Compendium on Ad Blocking in Advertising Age through 2015-09-05

IAB Explores Its Options to Fight Ad Blockers, Including Lawsuits; ; In Advertising Age; 2015-09-04.
Teaser: Trade Org Has Held Two Summits This Summer to Map a Course of Action


  • Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
  • A Summit Meeting, New York City, 2015-07-09.
  • PageFair, Adobe
    tl;dr → that same report is endlessly recited unquestioningly
    The 2015 Ad Blocking Report: The Cost of Ad Blocking; PageFair with Adobe; 2015-08-09; 17 pages; landing, previously noted.
  • Causality
    • Flash is deprecated
    • HTML5 is promoted
    • Viewability metrics cause blocking be measured & managed.


  • make better ads
  • publishers ask consumers to pull shields down
  • lockout [publishers refuse to serve consumers who wear adblock]
  • litigation [c.f. an application of the DMCA]
  • countermeasures [technical means, via suppliers]
  • paywalls
  • native advertising



  • PageFair
  • Secret Media
  • Sourcepoint
  • Yavli


for color, background & verisimilitude

  • Scott Cunningham
    • senior VP, IAB
    • general manager, [IAB] Technology Lab.
  • David Moore
    • President, WPP Digital
    • Chairman, Xaxis

Via: backfill.

How Digital-Native Publishers Are Dealing With Ad Blocking, , 2015-09-03.
Teaser: Mic, Quartz, Vox Media Turn to Branded Content, Tech Platforms’ Apps


  • BuzzFeed
  • Mic
  • Quartz
  • Vox Media
  • Ad Block Plus
  • Countermeasures
    • advertorials
    • branded content
    • custom branded content
    • native advertising
    • promotional placements
    • sponsorships
  • Distribution [contra running The Portal]
    • Apple News
    • Facebook Instant Articles
    • Flipboard
  • Dean Murphy
  • Exemplar
    • a page at Mic with the story of the renaming of Mt McKinley to Denali
    • work performed by Ad Age staff
    • [very confusing, read carefully] <quote>When Ad Age checked out Mic’s aforementioned Denali article using an iPhone’s Safari browser, the ad-carrying page weighed in at 4.11 megabytes, which is 1.51 megabytes heavier than the ad-free desktop version but 14.59 megabytes lighter than the ad-full desktop page.</quote>.
    • Tabulation
      Safari iOS iPhone ad-carrying 4.11 MB
      Safari OS/X Mac (Laptop) ad-free 2.60 MB
      Safari OS/X Mac (Laptop) ad-full 18.70 MB


for color, background & verisimilitude

  • Chris Altchek, CEO, Mic
  • Jim Bankoff, CEO, Vox Media
  • Joy Robins, seinor VP-global revenue and strategy, Quartz

TV Networks Confront Ad Blockers Erasing Their Commercials Online, , 2015-08-31.
Teaser: CBS Blocks the Blockers While Fox Explores Friendlier Ad Models


  • ABC
  • Fox
  • Hulu
  • NBC
  • Universal
  • Ad Block
  • Chrome
  • streaming episodes of TV shows delivered off of web sites.
  • CBS Interactive
  • several “declined to comment”


for color, background & verisimilitude

  • Eric Franchi, co-founder, Undertone
  • Joe Marchese, president-advanced ad products, Fox Networks Group; ex-founder TrueX (acquired by Fox 2014-12).
  • David Morris, chief revenue officer, CBS Interactive

Ad Blocking Is a Growing Problem. What’s the Fix?, , , 2015-06-19.
Teaser: Publishers Including CBS Interactive, Forbes, DailyMail Weigh Their Options


  • Eyeo
  • factoids are recited
  • UC browser
    • built-in ad blocking
    • 500M consumers
    • Regional popularity
      • India
      • China,
  • Maxthon Browser
    • built-in ad blocking
    • partnership with Ad Block Plus
    • 120M consumers
  • “I love my audience, but fuck you, ad blockers — 20% of my revenue is gone.” attributed to Mike Germano, Vice
  • Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
  • Interested in solutions
    • CBS Interactive
    • Daily Mail
    • Forbes
    • Vice
  • Have paid off Ad Block (Eyeo)
    • Amazon
    • Google
    • Microsoft
  • Native advertisers
    • BuzzFeed
    • Outbrain
  • Fremium, paywall, subscriptions
    and more so: behind the paywall they still have ads

