Adblock Plus Starts an Ad Tech Platform to Sell Ads Itself

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Eyeo introduced its
Eyeo introduced its Credit: AdBlock Plus/EyeoGmbH

Adblock Plus, which made its name by blocking ads across the web, is getting into the business of selling ads.

The company previously let "acceptable" ads pass through its blocking software and appear as intended. Now it will sell "acceptable ads" itself.

The company announced the news on its blog Tuesday:

Starting today we're launching the beta version of a fully functional ad-tech platform that will make whitelisting faster and easier. To do it, we teamed up with publisher platform-provider ComboTag to build what will be known as the Acceptable Ads Platform, an interactive platform that lets publishers and bloggers choose from a marketplace of pre-whitelisted ads that they can drag and drop onto their sites.

Adblock Plus, which is owned by EyeoGmbH, is also teaming up with AppNexus and Google to sell the ads through their own ad exchanges, the Wall Street Journal reported. Google, AppNexus, ComboTag and Eyeo will all get a cut, leaving whatever's left for the publisher, according to the Journal. (UPDATE: After this article was published, AppNexus and Google each said that they would not participate.)

"The Acceptable Ads Platform will cut the whitelisting process from weeks to seconds, and all publishers have to do is implement a single line of code," the company said.

The company's ad selling platform will also have a feedback mechanism installed, allowing users to chime in and say whether an ad was "great, good, bad or complete shit." The feedback will then factor into which ads get sold on its platform, according to Adblock Plus.

"Acceptable Ads" already had a revenue component for Adblock Plus, which charged the largest publishers the equivalent of a handling fee to participate.

Randall Rothenberg, president-CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, called out companies like Adblock Plus in January, saying for-profit ad blockers "are stealing from publishers, subverting freedom of the press, operating a business model predicated on censorship of content and ultimately forcing consumers to pay more money for less and less diverse information."

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