AdBlock Plus to allow "Acceptable Ads"

Published by Todd Morris

Several years ago I contacted Michael McDonald, the owner of AdBlock Plus and I asked him a single question.  "If everyone on the web used your product, would it change the face of the web?".   I never heard back from Michael.  He's a busy guy and I'm just some random dude who does managed digital advertising. But today I see that indeed his answer would have been yes, and the change would not have been for the better.  


AdBlock Plus is making some changes today, changes that answer the cry from website owners and publishers about taking away their ability to earn revenue.   It all circles around what would be considered "acceptable " ads.   Instead of blocking all ads, AdBlock Plus will now default to block only bad ads, ads that are obnoxious, annoying and obtrusive. 

Here's the message that greeted users today.

What exactly are "acceptable" ads?  Here's the rundown:

  • Acceptable ads are not annoying.
  • Acceptable do not disrupt or distort the page content.
  • Acceptable ads are transparent about being an ad.
  • Acceptable ads are effective without shouting.
  • Acceptable ads are appropriate to the site they are on.


For reputable display advertising providers this is a huge win.  It means that as long as we're doing our job from a quality perspective,  Adblock Plus won't stand in our way by default.   Lets hope that other blocking providers follow suit.

 What do you think about this change?  Let us know in the comments.