Party’s over: IAB ‘uninvites’ Adblock from annual conference

19/01/2016

Adblock Plus has revealed that its staff have been “uninvited” to the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual leadership meeting, as tensions escalate between the popular ad-blocking tool and the digital marketing industry.

A blog post, written by AdBlock’s Ben Williams, claims that representatives attended the meeting last year, and signed up and paid to attend again this year, held in California later this month.

All appeared to be well with fee paid, conformation received and listing on the IAB Web site until January 6 when Adblock Plus Minister of Affairs Mark Addison received an email from the IAB which read, "We are returning your registration fee and cancelling your registration for the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting."

A surprised Addison replied, "Uh...there must be some confusion. I didn't ask for a re[fu]nd?!?"

Confirming its decision to disinvite AdBlock Plus, Addision received another email which read, "I'm sorry if there is any confusion. Just to be clear, there will be no ticket available for you and we've refunded your registration fee."

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For non-members, the registration fee is $3,695 per attendee, according to the IAB website.

“Unfortunately, the top brass at the US IAB don’t want us coming to their Leadership Summit next week,” the AdBlock blog post read.

Williams wrote, “Like dis-inviting us will make the problem somehow go away! We contacted the IAB’s CEO Randall Rothenberg directly to ask him to reconsider this decision, and we got … crickets …”

Speaking to Business Insider, IAB spokesperson Laura Goldberg said: "The IAB Annual Leadership Meeting is for serious conversation among important digital industry stakeholders."

Relations between Eyeo and the IAB, a trade organization which represents companies across the advertising industry and helps establish standards and guidelines for digital ad sellers and technology companies, have been frosty for some time.

In September, the IAB compared the companies profiting from ad-blocking to highway robbers.

According to a report by Adobe Systems and PageFair, ad blocking cost publishers $22 billion in 2015.

Viewers who value privacy and security don’t want to be profiled, tracked, their data sold, their bandwidth gobbled up by loud, flashy ads, or to be served up malware in the latest malvertising campaign.

The ad monetization model has tempted some websites to insist for viewers to turn off ad blockers in order to view content on that site.

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