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Adblock Plus Shows Off Its Ad-Tech

Posted on 9.13.2016

Adblock Plus is considered one of the most disruptive companies in the digital ecosystem, and this week the company made an announcement that pretty much secures its spot for the foreseeable future. 

The company, best known for a plugin that blocks advertising on the Web (which is currently running on more than 100 million devices) as well as its ongoing battle with Facebook, is itself getting into the advertising technology business and launching an advertising and publisher network of its own.

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The announcement has left many wondering if this is for real. While it may seem that Adblock's parent company Eyeo are opposed to advertising (considering the purpose of the plugin), what they are really (likely) opposed to is advertising and advertisers that undermine privacy and the quality of the user experience. By taking control of the entire ecosystem, Eyeo believes they can do a better job. Can they?

The company has had an Acceptable Ads policy since 2011, which allows users to whitelist advertisements that have been determined not to be intrusive or damaging. This latest initiative, however, takes this a step further, serving as a supply-side platform for those “acceptable ads” with its new Acceptable Ads Platform (pretty creative, right?). Adblock Plus partnered with ComboTag to build the platform that will enable publishers and bloggers to choose from a marketplace of pre-whitelisted ads that they can include on their sites.

The platform essentially acts as a moderated advertising platform/network. Publishers will need to insert a tag into their websites and then choose from a selection of the Eyeo approved advertisements. The ads can then be inserted them into locations that Adblock Plus has indicated are not intrusive. These advertisements will then be visible to all Adblock Plus users who haven’t opted out of the offering.

“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," said Eyeo CEO and Adblock Plus cofounder Till Faida. "The Acceptable Ads Platform lets publishers reach the former group without changing anything about how they’re reaching the latter.”


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