    • The New York Times (NYT)
    • Pandora
    • Spotify
    • The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
    • YouTube


  1. Pay the Ad Blockers
  2. Go Native
  3. Ask Consumers for Sympathy
  4. Block Content From Consumers Who Use Ad Blockers [The Nuclear Option]
  5. Fremium Model


for color, background & verisimilitude

  • Ben Barokas, founder, Sourcepoint
  • Sean Blanchfield, CEO, PageFair
  • Scott Cunningham, IAB
  • Mike Germano, Chief Digital Officer, Vice [Media]
  • Dax Hamman, senior VP-business development and product, Rubicon Project.
  • Jason Kint, CEO, Digital Content Next (a trade booster)
  • David Morris
    • chief revenue officer, CBS Interactive
    • chairman, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
  • Jon Steinberg, CEO, DailyMail
  • Ben Williams, director, communications & operations, Eyeo

Publishers Watch Closely as Adoption of Ad Blocking Tech Grows, , 2015-02-15.
Teaser: IAB Says It Is a Growing Problem


  • Ad Block Plus
  • ClarityRay,
  • bought by Yahoo
  • IAB Annual Leadership Meeting
  • Claimed to have paid off Ad Block Plus (Eyeo)
    • Amazon
    • Google
    • Microsoft


for color, background & verisimilitude

  • Mark Addison, press relations, Ad Block Plus
  • Eric Franchi
    • co-founder, Undertone
    • board member, IAB
  • Mark Howard, chief revenue officer, Forbes.
  • Serge Matta, CEO, comScore
  • David Morris, Chairman, IAB
  • Mike Zaneis, exec VP-public policy and general counsel, IAB


Do Not Track Compliance Policy, Version v1.0 (dnt-policy-1.0.txt) | Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

Do Not Track Compliance Policy, Version v1.0 as dnt-policy-1.0.txt



  • Ad Block Plus
  • Disconnect
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
  • Medium
  • Mixpanel


  • Recommends using an ad blocker (the house brand, Privacy Badger).
  • Login constitutes consent.
  • Unclear – why is  “mobile” different than “desktop” (officework, clamshell, laptop)
    <quote>This policy was designed for desktop browsers interacting with websites. This policy isn’t necessarily appropriate for the mobile environment. Fig.1 [not shown] provides DNT users with clear enough guidance at log-in to obtain consent.</quote>
  • Enforcement
    None.  Vague: threat of Federal Trade commission(FTC & state attorneys general (legal) action if actual operations does not match policy declarations.



In archaeological order…



Table is verbatim from the document.

Privacy Concern

Effect of ‘Do Not Track’

Tracking Stops
Filter Bubble / Customized content Stops or de-identifies*
Social Media Widgets (‘like” buttons, etc) Data sent only when clicked
Ads Allowed if privacy compliant
Targeted ads Stops or de-identifies*
Visitor datasets Can only hold if aggregated and de-identified
Webserver logs 10 days (no cookies or unique IDs other than IP)
User-provided information Unchanged
Browsing anonymity Maybe someday.  In the meantime, use Tor.
Protection against unlawful or mass surveillance No

From the section headings of Understanding…;

  • DNT binds First and Third Parties
  • DNT means AND
    •  Do Not Collect
    • And Do Not Retain
  • Except where Required OR
    • Necessary to Complete a Transation
    • With The Clear Consent of the Consumer
  • Not Appropriate for “Mobile”
    unclear why not.


Via: backfill

Symposium on Obfuscation | New York University, 2014-02-15

Symposium on Obfuscation; At New York University; 2014-02-15.



  • Vortex, a game
    • Rachel Law
    • Rachel Law; Vortex; On Vimeo; “7 months ago” (so … 2013-05?); 05:19
      </quote>Vortex is a browser extension game that empowers you to change how you are identified by networks</quote>
    • Rachel Law; The Vortex & Meshtectonics; Thesis Documentation; MFA Design & Technology; Parsons New School of Design; 2013; 22 pages.

      • Bruno Latour, Actor Network Theory (ANT)
      • Giles Deleuze
  • Ad Nauseam
  • Anonymouth



Recitations of previously-aired ideas.


