Adblock Plus launches its own advertising platform

September 14, 2016 // 9:36 a.m.

Tags: #adblock #adblock-plus #advertising #privacy

Companies: #eyeo #google

Eyeo, the company behind popular advertising and tracker blocker Adblock Plus, has announced that it is launching its own advertising platform which will replace blocked ads with its own - handily monetising its user base through the very thing they wanted to block in the first place.

Eyeo, which has long fought for its right to block adverts, has announced that it is to extend its existing Acceptable Ads programme to support the launch of its own advertising platform. Under the previous implementation of the programme, the default behaviour for the company's Adblock Plus software was to allow a small number of adverts - created, naturally, by companies which pay Eyeo for the privilege - to bypass the blocks, providing they adhere to a set of acceptability guidelines. Now, though, the company is going a step further: allowing advertisers to sign up to its own advertising platform, designed specifically to replace the missing adverts blocked by Adblock Plus with its own from which the company takes a cut.

'There are two ecosystems of online consumers out there right now: the one composed of people who block intrusive ads and the other where people do not. The Acceptable Ads Platform lets publishers reach the former group without changing anything about how they’re reaching the latter,' claimed Adblock Plus co-founder Till Faida in defence of the move. 'We’ve been waiting years for the ad-tech industry to do something consumer-friendly like this, so finally we got tired of waiting and decided to just do it ourselves.'

The move has been castigated by critics on both sides of the fence. Those who use Adblock Plus to block advertising are rightly concerned that the company they trust to do so is now running its own advertising network, while advertisers and publishers have raised concerns that they are in effect being held to ransom over the blocking and have little choice but to give Adblock Plus a cut of their advertising revenue.

Embarrassingly, the two companies named as partners in Eyeo's new initiative issued statements distancing themselves within hours of the company's press release last night. Both Google and AppNexus, who had been named by the Wall Street Journal as providing the underlying adverts for the programme, have stated they are not in partnership with Eyeo or Adblock Plus.

For those who find Eyeo's move to becoming an advertising provider distasteful, uBlock Origin is recommended as an alternative.
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