AdBlock Plus Wants Better Ads, But Its Concept is Backwards

In the fall of 2016, AdBlock Plus announced that it would be boosting its Acceptable Ads Platform, which means publishers will now be able to sell ad space through the ad blocking technology.

This has AdBlock Plus tightroping a fine line between its ability to make money while also honoring their original purpose; allowing consumers to enjoy content without being bombarded by annoying ads. Patrick Hopf, SourceKnowledge president, explained this in an AdWeek article.

"AdBlock Plus is simultaneously selling an ad blocker to users and an advertising platform to advertisers and publishers,” he said. “It's essentially an ad platform disguised as an ad blocker."

While AdBlock Plus is still free to download for users, this is where the situation still gets uncomfortable. If an ad blocker is feeding you ads, what is the point of downloading that ad blocker in the first place? Andrea Bridges-Smith, product marketing manager at PostUp, said it boils down to a disconnect between publishers and their audiences.

"This is more of the same distraction from the real issue: publishers' relationship with their audience," Bridges-Smith said. "Whether they're showing large page takeover ads or these acceptable ads, publishers still need to have a good relationship with their audience in order to get them to turn off ad blockers or allow acceptable ads."

This shows us that the model of learning what an audience’s interests are and providing them with accurate ads based on those interests is inherently broken.

AdBlock Plus is on the right track, but the user will hate this backwards concept. The user downloaded the blocking software to block ads, not to see different ads. Regardless of if these ads are “better” than the former “large page takeover ads” that Bridges-Smith mentioned, it would be difficult to get both audiences and publishers to buy in.

This is where Bixy comes into play. With a model that gives power entirely to consumers, they get ads that only they want to see, and publishers are able to sell ad space to brands that the publisher’s audience actually cares about. Even though AdBlock Plus will give the consumer the ability to say whether they liked a specific ad, this will always be after the fact.

This is the way publishers and brands build the relationship with their audience. Bixy’s model is a much more direct way to let the consumer notify brands and publishers of the ads they want to see. The review of ads will always be before the fact and before the consumer even sees an ad.