  • Finn Brunton (NYU),
  • Günes Acar (KU Leuven),
  • Claudia Diaz (KU Leuven),
  • Carl DiSalvo (Georgia Tech),
  • Rachel Greenstadt (DrexelU),
  • Daniel Howe (City University of Hong Kong),
  • Laura Kurgan (Columbia),
  • Rachel Law (Milkred),
  • Nick Montfort (MIT),
  • Helen Nissenbaum (NYU),
  • Hanna Rose Shell (MIT),
  • Susan Stryker (UArizona),
  • Joseph Turow (UPenn),
  • Vincent Toubiana (CNIL).



  • Heavy on the activism & policy
  • Accent towards “art” and “protest”
  • Light on (ad)tech & math.

Related & Unmentioned

Via: backfill, backfill

Ad blockers: A solution or a problem? | ComputerWorld

; Ad blockers: A solution or a problem?; In ComputerWorld; 2014-01-15.
Teaser: It’s a cause. It’s a curse. It’s just business. Ad blockers take a bite out of the $20 billion digital advertising pie.

; The business of ad blocking: A Q&A with Adblock Plus lead investor Tim Schumacher; In ComputerWorld; 2014-01-15.
Teaser: interview with Tim Schumacher



  • Adblock Plus
    • Till Faida, president
    • Acceptable Ads program
    • Tim Schumacher
      • the founder of domain marketplace Sedo
      • Adblock Plus’ biggest investor
    • Claims
      • Attributed to Tim Schumacher
      • 148 publishers participate in the Acceptable Ads program
      • 90% of participants in the program aren’t charged at all
      • Attributed to Ad Block Plus
        • rejected 50% of 777 whitelist applicants; because of [their] unacceptable ads,
        • the overall acceptance rate stands at just 9.5%.
        • <quote>Adblock Plus claims that about 6% of all Web surfers in the U.S. run its open-source software, mostly in the form of Google Chrome and Firefox browser add-ons and extensions.</quote>
    • Deals
      • Google
      • Some “Alexa top 100″ site, spoken for anonymously by an ex-employee.
  • AdBlock
    • Not Ad Block Plus, but something else
    • Michael Gundlach, founder, ex-Google
  • ClarityRay
    • Ido Yablonka, CEO
    • URL-swapping mechanism
    • Funding: around $0.5M
  • Destructoid
    • Niero Gonzalez
  • Disconnect
    • Casey Oppenheim, co-CEO
  • Evidon
  • Geekzone
    • Mauricio Freitas, publisher
  • Google
    • 2013-03 => removed Ad Block Plus from its Google Play store, 2013-03
    • 2013-06 => deal with Ad Block Plus

      • Media
        • search ads
        • sponsored search results
      • Venue
        • Google
        • AdSense partners
  • Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
    • Mike Zaneis, senior vice president
  • PageFair
    • JavaScript countermeasure
    • Sean Blanchfield, CEO
    • Funding: around $0.5M
  • Reddit
    • Erik Martin, general manager
  • Some Site
    • Not named explicitly
    • “top-ranking in Alexa”
    • Spoken for by an ex-employee.
    • <quote>On the other hand, the former executive at the Alexa top-ranking site said an Adblock Plus representative told him he had to pay even though Adblock Plus agreed that the publisher’s ads were acceptable and should not be blocked. “If we didn’t pay they would continue to block us. To me it seems like extortion,” he says.</quote>

Quoted for color, breadth & verisimilitude


  • Only time will tell (the old saw)
  • <quote>Everything turns on what consumers do next. </quote>

Via: backfill
Via: Soulskill; Ask Slashdot: Are AdBlock’s Days Numbered?; In Slashdot; 2014-01-17.

Ad Block Plus for Facebook




Runs ytimg pixels, a promotional video from YouTube (1:07)


Via: backfill

The Rise of Adblocking | PageFair

The Rise of Adblocking: The PageFair 2013 Report; PageFair; 2013-08-21; 11 pages.


  • PageFair is a “free service”
  • Available since 2012-09.
  • Average ad blocking rate: 22.7%

Remediation Suggestions

<quote>One approach is to simultaneously respect your visitors while educating them about how you pay the bills. Respect them by not intruding on their attention with interstitials, animations or sounds, and by ensuring that advertising is as appropriate and relevant as possible. Educate them by discussing the problem in articles and on Twitter. You can also display targeted appeals to adblock users to ask them to do their part by whitelisting your site (a service we offer at PageFair).</quote>






Via: backfill