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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Abney and Associates Tech Research: If you block ads, then websites may block you

Adblock Plus wants you to sign its acceptable ads manifesto, but general counsel for a large advertising bureau called it a ransom before warning if you continue to block ads then websites may block you from accessing their content.

While it's mostly tech-savvy surfers who install Adblock Plus browser plug-in, an advertising bureau suggested that websites will fight ad-blocking by blocking the content with an error message or a paywall if you use an ad blocker.

"Advertising is the economic engine that drives the Internet and gives us free websites and great content," but as click-through rates decline, ads get more annoying in order to grab surfers' attention. Eyeo, the creators of Adblock Plus, wrote:

We don't want obtrusive pop-ups, or obnoxious blinking ads, or 30-second pre-roll video ads running amok on our computers and mobile phones. We wouldn't tolerate that in the physical world; why should we accept them just because it's digital? Imagine a billboard jumping in front of your car while on the freeway, or a newspaper ad suddenly opening up and covering all the words you are reading. Why should online ads get special treatment? Moreover, the noisier that online ads get, the more people install ad blockers to stop them. It's an unwinnable, downward spiral.

Starting with Adblock Plus 2.0, not all advertising was blocked; in fact, if an ad meets the criteria for being "acceptable," then it shows up by default. Surfers can disable that feature, usually by unchecking "allow non-intrusive advertising," or under filter lists options like below, but the thought process is to leave it enabled to reward websites that rely on "non-intrusive" ads for revenue.

By not blocking acceptable ads, Eyeo believes it will show there is a market for them and encourage advertisers to create more.  As part of that cycle, the company wants people and organizations to sign its "Acceptable Ads Manifesto;" the five principal tenets are:

·         Acceptable Ads are not annoying.
·         Acceptable Ads do not disrupt or distort the page content we're trying to read.
·         Acceptable Ads are transparent with us about being an ad.
·         Acceptable Ads are effective without shouting at us.
·         Acceptable Ads are appropriate to the site that we are on.


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