Adblock Plus launches its own advertising platform

The new platform lets publishers 'cater to a second, alternative web made up of ad-blocking users'.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Adblock Plus, the most popular browser extension for blocking ads, is launching a platform to sell what it deems "acceptable ads", it announced Tuesday.

Adblock Plus developer Eyeo teamed up with ComboTag to build the Acceptable Ads Platform, which has launched in beta and will fully launch in the fall.

Given its size -- Adblock Plus said in May that it has more than 100 million active users -- the ad-blocking tool has gained growing leverage in the online advertising market. Eyeo already allowed some ads to bypass its filters through its "Acceptable Ads" initiative. However, its quest to reform online ads created predictable friction with sites that rely on advertising for revenue.

With the Acceptable Ads Platform, publishers and bloggers can choose ads that abide by the initiative's criteria through a less cumbersome process. Then they can simply drag and drop the ads onto their sites. The platform brings the time it takes to whitelist ads down from weeks to seconds.

Users can still turn off the Acceptable Ads feature completely, Adblock Plus promised in a release. It said that more than 90 percent of its users choose to allow the display of "respectful and useful" ads on the webpages they visit. Meanwhile, users who don't have any ad blocker extensions will see whatever ads the publisher chooses, whether they're from the Acceptable Ads Platform or otherwise.

"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," said Adblock Plus co-founder Till Faida in a statement. "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."

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