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Adblockers are Ordinary Thiefs

Discussion in 'Guides, Case Studies and Tutorials' started by, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. Affiliate Manager Affiliate Manager affiliate

    Last week I read an article on Adblockers and their impact on free content that really caught my attention. The article is in Dutch but you can find it here:

    Basically adblockers allow users to install a piece of software on their computer that blocks all the (annoying?) ads on websites the user surfs to. While at first sight adblockers seem to serve a meaningful purpose and help the user, after analyzing their activity in more detail, one has to conlude that they are hurting the user instead of helping them.

    In the above mentioned article Christian Van Thillo, who is the CEO of De Persgroep, a digital publishing company that is focused on the Benelux markets with approx. 5,400 employees and +1.3€ billion in annual revenues, refers to adblockers as “Ordinary Thiefs”.

    I agree 100% with the opinion expressed by Mr. Van Thillo for the following two reasons:

    1. Free does not exist

    There are two models: free vs premium. Website owners either work on a “free” model whereby the user enjoys free content as the advertiser generates its revenues through ads. Or a premium model whereby there are no ads but the user has to pay to get access to the content (e.g. Netflix).

    Adblockers will lead website owners to charge their users for the content they provide. This is not good for anyone as the internet should be accessible for everyone, and not just for people who can afford to pay for the content. The user should have the choice to opt for the free model (i.e. for free but with ads) or the premium model (i.e. paying but without ads).

    2. Adblockers will still show you Ads and/or sell your data

    Although adblockers claim they won’t show you any ads after installing their software on your computer, they will effectively still show you ads. They will only show you ads from advertisers that PAY them to let their ads through. By doing this, the adblocker defeats its own purpose and cheats on the user as they claim to not show you any ads. Adblock Plus, one of the largest adblockers on the Internet, is a business and the primary purpose of a business is to make money by charging advertisers to still show their ads to the users.

    Other adblockers such as Ghostery make money by collecting data about your surfing behaviour and then sell that data to publishing companies so they can, guess what, better target their ads to your interests.

    Some say adblockers will lead advertisers to rethink their ads and how ads will be displayed to the consumer in the future will change thanks to adblockers. New forms of advertising will come up and replace the old ones. Native advertising is one of these forms, whereby ads are blended in with content and are not so obvious to recognize as the traditional banner ads.

    That is partly true, but adblockers will still steal away a substantial part of the revenues website owners need to provide the free content the user enjoys. Native ads complement traditional banner ads, they don’t replace them. In the example of De Persgroep that currently offers most of its digital content for free to their users, they need the advertising revenues to pay for their employees, hosting, offices, etc in order to keep on providing the free content to their readers.

    To conclude. Given that adblockers infringe the privacy of users, sell user data to whoever wants to pay for it, defeat their own purpose by still showing ads to users, and last but not least steal away revenues from publishing companies – that are needed to keep on delivering content for free – one can conclude adblockers are a Trojan horse to the end user and should therefore be forbidden by law.

    More articles on online advertising on my linkedin profile: Christoph Brughmans | Director at Clicktron Media
    IndeXer, JH1nz and Marc like this.
  2. cpalife
  3. Marc

    Marc 武士- Spamurai affiliate

    Very good article, thanks!
    That's the problem. Courts rather decide for the innocent and naïve day-old Internet user who must be protected against the evil, evil Internet companies.
    (At least unfortunately the case in my country :()
  4. Affiliate Manager Affiliate Manager affiliate

    The most evil of all companies are the adblockers themselves.
  5. Affiliate Manager Affiliate Manager affiliate

    Any more thoughts? Would love see what y'all think! :)
  6. mxyzptlkfishstix

    mxyzptlkfishstix Moderator moderator affiliate

  7. Dr. Forum

    Dr. Forum Affiliate affiliate

    I do not believe in this things to do with adblocks. Especially the free ones. They will come with limitations that will make the entire blocking phase a havoc. Full of ads and pop ups, the adblocker extensions will really annoy you. We need to learn on how we can create our on blockers for effective use rather than use other people products and benefit them.
  8. mxyzptlkfishstix

    mxyzptlkfishstix Moderator moderator affiliate

    That's already built in to most adblockers worth their salt with the element picker tool.

  9. trackingdesk

    trackingdesk Service Manager Service Manager affiliate

  10. TrafficHunt

    TrafficHunt Traffic Manager Traffic Manager affiliate

    it was always interesting for me how free adblock software brings money to its creators. I guess it's some king of user tracking. A tool installed on the user side can easily collect various info about user and then use this info for some commercial interests.

    For my business AdBlock is bad, as it steals about 20%-30% of impressions for ad campaigns, so advertisers lose the same percentage of potential profit. Now we bypass AdBlock on popunders, and it works great.
  11. TouTrixAnn

    TouTrixAnn Traffic Manager Traffic Manager affiliate

    never really use any adblocker my entire life, the only time i was using it when google seem to bann publishers who click their ads and so i end up blocking them.

    So they block ads so they can replace the ads with their advertisers, how brilliant!
  12. TrafficHunt

    TrafficHunt Traffic Manager Traffic Manager affiliate

    so they charge advertisers for not banning their ads, or they charge publishers for ability to show ads on the site pages?

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