le monde

Following an appeal by French trade organization GESTE, a number of French media publications have decided to run a week long trial which would stop users who use ad blockers from accessing content, reports Digiday. The publications involved include Le Monde, Le Figaro, RTE, Le Parisien, L’Equipe and music platform Deezer.

The report added that each publication has taken their own approach to combat ad blockers. L’Equipe is forcing users to disable ad blockers to access content. While Le Parisien is shows a message saying that users must disable ad blockers or whitelist their pages or pay €1.12 for three months for the same.

Le Monde shows message from the editor-in-chief, Jerome Fenoglio, saying “To enable our journalists … we must be able to rely on advertising revenue.” Users can then click through to read the article, or whitelist the site, or pay €1 for one month for a “limited” ad reading experience.

Other international publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, The Telegraph and Trinity Mirror and City AM have take similar approaches.

In Sweden, 90% of its publishers plan to take on ad blockers during the month of August. The IAB Sweden, which is spearheading the effort, is also trying to improve advertising by standardizing formats.

Opera browser now has a built-in ad blocker

Earlier this month, Opera announced that its latest desktop browser is now coming with a native built-in ad blocker. The company says that it is doing this so that web pages can load faster and claims it can cut page-loading times by as much as 90% by avoiding various third-party ad networks deliver promotional messages to users.

Opera says that users can disable ad-blocking on a website and the website will added to an exception list, which they can manage from the settings. The company also said that it has automatically white listed some websites such as CNET and TechCrunch which do not have an impact on load time and good user experience.

MediaNama’s take

As more browsers adopt ad blocking technologies, white listing websites which have ads that re non intrusive and do not ruin the browsing experience will become crucial. It is also necessary to give the power to white list websites to users rather than the ad blockers themselves. Already ad blockers are being likened to a cartel and publishers like Axel Springer are seeking court-ordered bans on them.

Adblock Plus, a popular, browser extension which filters ads in September said that it would allow certain ads that are non-intrusive. At the time, Adblock Plus planned to allow an independent review board to determine whether ads qualify as “acceptable” and are allowed to pass through its filters, as indicated by this Wall Street Journal report.

Joining in the chorus is the UK’s culture secretary John Wittingdale and promised set up a round table involving major publishers, social media groups and adblocking companies in the coming weeks to do something about the problem.

What is interesting to note, with ad blockers, it seems to have to opened a new revenue option for publishers who can ask users to pay for an ad-free experience. Back to the basics of the freemium model then.

Developments in ad blockers

– In February,  Google, which started blocking ad-blockers from the Play Store earlier, has stopped doing so after revising its policy. The company would now allow ad-blockers that were built for Samsung’s browser to stay online. Samsung recently rolled out adblocking on its browser for Android devices that would allow third-party developers to to build apps for blocking ads.

– In November last year, Yahoo blocked some users of Yahoo Mail from accessing their email until they turn off their ad blocking software. More on that here.

– September last year, AdblockPlus released a mobile browser forAndroid and iOS. This is after Eyeo, the company which makes the extension for browsers, encountered problems in creating adblocking software for mobile devices. More here.

– In the same month, Apple allowed third party ad blocker extensions for the Safari browser on the iPhone.