During its first dozen years or so of existence, the Internet Advertising Bureau helped create digital advertising standards. But more recently, digital players have pursued extreme differentiation in their offerings, unleashing “chaos” that helped spawn problems like ad-blocking technology, says IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg.
“It was industry standards, including things like the IAB standard ad unit portfolio, that built the foundation of the digital advertising industry,” Rothenberg says in an interview with Beet.TV at the organization’s annual MIXX conference in Manhattan. “But for the past six or seven years, there’s been a move away from standardization and toward customization in advertising and marketing.”
The prevailing wisdom has been that digital companies “need extreme differentiation” to prove their worth, which is understandable, Rothenberg says. “You need to be provocative, you need to be different. But it also injects chaos into the system” in the form of intrusive advertising.
With the advent of ad-blocking software, “the consumer has been reacting to this chaos like nobody’s business. It’s an alarming trend. The entire industry, from marketers to agencies to publishers, are scared to death of it,” says Rothenberg.