanks! (Stop inner monologue). Two things need to happen in my opinion. First, an organization needs to govern the advertising online and make it virtually illegal to deploy intrusive or obnoxious advertising without indication from a user. The IAB could be that organization, but their self-described failures have been well-documented. in allowing the industry to chase display ad dollars and not see the denigration of user experience. To their credit the IAB is looking into ways to keep digital advertising from becoming a nuisance and return us to the days where the relationship was understood: Want free content? Deal with a few ads. Pretty simple.


Secondly, ad blockers and mobile use have driven the need for content-based advertising through Native Ads or Sponsored Content. This has given the user less intrusive, more environment-appropriate messaging. But the near future of digital marketing is in content and creating information that is fun, insightful, helpful or entertaining to the consumer. Content marketing allows for more sharing via social networks and often creates a consumer appreciative of something of value and not just an ad. My fear is in a matter of time Native Ad spots will become ineffective and be glossed over as much as banner ads are today. Alas, this industry is resilient and continues to adapt and change to reach consumers wherever they go.


One final thought on ad blockers

Those of us in this industry are the most responsible. Some publishers and websites do a great job of creating experiences for customers/viewers that not only inform but also entertain. We provide a place for business relationships to occur, sometimes subtly and other times through user-triggered advertising. Regardless how a business chooses to run a site and advertising, we are responsible for creating environments in which our consumers feel like they can get the information they want easily, effectively and with a reasonable amount of advertising. Full takeovers, in-your-face tactics do not work and should not be deployed unless an interaction has triggered such a move. Otherwise, we’re continuing a revolt against our industry of digital advertising and digital content consumption.
Publishers and advertisers need to hold each other accountable. Consumers won’t care enough. They’ll move on to someone like Apple who will provide them what they want. Be respectful of a user’s time. People aren’t our commodity. They are our connection to the digital ecosystem.

Is Mobile taking over? January newsletter 2013

January 2013 Marketing Newsletter

In this Issue:

  • Introducing Family Lifestyle Magazine
  • Exclusive advertising deals for you
  • Infographic: The state of the mobile web
  • Business Newspaper Subscriptions Special (All 10 Newspapers)
  • Upcoming advertising opportunities
  • Ten Elements of a Winning Print Ad!


Introducing Family Lifestyle Magazine!!

Family Lifestyle Magazine CoverWe are very excited to be publishing our first edition of Family Lifestyle magazine in March.  Based on reader and advertiser feedback we have created the latest in our series of Lifestyle magazines to add to the already successful Healthy Lifestyle and Senior Lifestyle magazines which were launched in 2012.

This full color glossy magazine will be sent to our entire list of subscribers as well as being available at hundreds of locations throughout the region. The publicantion will also be available as a e-Magazine on all RiverTown newspaper websites.

The focus of this magazine will be Family. The content will include stories about health issues, entertainment and activity opportunities, upcoming events, and more.

Be part of our premier edition of Family Lifestyle.  Call your Account Executive today or call me at 651-319-4510 for more information.

Phil Frebault
Director of Advertising
RiverTown Multimedia


Exclusive Advertising Offers
Exclusive Ad Offers for our newsletter subscribers.

We appreciate your interest in RiverTown Multimedia and to say ‘Thank You’ we offer exclusive opportunities to you just for being one of our newsletter subscribers.

If you would like to sign up for our newsletter, you can either sign up on the form to the right or by clicking this link:

Sign up for our newsletter


The State of the Mobile Web

Mobile vs. Desktop use

In Google’s May 2012 report titled “Understanding the Mobile Consumer”, the study finds that smartphone penetration in the United States has risen to 44% of the population. The study also notes that 66% access the Internet every day on their smartphone and most never leave home without it.

As a business in this fast paced mobile world, savvy business owners need to keep up to date with the trends and make sure they are marketing themselves to this growing audience.

We found an infographic that highlights the current state of the mobile web.

Click here to see the infographic.


Business Newspaper Subscription Special

Business Newspaper Subscription Offer

Business Newspaper Subscription Specials

Save $30 off the home subscription price.

For a new subscription delivered to your business. With a 3 year subscription

Call 1-800-284-3402 and mention the Business Subscription special to start your subscription today. Unlimited number of subscriptions delivered to business address per offer.
Upcoming Opportunities
Don’t Miss These Upcoming Opportunities to reach our Audience

A quick look at upcoming opportunities to reach all or portions of our audience with a targeted local publication (dates subject to change.  Contact your Account Executive or call 651-319-4510 for more information):

  • River Valley Bridal Guide
    Format:  Glossy Full Color Magazine
    Publishes:  February 11
    Space Reservation Deadline:  January 11
  • River Valley Bridal Fair
    Event:  Bridal Trade Show, Fashion Show, and more
    When:  Sunday, February 17
    Booth Reservation Deadline:  February 8
  • Spring Car Care
    Format:  Full Color Tabloid
    Publishes:  March 14
    Space Reservation Deadline:   February 28
  • Family Lifestyle  
    Format:  Glossy full color magazine
    Publishes:   March 27
    Space Reservation Deadline:   February 27
  • Spring Home & Garden
    Format:  Full Color Tabloid
    Publishes:  April 24
    Space Reservation Deadline:  April 5
Ten Elements of a Winning Print Ad!

1. Border.

How do we separate the ad from the surrounding type?—with a border. Borders should complement the look that you are developing with your ad and should never be the most prominent part of your ad. Straightforward and simple is best.

2. Heading.

Ad legend David Ogilvy stated once that “The headline is a key part of the sales message; no matter how well the ad is presented, it can’t succeed if it is not read. If your headline does not include a selling message, you may be wasting 80 percent of your dollars.” Following the headline, you’ll have subheads that either clarify or amplify the thought in the headline. Subheads should be handled in much the same way as headlines, but are visually weighted somewhere between the body copy and the heading.

3. Illustrations.

A highly effective way to draw the reader’s attention to an ad is with the illustration. Studies have shown that an ad with an illustration that takes up 50 percent or more of the ad space increases readership by as much as 37 percent.

4. Price.

Price is an important (and often dominant) element in a layout. Many local advertisers build their ads around the price. You can accent price in several ways: (1) as part of the heading, (2) the core the ad is built around, (3) preceding the copy, and (4) in the text space.

5. White space.

Use as much white space as you can afford to use. It minimizes distraction and draws attention to what matters most.

6. Body copy.

Body copy expands benefits offered in the headline. The power of well written advertising copy is proven by the billions of dollars of sales directly resulted from great newspaper advertising. Benefits should be written as though you were making friendly, personal conversation.

7. Signature.

The signature is often a logotype. Though often used synonymously with logo, signature means the name of the advertiser in any form, and unlike the logo, may change form from one ad to the next. Remember not to let the signature overpower other important aspects.

8. The one second test.

The one second test is a way of determining whether a reader can tell at a glance what the advertiser is selling. You should be able to look at a layout for a second, then close your eyes and recall its sales message. If you didn’t get the message, you need to improve the layout. Another factor that affects eye appeal is concentration, grouping your selling points into display headings and text masses.

9. Color.

Try to achieve contrast in layout by effective use of different size type, bold type and color. If you can, try to fit color into your advertising budget. Introducing color increases impact.

10. Creativity.

Some ads are more visually appealing than others. The difference is in creativity. The best and most creative ads are simple, have one key focal point, and provide a simple easy-to-grasp sequence of information. But if the artistic presentation isn’t appealing to the eye, readers won’t stop to notice.