AdBlock acceptable ads platform is - wait for it - blocked!

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal reported that both Google and AppNexus would work with Adblock Plus to sell those ads;

Google Inc. and ad tech specialist AppNexus will also have a hand in helping to sell ad space from the new platform, by offering it up to potential buyers through their own online ad exchanges.
All of the companies in the chain, including Eyeo, ComboTag, Google and AppNexus will take a cut of the revenue generated from the ads they help to sell and place on publishers’ sites through the program. The remainder will be passed to publishers, Eyeo said.
In a statement, Google said, “We review the validity and quality of inventory made available on our platform, but have no knowledge of ComboTag or Eyeo’s SSP arrangements.”
An AppNexus spokesperson confirmed that the company is helping to sell ad space from the Acceptable Ads Platform across its platform. Ad buying behemoth WPP has an ownership stake in both AppNexus and ComboTag.

The AdBlock acceptable ads platform was announced yesterday and was met with complaints from Adblock users who express feeling "betrayed" if they plugin they use to block ads, no longer blocks ads. Or worse, as pawns in a shakedown, where Adblock is the only way to get your ads seen. By the end of the day, the supposed partners in the announcement came out with their own statements, rejecting that they are involved in the Acceptable Ads exchange.

"Unfortunately, the information reported in the original article around AppNexus' involvement in any such exchange is, in fact, incorrect, and a result of an unauthorized announcement from third parties," AppNexus told Ad Age in an emailed statement.

The third party is Combotag, the WPP-backed ad tech company. AppNexus has responded by suspending all relationships with ComboTag and Adblock Plus parent EyeoGmbH. Effectively AppNexus just blocked Adblock. Irony just died.

AppNexus full statement:
"ComboTag issued today's announcement without our knowledge or authorization. The only AppNexus contact with whom they previewed details of the initiative was a junior support manager who is not authorized to sign off on it. When the story posted today, we promptly informed ComboTag that we would not allow Eyeo on our platform, even through the back door.
AppNexus does not work with companies like Eyeo; we regard their business practices as fundamentally harmful to the ecosystem. Essentially, Eyeo, via its Adblock product, erects toll booths on a public road and siphons off advertising dollars that should be going directly to publishers. We hold that practice in low regard."

Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior VP of ads and commerce at Google said that Google were taken by surprise with Adblock's announcement yesterday. "It's an uncomfortable development for us, (that AdBock Plus is) moving from being an ad-blocking company to being a driver of ads." Sridhar Ramaswamy, said that Google will end its business relationship with ComboTag.

Ramaswamy made this statement while holding a presentation at Dmexco conference in Cologne, Germany. Ramaswamy demonstrated new YouTube formats in video ads. YouTube will let advertisers include calls-to-action that send people to a website or register them for mailing lists right in their video ads.

"We think ad-blocking usage is driven by a disconnect between what the ad industry thinks is an acceptable ad standard and what consumers find acceptable. The only way to solve this is by working together defining standards based on objective data."

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

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