‘Please turn off your ad blocker!’ The plaintive cry echoes down the tubes of the internet.
Although the ad blocker dilemma is a complex and important one, I get perverse enjoyment from reading the different messages that publishers display, imploring users to disable their ad blockers.
Here are 10 of them.
For colour, I’ve embedded tweets by the websites’ often disgruntled users.
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.
— alec pesola (@alecpesola) February 2, 2016
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.
Part of me says “no, The Telegraph, I won’t disable my ad blocker for you.” But then how else do they make their £? pic.twitter.com/lDpdhiMljR
— Chris Miller (@WindyCOYS) February 7, 2016
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.
— Milady de Winter (@milady2winter) February 6, 2016
— Derek (@derekdahmer) December 27, 2015
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.
— GFMosca (@GFMosca) September 22, 2015
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.
— FreeMan (@nabilfreeman) December 17, 2015
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’).
Wired’s site asks users to disable their ad-blocker. What are your thoughts as a marketer? Only way to stay free? pic.twitter.com/4AHOBD5fCT
— Roohbir Singh (@RoohbirSingh) June 25, 2015
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.
— Nico Juncos (@strangecomedian) July 19, 2014
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.
Sure, CBS, I’ll disable my ad blocker. But then I hit your foreign-viewer blocker. You clearly want to be left alone. pic.twitter.com/lMW8WifwdI
— Brian Fitzgerald (@brianfit) February 16, 2015
Ha! I’m thinking about adding more lists to my ad blocker.
— Art Dahnert (@adahnert) January 22, 2016
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.
— Boris Schandert (@bschandert) March 21, 2013
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.
Web developers out there, don’t ever force your users to disable any kind of ad blocker. This is a big no no pic.twitter.com/vIHQ3k4QAU
— Pascal Precht ʕ•̫͡•ʔ (@PascalPrecht) December 1, 2015
For more on ad blocking, see the following articles: