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Apple Providing Refunds To People Who Bought Popular Ad-Blocker “Peace” From Its App Store | DrivingSales News

Apple Providing Refunds To People Who Bought Popular Ad-Blocker “Peace” From Its App Store

September 23, 2015 0 Comments

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Mobile ad-blocking has recently become a hot topic in the marketing industry and it has definitely prompted a lot of concern over its potential effect on auto dealerships’ digital advertising initiatives.

Most of the headlines about this topic these days are about the inclusion of ad-blocking functionality in Apple’s iOS 9 release. Now, in a significant move, Apple has decided to issue refunds to everyone who has downloaded the popular ad-blocker Peace that was suddenly pulled from the App Store last week after its creator had a change of heart.

As it stands, more than 13,000 people have already received refunds for the $3 software after Peace’s creator, developer Marco Arment, pulled it amid criticism of the ethics surrounding ad-blocking in general. Arment told users to request refunds from Apple because he had no way of issuing them himself, and he now explains that Apple made the decision on his behalf and that the refund process will probably take a few days to complete.

“I’m actually happy – or at least, as happy as someone can be who just made a lot of money on a roller coaster of surprise, guilt, and stress, then lost it all suddenly in a giant, unexpected reset that actually resolves things pretty well,” wrote Arment in a blog post.

Last week, Arment watched as his app, powered by privacy browser extension maker Ghostery, quickly rose up to the top of the paid list on the App Store. He initially described his ethical defense of ad-blocking back in August, but then had a crisis of conscience the day after launching Peace. “While they [ad-blockers] do benefit a ton of people in major ways, they also hurt some, including many who don’t deserve the hit,” wrote Arment at that time. The app should still be usable now, but he says that he has no plans to update it in the future and he does not know what, if any, action Apple will take to either prevent or allow Peace to remain active moving forward.

Auto dealership marketers certainly feel concern when thinking about ad-blockers in general, as these tools can have a detrimental effect on their digital advertising campaigns. If using ad-blockers becomes commonplace, marketing dollars will likely suffer from a declining ROI in the future.

Of course, advertising works. At the same time, a lot of people find it distasteful when it becomes part of their every move throughout the day, which is why ad-blockers are increasing in popularity. This growing trend is being watched carefully by digital marketers, and it will be interesting to see how technology companies and advertisers manage this change.

No business wants to see their marketing investment returning less over time, and the complexities involved in determining the most effective advertising strategies is a difficulty that has existed as long as advertising itself. As 19th century retailing pioneer John Wanamaker reportedly complained, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

About the Author:

Michael RosenthalMichael Rosenthal worked as a technology specialist at the University of Toronto for 12 years before becoming a freelance writer and editor. He currently writes content for companies in a multitude of sectors across North America, Europe and the Middle East. Michael joined the DrivingSales News team in 2014 to cover breaking news and trends in the digital marketing industry.

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