For colour, I’ve embedded tweets by the websites’ often disgruntled users.

1. GQ

I haven’t seen this anywhere else. GQ is resourceful enough not only to request you disable your ad blocker, but to allow you to purchase access instead (if you insist on blocking ads).

There’s also some natty reasoning for such a standpoint, pointing out that glossy photoshoots cost money.

However, as Alec rightly points to, there’s something absurd about this message overlaying a pop-up ad, which then overlays the content. This is the not the web as anybody wants it.

2. Telegraph

The Telegraph wins the award for most comprehensive message. It’s very civil (try reading it in a BBC accent) and takes the opportunity to push a free trial of the subscription product.

3. Forbes

Forbes takes an interesting tack, championing its ‘ad light experience’ rather than tugging at the heart strings.

The publisher niggles at you once again if you click continue and still haven’t disabled your software (note the ‘still using an ad blocker’ message).

Derek’s tweet highlights the absurdity of calling Forbes ‘ad light’, but it’s all relative, I suppose.


4. Washington Post

Perhaps a slightly contradictory message from the Post. ‘We’re committed to…respecting your privacy…please disable your ad blocker’.

The Washington Post may highlight how safe its ads are, but fails to deal with the underlying reasons ads are necessary, even if they do compromise user experience.


CNET comes across as a thoroughly-nice-guy of a publisher.

That may be, but FreeMan exclaims it’s not so easy to just quickly switch off an ad blocker on his iPhone. 

6. Wired

I admire Wired’s copywriting here. It’s pragmatic. It’s an honest request for good favour with the slightest hint of supplication (‘thanks for supporting Wired’).

7. Hulu

Hulu is admirable here for its succinctness, getting to the nub of the debate ‘advertisements allow us to provide quality content to you for free’.

Also, kudos to Nico for his steadfast, public refusal.

8. CBS 

Nothing particularly interesting from CBS and CBS News. No appealing to our sensibilities, aside from mention of sponsors.

As Brian Fitzgerald points out, the chances of non-US, ad blocking users accessing this content are slim.


9. Emeza

Emeza was a luxury ecommerce site run by Zalando, which shut down in 2013. I’m not sure why an ecommerce site would prevent users from browsing.

Perhaps it was a default message implemented by an off-the-shelf CMS or ecommerce platform. Whatever the reason, it was stupid – even if users can’t be tracked by analytics, they could still buy.

10. QNimate

Lastly, a programming tutorial website. I admire this functional and emotionless messaging – it smacks of morals.

But on the other hand, QNimate could be doing more with this space. 

For more on ad blocking, see the following articles: