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Adblock Plus turns to the very industries it has harmed to ask for help


By Tony Connelly, Sports Marketing Reporter

September 30, 2015 | 3 min read

Adblock Plus is turning to the advertising and publishing industries which have suffered at the hands of its software in an effort to create an independent review board tasked with deciding which ads will avoid the chop.

The world’s most popular browser extension for blocking advertisements asked developers, publishers and even advertisers to help decide which ads to be included into its Acceptable Ads programme.

The programme initially launched in 2011 and sets out criteria defining which ad formats are reasonable and non-intrusive, allowing advertisers to abide by them so that they can apply to have some or all of their ads whitelisted. It has served as an open process where every applicant is publicly listed in a forum, and where anyone can see exactly which ads are being whitelisted and can provide feedback and criticism.

Adblock Plus has updated the programme in response to the rapid evolution of online advertising technology but it has done this with the help of the very industries its software has harmed; publishing and advertising.

Digital media companies rely on advertising for revenue and so in preventing ads appearing, publishers are beginning to struggle as they watch their content get consumed for free while frustrated advertisers stand on the side trying to figure out how they can be heard.

Previously, Adblock Plus regulated the programme itself however it has decided that it will now step aside in favour of a new independent review board which will eventually take complete control over the new and upcoming criteria updates. The board is slated to be in place in 2016.

Till Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus, said it had been “looking for a way to make the Acceptable Ads program completely independent while also updating the criteria to evolve with changing forms of online advertising”. She added that “an independent board solves both issues.”

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