French media owners adopt united stance against ad blocking

French media owners including Le Monde, L’Equipe and RTL are among the latest media owners to take a joint stance against ad blocking by collectively asking users of such software to uninstall the blockers, or go without content.

Other media owners to take part in the pan-national stance against ad blockers include a host of smaller traditional publishers, as well as Deezer, plus a host of several radio and TV broadcasters in an initiative orchestrated by French trade body Geste.

Although not all participants in the scheme deny ad blocker users access to the content, those attempting to access content on the members’ websites with such software are presented with a message asking them to do so.

French title, Le Figaro contains a report dated yesterday (22 March) which claims that readers wishing to access such sites, and are equipped with such software, are blocked.

They are then served with a message which reads: "to access your content [we] thank you to disable your ad blocker" on the back of a photo of the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team performing the Haka.

A statement from Geste announcing the move reads: “content and services aren’t free”, it goes on to emphasise “the indispensible character of advertising as a source of financing”.

A report from PageFair and Adobe published in the latter part of 2015 revealed that France had the highest incidence of ad blocking, with 27 per cent of web users there installing such software.

Publishers in Sweden are also said to be adopting a similar countrywide approach to combating the increase in the usage of such software.