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Adblock Plus steps up 'whitelisting'

News, 14 September 2016

COLOGNE: Eyeo, the maker of Adblock Plus software, is partnering with an Israeli start-up to launch an ad exchange where "acceptable ads" can be automatically traded.

Eyeo already "whitelists" websites and advertisers that meet its Acceptable Ads criteria, with some paying for the privilege. It has argued that this provides value to publishers that was previously unavailable while also encouraging better ads.

"We've always called the Acceptable Ads initiative an ongoing experiment," Ben Williams, AdBlock Plus operations manager, told AdExchanger.

"We've improved it over time, surveying users and the like, and we updated the criteria one time, but now we feel like it's time to make more substantive improvements."

The development of an automated tool to reduce the time taken to determine whether ads meet those criteria – from weeks to seconds – is a one such improvement.

And by whitelisting the infrastructure instead of individual ads, AdBlock Plus explained, Acceptable Ads can be served by several demand sources; these DSPs and demand partners will be able to plug in and acquire impressions from participating publishers.

Publishers and bloggers can drag and drop ads onto their sites where they will be instantly viewable to those Adblock Plus users who have agreed to allow non-intrusive ads to support their favourite websites.

The step effectively enables Eyeo to monetise its whitelist more efficiently than before.

"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 Till Faida, Eyeo CEO, in a statement.

"The Acceptable Ads Platform lets publishers reach the former group without changing anything about how they're reaching the latter."

A degree of cynicism among ad tech firms is to be expected, but Guy Tytunovich, CEO of ComboTag, the partner in the venture, was unconcerned "because our intentions are good".

Data sourced from AdBlock Plus, Ad Exchanger; additional content by Warc staff