Progress on Ad Blocking Through IAB Global Initiatives

The global online advertising community is committed to improving the overall consumer experience online and is making serious progress in its efforts. In late 2015, IAB Canada announced the development of LEAN (Light, Encrypted, Ad Choice Supported and Non-Intrusive) ads guidelines meant to address the consumer disaffection with online advertising and the overall concerns over poor online user experiences caused by the explosive growth of the industry. The LEAN ads charter was circulated globally in February 2016 and our Canadian committees and councils provided valuable feedback to the program for consideration.

The progress continues as two new global initiatives were announced today from IAB Tech Lab in New York in our efforts to shore up against unethical ad blocking practices.

  1. The release of open source ad blocking detection code to level the playing field and create transparency
  2. An accompanying “Options Primer” Guide outlining a new DEAL framework to help publishers address new terms of engagement with consumers

Following is the press release:

IAB Releases Ad Blocking Primer That Recommends a New ‘DEAL’ Between Publishers and Consumers

NEW YORK, NY (March 7, 2016) – The IAB Technology Laboratory today released its Publisher Ad Blocking Primer, outlining the tactics publishers are successfully employing to persuade users to stop deploying ad blockers.

The IAB Tech Lab simultaneously released its exclusive ad blocking detection script available to all IAB and IAB Tech Lab members around the world, providing them with the opportunity to see – and ultimately engage with – visitors to their sites who have ad blockers turned on.

The primer identifies DEAL as a recommended approach for publishers to connect with ad blocking consumers through a step-by-step process:

  • Detect ad blocking, in order to initiate a conversation
  • Explain the value exchange that advertising enables
  • Ask for changed behavior in order to maintain an equitable exchange
  • Lift restrictions or Limit access in response to consumer choice

“The release of this primer in conjunction with the open-source ad blocking detection script will open the door for transparency and meaningful dialogue with visitors using ad blockers,” said Scott Cunningham, General Manager, IAB Tech Lab, and Senior Vice President, Technology and Ad Operations, IAB. “We believe that a combination of tools and the DEAL approach to communication with consumers will allow publishers big and small the chance to cut through the blockade, ensuring the strength of the open, ad-supported internet.”

“The IAB and the IAB Tech Lab have provided publishers helpful insights into how to build trust with readers and move them towards disabling their ad blockers,” said Jed Hartman, Chief Revenue Officer, The Washington Post, and member of the IAB Board of Directors. “Their focus on engaging readers in this process is vital to the growth of digital marketing and media.”

Several of the tactics highlighted in the primer fit into the DEAL sequence – and all strongly encourage adhering to the LEAN (Light, Encrypted, Ad choice supported, Non-invasive ads) principles, which were released in October 2015 to help publishers create an uncluttered, smooth user experience on ad-supported sites. The paper points out that the DEAL method of engaging with consumers who have installed ad blockers will be more effective if a publisher’s site offers a user-friendly web environment.

The IAB Tech Lab Publisher Ad Blocking Primer was developed by the IAB Tech Lab Ad Blocking Working Group and released at the IAB Programmatic Marketplace conference in New York City. To read the entire paper, go to In addition, IAB and IAB Tech Lab members from across the globe can request access to the IAB Tech Lab ad blocking detection script by visiting

 About the IAB Technology Laboratory

The IAB Technology Laboratory is an independent, international, nonprofit research and development consortium charged with producing and helping companies implement global industry technical standards. Comprised of digital publishers and ad technology firms, as well as marketers, agencies, and other companies with interests in the interactive marketing arena, the IAB Tech Lab’s goal is to reduce friction associated with the digital advertising and marketing supply chain, while contributing to the safe and secure growth of the industry. The organization’s founding member companies include AppNexus, Google, Hearst Magazines Digital Media, PubMatic, Tremor Video, Yahoo, and Yahoo! JAPAN. Established in 2014, the IAB Tech Lab is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco.