Thursday, October 22, 2015

City AM Becomes First UK Newspaper to Ban Ad Blocker Users

City AM is a widely referenced financial newspaper in the UK. It decided to run a trial to attempt to combat the recent rise in ad blocking technology. When you go to their site on Firefox web browsers, the site detects if you are using an ad blocker and then blurs out its content until you turn the ad blocker off. In our class, we have spoken a lot about the effects of ad blockers on the industry and whether we believe that consumers will pay for content in order not to have advertisements. I think City AM is betting that consumers will be more willing to deal with advertisements than pay for content. I think the way they are approaching this--by quietly rolling the concept out to only certain mediums and then checking the results before rolling it out more broadly--is a smart tactic. This move could very well annoy many people who go to the newspaper and drive them to a competitors site who is willing to let the consumers use ad blockers. I will be interested to see how this trial run goes for them and what the reaction is by consumers. If this trial ends up working out for City AM, I expected that we could see this sort of messaging rolled out by many online publications to combat the growing popularity of ad blockers.


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