War on adblockers: Now more publishers take action against advert-killing tech

The campaign against adblockers rages on in Europe, with France's media now taking a united stand against advert filtering.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

French publishers' unregimented approach to adblockers differs from the co-ordinated action planned by their Swedish counterparts.

Image: iStock

Several major French media firms have this week taken a united but flexible stand against adblocker tech.

Anyone who tries to visit Le Figaro's website with an adblocker installed on their browser will be met with an image of the New Zealand's feared All Blacks ruby team performing the Haka war dance and a message stating that to access content, the user will need to disable the adblocking app.

Others involved in France's stand against adblockers include Le Monde, L'Équipe, L'Express groupe Altice Media, M6 web, RTLNet, Deezer, 20 Minutes, and the sites of Lagardère Active, Le Point, and Marie Claire.

Explaining the program, Le Figaro said French online publishing trade body Geste in December invited French publishers to trial a week-long campaign to deter adblockers.

However, publishers may choose to stifle adblockers for longer if they wish and can choose how they communicate with adblock-using visitors.

France's laissez-faire approach differs from the co-ordinated action planned by Swedish publishers for the entire month of August.

Daniel Weilar, CEO of Nyheter24, told DigiDay that 80 to 90 percent of publishers in Sweden will participate in the initiative, which is known internally as "Get our s**t together".

Anyone with an adblocker will be asked to pay to view content and uninstall the adblocker, and video content will be made "nearly unwatchable", Weilar said, who is not a fan of whitelisting individual publications.

"Yes, we know this could be naïve, and we know this will be complicated," he said.

The Swedish blockade on adblockers was agreed in December with Sweden's IAB. The main focus, as IAB Sweden's Charlotte Thür put it at the time was to make users know "there are consequences" to using adblockers.

IAB Europe was alarmed last month over Three's plans for network-wide adblockers in the UK and Italy.

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