Adblock Plus vows ‘acceptable ads’ model viable despite surprise partner withdrawal

The decision by AppNexus to pull out of a controversial ad exchange launched by Adblock Plus last week will not have a major impact on the business with executives saying advertisers will still come.

adblock-plus-graphicThe world’s biggest ad blocker announced it would start serving “approved ads” to users, but the revelation was greeted with scepticism by many digital publishers displeased at the way in which they were being treated.

The announcement was followed almost immediately by both Google and AppNexus claiming they had not signed on to the service and that Adblock Plus partner, Combotag, which will create the platform, had made the announcement without authorisation.

Adblock Plus’ Ben Williams told Mumbrella the move by Google and Appnexus came as a surprise, but it would not have an impact on the development of the new model.

“We were surprised that the demand-side partners pulled out, but we built the platform to be open and are confident that we’ll find a few advertisers soon,” Williams said.

In one day we had over 1,000 publishers sign up, so we’re very optimistic.”

He also denied the move was a “cash grab” and said the biggest winners would be medum-sized websites which would benefit from the ‘acceptable ads’ whitelisting process.

“We’ve already got quite a few to sign up, but we will have to test the beta out first,” he said.

“Publishers won’t pay us. They will get paid by the demand-side partner, who will give them 80 percent or so of the total. Our share is that same as it always is, 30 percent (of the 20 percent remaining).”

Williams said that Adblocker Plus was confident that agencies and brands would come on board the platform as time progressed and they saw the advantages.

“This cuts the whitelisting process down from potential weeks to seconds. And it gives them access to a very attractive demographic on that demographic’s own terms,” he said.

Appnexus said it was moving to cancel Combotag’s AdX account and described the move as like erecting toll booths on a public road and siphoning off revenue that should be destined for publishers.


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