Why the future of online advertising should be opt-in

The dilemma of marketers and publishers over how to approach ad-blocking is a tough nut to crack, mainly because they are still focussed on advertising at everyone, rather than just those people who actually want to be advertised at.

People who use Ad blockers are giving out a clear message that they have had enough of it in it’s current state. That’s why it needs a rethink, and why a method of opting in to internet advertising is the best approach for the future.

Here’s how I’d see it working.

The opt in

There needs to be single central source to hold customers preferences of how they want to be advertised at. Authorised marketers, advertisers and even publishers could then tap into this source to control how advertising is used.

The question of who would actually control this is open to debate, but it would need to be an independent authority, maybe the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) would be a good choice?

Anyone who doesn’t opt in is ignored and receives no advertising.

The opted in customer options

Marketers and advertisers would have to remember that customers choices would be respected at all times.

The customer would be be able to tailor exactly what they want, or not want:

  • Interests wanted (i.e. Motoring, Computers)
  • Interests not wanted (i.e. Fashion, Shopping)
  • Types of ad wanted (i.e. static images, text ads)
  • Type of ad not wanted (i.e. animated ads, video ads)
  • Types of tracking to allow/disallow


When customers have described what they want, and don’t want, that information is a real boon for any marketer or advertiser. A perfect idea would be to reward customers with targeted promotions such as money off coupons for their interest areas.

It’s a two way street, give and take.

Benefits all round

  • Customers who opt in only see relevant advertising in the format(s) they want.
  • Customers privacy is respected according to their tracking options.
  • People who don’t want be be advertised at don’t see ads, respecting their wishes.
  • Marketers and advertisers get a more (valuable) targeted audience.
  • As ads are better targeted to a smaller but more focused audience, their scarcity increases and the price can rise.


It’s a win win for everyone!

You might also like

You don't know unless you ask

Contact me today