Online publishers have spent the last year exploring different tactics to combat the rising numbers of consumers installing ad blocking technology. The
One sub-group of Financial Times readers was asked to whitelist the newspaper's website with their ad blockers, allowing its ads to appear normally. Even though they had the option of dismissing the notice and continuing to block ads, 40% agreed to whitelist the site.
Some ad-blocking visitors were selected to see a version of an FT story that was missing a share of words representing the percentage of the company's revenue from advertising. Of that group, 47% decided to whitelist the site.
The third test group was given the strictest ultimatum: Whitelist the site or leave. Sixty-nine percent of those visitors agreed to whitelist FT.com.
The company said 5% of readers in the experiment who weren't asked to whitelist the site, as a control group, whitelisted the site on their own initiative. As part of launching the experiment, the newspaper did publish an "advertising charter" explaining to readers the value exchange inherent to the advertising-supported media business and pledged to never disrupt the reader experience.
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