Bloomberg Plea: Ad-Blockers Disrupt the Experience
Media companies haven't yet decided on a single defense strategy, but there seems to be consensus that something needs to be done about the rising use of ad-blocking technology.
While some companies have moved to restrict ad-blockers from accessing content, others are simply asking these users to "whitelist" them and allow them to be served ads.
On Tuesday, Bloomberg.com opted for the more passive, diplomatic approach, and began showing the following message to all ad blockers: "We noticed that you're using an ad blocker, which may adversely affect the performance and content on Bloomberg.com. For the best experience, please whitelist the site."
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Bloomberg.com is not, at this time, planning to restrict ad-blockers from accessing content on the website.
About 20% of desktop traffic to Bloomberg.com uses some form of ad-blocking technology, which explains why the company, which makes the bulk of its revenue from its financial information terminals, is trying to be proactive about the problem.
"Our site and our pages were built with sophisticated and dynamic advertising logic that shapes the user experience," a Bloomberg spokeswoman said in a statement to Ad Age. "When users block ads, it can disrupt the design and packaging of the content and video experiences that render for each individual. We have strict guidelines on the number and type of advertisements we allow across our platform, and since we deliver premium value to our advertising clients, and produce high-quality journalism for tens of millions of global executives, we are simply asking users with ad blockers to whitelist Bloomberg."
Rob Leathern, an ad tech veteran who runs a company that helps users block mobile ads (while providing an avenue to contribute money to publishers), said that publishers like Bloomberg.com should consider making those "strict guidelines" against bad ads public, for the sake of transparency.
On Twitter, several users have complained this week about seeing Bloomberg's ad-blocker message despite not having the technology installed. "This is weird message from Bloomberg since I am not (to my knowledge) using an ad blocker," CNBC's Jay Yarow wrote Thursday.
"Events across the web are causing a few false positives," the Bloomberg spokeswoman said when asked about the complaints. "We are working to adjust this."