Adblock farms out acceptable ad policy to independent reviewer

More transparency promised, just not on its revenue figures

Adblock Plus is to farm out its evaluation process for unblocking adverts to an independent reviewer in a bid to be "100 per cent transparent", while remaining tight-lipped over its revenue from companies effectively paying to have their ads displayed.

The company's "acceptable ads" policy is the criteria applied to deciding if ads are reasonable and non-intrusive. Websites or advertisers who meet the criteria can apply to their ads 'whitelisted.'

Currently, 700 publishers and websites are on the whitelist, with 10 per cent of the those paying Adblock's owner, Eyeo, a fee. The company says it has now had more than 400 million downloads.

"All of these paying companies are large companies that have legal non-disclosure contracts that prevent Adblock Plus from identifying exactly who they are and how much they pay," said the company.

However, in February the Financial Times revealed that Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Taboola have reportedly paid Adblock Plus to allow their ads to pass through its filter software.

The Register asked Adblock how much revenue it made from charging 10 per cent of firms to have their ads unblocked, but it declined to comment.

A number of publishers have brought cases against Adblock in Germany, claiming its practices are illegal. Yesterday, global publishing house Axel Springer was the latest to lose its case against the company, with a court in Cologne, Germany ruling in favor of Adblock Plus.

The independent board will be decided early next year. ®

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