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  • Who wants their browsing time interrupted by ads?
  • Who wants their browsing time interrupted by ads?
    Ed Yourdon (2013) ©
CASE STUDY

AdBlocker: cleaning the Internet of ads

Advert-blocking browser plugins are growing at a rate of nearly 70% year-on-year. The most popular, Ad Blocker, reached 150 million users in June 2014. And if people really are more likely to climb Mount Everest than click a banner ad, what is next for online advertising?

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Scope
More than 20 years ago, Ethan Zuckerman wrote a piece of JavaScript that would change online advertising forever – the pop-up ad. [1] Once Zuckerman’s code was perfected, the internet became a testing ground for targeted advertising – by implementing cookies and analysing browsing activity companies were able to curate online ads to be of specific interest to whoever was surfing the web. At least, that was the idea.

Fast forward to 2014 and online advertising can be found around every digital turn – Google analyses its users emails and displays ads based on them; ...

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