DCMS working with ad companies to solve Covid-19 ad blocking

Posted on: April 14, 2020 by Claire Meadows

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has confirmed that he is working with advertising companies to solve the problem of Covid-19 ad blocking.

The Guardian has reported that newspapers face losing £50m in digital revenues as advertisers use “blacklist technology” to block ads from appearing next to all stories that mention the coronavirus pandemic. Industry body Newsworks has previously called on marketers to #backdontblock the UK media and remove coronavirus blocklists.

Writing on Twitter, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden MP said that DCMS was working with the industry to seek a resolution.

He said: “We must remove barriers for news publishers getting reliable info to the public during #coronavirus.

“I had a constructive call today with media and ad bodies. We’re going to work together to unblock the ad blocking problem.”

The news was confirmed by the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) who said that it continued to work alongside its members to encourage “collaboration and promote guidance”.

James Barge, Public Policy Director at ISBA said that discussions were underway to build a consensus and find a solution to the issue. 

He added: “Our members are committed to minimising any adverse impact of keyword blocking, whilst ensuring they continue to have access to the protections necessary.”