Good news – Fairfax’s obnoxious autoplay (and full sound) video ads are to be abandoned:
Fairfax Media is understood to be preparing to scrap its policy of running autoplay videos within a fortnight, after a consumer backlash led to an advertiser boycott.
Last week, media buying agency UM announced it would no longer buy video ads with the publisher after research showed that videos, which play automatically when a reader opens the page and often slow down page loading, were having a negative impact on brands being advertised.
That’s not just fantastic because it means I can click on Fairfax links again, but because for once an annoying advertising behaviour actually had consequences for the management twits who thought they could treat you with contempt and there was nothing you could do about it.
Well done, you.
But please, remember that it’s not that Fairfax gives a damn about your experience that made them change their minds – it’s the pressure brought by advertisers. If they can treat you like dirt without upsetting advertisers, don’t bet on them not doing it next time. Don’t feel that they’ve reformed, that they’re better corporate citizens – that they deserve your loyalty or your trust.
Because, let’s be blunt here – the one brand this experience really should have trashed is Fairfax digital.