Ad Exec on Blockers: "Little Piss Ants" Threaten Freedom of Speech

PatrickJS

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Ad Exec on Blockers: "Little Piss Ants" Threaten Freedom of Speech

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The CEO of IAB, the US internet advertising trade body, is firing back at ad blockers.

The war between advertisers and the blockers of those adverts is becoming more heated every day and, frankly, getting a little bit schoolyard.

In a recent speech, available here [http://www.iab.com/news/rothenberg-says-ad-blocking-is-a-war-against-diversity-and-freedom-of-expression/], Randall Rothenberg, CEO of the Internet Advertising Body, made some biting comments about his supposed adversaries in the ad blocking industry, referring to them as an "unethical, immoral, mendacious coven of techie wannabes." Hey, great use of the word "coven!"

Later, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal [http://www.wsj.com/articles/iab-ceo-continues-to-hammer-ad-blockers-1453849338], Rothenberg said, "these ad blocking companies are little piss ants... run by a handful of people with silly titles and funny walks who are individually irrelevant." He added that they were diminishing freedom of expression.

His comments come after a few recent skirmishes over your internet browsing eyes: AdBlock-Plus had recently complained that IAB had "disinvited" them from a major conference. Randall insists they were never "invited" in the first place.

Another momentous event was the announcement of Brave, a new browser company headed by the recently squeezed-out CEO of Mozilla. Brendan Eich's start-up officially launched a week ago. Rothenberg summarized it thus: "His business model not only strips advertisements from publishers' pages - it replaces them with his own for-profit ads."

No one on either side of this issue comes out sounding great, it must be said.

Source: Business Insider [http://www.businessinsider.com.au/iab-chief-randall-rothenberg-attacks-brendan-eichs-startup-brave-ad-blocking-free-speech-libertarians-2016-1]





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Space Jawa

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Not that I use ad-blockers (I've never taken the time to figure them out), but this guy really ought to look in a mirror and think about what he's saying.
 

Fappy

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He added that they were diminishing freedom of expression.
Is that what they're calling it now? I call it "enhancing freedom of smooth internet browsing".

Escapists, it's time for you folk to weigh in. Do you use ad-blocking software (no judgment!)? Where do you stand on this?
You know admitting to using adblocker on this site is against the CoC, right? I assume this hasn't changed since the last time I read it.

Unless an admin clears this up we're gonna get a whole lot of warnings incoming.
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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Rothenberg...Rothenberg? Why does that name sound so familiar? Nevermind. Heh! This guy talks like a bad politician, trying to convince the public that something utterly shite and intrusive is totally for our own good and anybody getting in the way of it are destroying our freedoms. Denouncing them as bloody communists and socialists! Ahh, wait...Rothenberg is a politically related name i think. I must research!

Edit: Well wouldn't you know it, there are a few connections to right-wing politics including this http://rothenberggonzales.com/ drier than a nun's loolah, right-wing news publication. Thine eyes glaze over, the second they take in the creativeless design...then "Trump" pokes out of the numbing grey like a dumb racist cock in your eye.
 

EndlessSporadic

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I use Adblock on websites that are notorious for flooding their pages with ads. I simply don't have the bandwidth or patience to wait for these ads to load. The ads make the page take up to 800% longer to load, and this is simply absurd.

Honestly Randall is completely out of touch. He is blaming the people who use Adblock when he should be blaming the people who load their webpages with intrusive ads. Despite common belief Adblock software did not come about as a response to ads. It came as a response to intrusive content that interfered with the user experience. If anything Randall is the unethical, immoral piss ant for not creating a set of standards to improve the ad experience. He only cares about money after all, and God forbid that he set up some standards that might limit the amount of income he gets.
 

Abomination

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There are times when you click on a link and your browser "flickers" once and you just know another window has been created behind the one you're reading and you know it's coming and ARAGH there it is. Some video playing at full volume telling me to "Believe it" and how this person you can totally trust is now making $3145/month from home.

Advertising companies need to look inwards at their own industry. They need to start policing themselves first or otherwise other people (adblockers) are going to police them for them. There are literal scam ads that appear as well developed and designed as an ad for say, Toyota - a trusted brand.

And rather than the internet browsing public having to individually flag every webpage they trust to make sure they're playing legitimate ads it's far far less time consuming to just use the scattergun approach. Block -every- ad and browse with complete freedom and minimal, if any, complications.

"freedom of expression"? What a crock of shit. Advertisements are not some free speech concern, they're intrusive. Someone opening my window every 10 minutes to give me a speal about this totally not a pyramid scheme, legit business, look even Sarah of Wisconsin can do it is an intrusion, not their right to expression.

Fuck off, Randall Rothenberg, your thesaurus inspired rage posting is both petulant and transparent - you complete corporate shrew.
 

IceForce

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Another thread on adblock? The news team really likes to push the boundaries of what's permissible on the forum, don't they.

Fappy said:
Escapists, it's time for you folk to weigh in. Do you use ad-blocking software (no judgment!)? Where do you stand on this?
You know admitting to using adblocker on this site is against the CoC, right? I assume this hasn't changed since the last time I read it.

Unless an admin clears this up we're gonna get a whole lot of warnings incoming.
Seems they stealthy removed that bit. Doubtful it will do anything to stop all the incoming warnings, though.


Edit:
Abomination said:
There are times when you click on a link and your browser "flickers" once and you just know another window has been created behind the one you're reading and you know it's coming and ARAGH there it is.
I fucking hate that. And it's weird because I swear 'popup blockers' used to be a thing. But at some point the popup blockers seemed to stop working as well as they used to.
 

kekkres

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Xsjadoblayde said:
Rothenberg...Rothenberg? Why does that name sound so familiar? Nevermind. Heh! This guy talks like a bad politician, trying to convince the public that something utterly shite and intrusive is totally for our own good and anybody getting in the way of it are destroying our freedoms. Denouncing them as bloody communists and socialists! Ahh, wait...Rothenberg is a politically related name i think. I must research!
how are adds intrusive really? ive never bought this argument, i mean sure sound/video adds are shit but otherwise they are just images or gives occupieing the space they payed to take up. I honestly dont unserstand how this actualy inconveniences anyone.

EndlessSporadic said:
Honestly Randall is completely out of touch. He is blaming the people who use Adblock when he should be blaming the people who load their webpages with intrusive ads. Despite common belief Adblock software did not come about as a response to ads. It came as a response to intrusive content that interfered with the user experience. If anything Randall is the unethical, immoral piss ant for not creating a set of standards to improve the ad experience. He only cares about money after all, and God forbid that he set up some standards that might limit the amount of income he gets.
you.... dont understand how advertising companies work do you, by cutting off adds are primarily hurting the site your on, as that less clicks for the add company to actually have to pay for. if the amount of 'registered' traffic gets too low the add company will just leave and the site will need to find another who will pay for low traffic, which generally pushes the standards down. And unethical? REALLY? there is nothing ethics related at all here, adds are unethical when they are deceptive, not when they are annoying, to claim that annoying adds are unethical is absurd.
 

Erttheking

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Remember when "threatening freedom of speech" wasn't tossed out every time things got inconvenient for you?
 

PatrickJS

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No, no it doesn't. Saying that threatens freedom of expression is like saying that me putting in headphones to drown out some political rally as I pass by is threatening the speech of those speaking at that rally. You have a right to speak, you do not have a right to be heard or listened to.

And for the record, its "pissant", one word.
 

Jeteye

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When it comes to content creation sites (The Escapist, The Jimqusition, Screw Attack, ect) I will pay for the "premium" account, support them through patreon or send them money directly. I support my favorite creators directly rather than sit through ads. I, personally, like the way some creators do ads like Game Theorist or PGB where they do a short ad at the end of the video for their sponsor. Its not intrusive more enjoyable then throwing the ad in my face. Content creators deserve be paid for their hard work and time and that money has to come from somewhere. However forcing ads into peoples faces at every turn isn't the answer. The current model isn't working and needs to change. Ads are a necessary evil but they don't need to be as evil as they currently are.
 

Mister K

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erttheking said:
Remember when "threatening freedom of speech" wasn't tossed out every time things got inconvenient for you?
I think my parents weren't even born then.

OT: If ads were just pictures/gifs of a thing you want to sell and not video/audio monsters (like those that Escapist had about half a year ago, by the way) and pop-ups that not only ruin your Internet browsing experience, but also eat up resources and many times force your PC to automatically download something, then I doubt people would use such measures.
 

Cheesy Goodness

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This guy sounds like an epic douche nozzle. This is probably the most unprofessional and childish argument one could make. You will not incentivize people to stopping using ad blockers by insulting them or the software creators.

Everyone is free to use blockers if they see fit. It is no different than someone fast forwarding the commercials on their DVR. It is not illegal nor is it suppressing free speech whatsoever. You want to fix the problem? The industry should stop using intrusive ads, especially popups, that make sites slow or a pain to navigate. Your products will get more attention and the sites hosting the content will get paid more.
 

Quellist

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Diminishing freedom of expression? little Piss ants? Really Randall Rothenberg? Oh man, this guy is a gift! I want to hear more of what he's saying if he keeps up this stream of hilarious bullshit
 

Remus

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Sounds like somebody's got his panties in a wod because he's not getting any of that juicy ad revenue. I could almost cry. almost.
 

Conrad Zimmerman

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While I agree that the advertising industry needs to innovate and find less intrusive ways to reach consumers through the internet, it's not entirely clear to me that this trend toward ad-block companies capitalizing on their position to act as ad curators will ultimately benefit the consumer.

Also, I love this bit from the source article:
Business Insider said:
I reached out to Brendan Eich for comment on the IAB CEO?s take-no-prisoners speech, and a company spokesperson got back to me with a statement that doesn?t address it directly. ?Brave is the only solution that protects users from tracking by default across the Web, for better speed and privacy, while at the same time increasing ad-based revenue for publishers,? it says. ?By cutting out the tracking ?middlemen? in the system, Brave will reset the ad ecosystem for the good of the Web.?
I mean, wouldn't that just make Brave a different kind of middleman?

And, of course, you can't get the FCC involved to create and enforce regulations because "OMG government censorship" reaction (a sentiment I wholly understand the logic and motivation behind, certainly), backed by advertising interests (let's not pretend said sentiment is entirely noble for a lot of parties involved), would likely prevent them from being enacted, get them repealed, or make them toothless.

This interconnected digital global economy stuff is complicated, yo.
 

Lilani

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I think this guy could have begun a civil and insightful discussion on the effect of adblock on marketing firms, if he had approached the topic in a civil and insightful way. Personally I work in marketing, and though my department specializes in TV ads, and things like DVR, Netflix, and even people distracting themselves during commercial breaks with smartphones and tablets and such are of great concern to us. So I imagine adblock is a similar concern to people who specialize in web marketing.

As it stands he's done neither of these things, and so the response he's going to get (and quite frankly deserves) is not going to be civil or insightful.
 

jurnag12

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How about you first look at the way ads are used before raging at the tools used to block them?
 

Tanis

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When a website's add cause my browser to CRASH...or random pop-ups with loud noise...screw that site.

I'm sorry I'm not helping them make money to run, but that's what they get for not filtering their stuff.