Unilever’s chief marketing officer Keith Weed has said that ad blocking has come about because people find digital advertising irritating, and so advertisers and agencies need to rethink how they communicate with consumers on mobile devices.
Speaking to CNBCs anchor Julia Chatterley, Weed said that ad blocking said it was a “big challenge” for publishers and advertisers.
“All media, the free media, is paid for by advertising. And, of course, if that advertising stream goes elsewhere … then the quality of that content will go down. Less funds, less quality content. So it is a challenge for the industry,” he said, placing blame for ad blocking with advertisers and their agencies.
“Because why do people block ads? They block ads because they’re irritating in some form or other. So we’ve got to find better ways of making great content that really engages people.”
Weed said there was a “think-do gap” in the mobile marketing industry; a lot of talk but little action to change the status quo.
“A lot of advertising agencies, media companies and brand advertisers like ourselves talk a lot about mobile. Everyone talks about mobile. There are more mobiles on the planet than people, there are two billion smartphones and the next billion people who come online will be on mobile, I can give you mobile stats until you’re red in the face,” he said.
“However, what we’re talking about and doing on mobile is very different. I can show you some fantastic creative ads on TV and cinema, and then you get to mobile… we really haven’t cracked it.”
Weed pointed to Unilever’s early interest in Silicon Valley and its partnerships and campaigns with Facebook, Google and Twitter as evidence that the company was “ahead of the game” and moving “at the right pace” in digital, and said Unilever was “in a very good place” regarding ecommerce.