Adblock Plus, the self-proclaimed protector against the evils of online advertising, has been accused of secretly cosying up to the likes of Google, Microsoft and Amazon to allow their ads to go through its filters, in exchange for wads of cash.
According to a report in the Financial Times, Eyeo GmbH, the German start-up behind Adblock Plus, is charging large companies huge amounts of money to get their ads unblocked, despite other businesses being forced to comply with AdBlock’s “acceptable ads” policy to get them approved.
So far, the firm claims more than 300 million users have downloaded its software, on the promise of ad free web-browsing, riling many in the online ad industry.
But, according one digital media company, by paying “the equivalent of 30% of the additional ad revenues that it would make from being unblocked”, large firms can swerve the software.
And, with the online ad industry worth in excess of $120bn (£80bn) a year, it is easy to see why there is no shortage of companies willing to pay.
Google and Amazon refused to comment on the move, however, Microsoft did release a statement over the whitelisting of Bing ads: “Microsoft will always give consumers choice when it comes to advertisements. We are committed to working with partners who share our vision for relevant, impactful brand interaction and respect the integrity of consumer choice.”
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