A case in France being contemplated by Le Geste, the professional organization of online publishers, and IAB France, which dictates the standards for online advertising in France, against AdBlock Plus, the internet ad blocking software, and its parent Eyeo GmbH. As reported in Les Echos, the case is on the basis that AdBlock Plus threatens their business – and that Eyeo is effectively extorting money from them by offering partnerships that circumvent AdBlock.

Actually, it appears that criticism of Eyeo is fully justified – and doubtless it doesn’t hurt in France that the culprit is German – but that does little to undercut the real reasons for its sucess. Les Echos quotes figures of 5 million users of AdBlock Plus already in France alone, Content audiences are simply turning off – and being turned off – ads, and the content companies are suffering accordingly.

Unfortunately, French media and advertising companies at least do not yet seem to be ready to rise to the challenge of creating new forms of marketing, or ads that people might actually watch and enjoy. Product placement, site sponsorship, or other forms of advertising just do not seem to be getting the job done. But, in a trend all too common in France, the producer interests seem ready to shoot the messenger rather than hear the bad tidings or move themselves to do something.


  1. I continue to point to Ravelry as an example of how to do ads right — their ads are inobtrusive and well-targeted to the site’s audience, and the vast majority of Ravelry users not only don’t mind the ads but welcome them.

    Of course, what works for a site dedicated to a particular group of hobbies isn’t automatically going to work for a site without such a well-defined market, and most of the sites struggling with how to make advertising work seem to be the sites with broader audience. And even with companies gathering so much data on us, advertising services haven’t figured out how to *really* narrowly target ads. (Though if Google Ads ever shows me an ad for an unfamiliar Finnish folk-rock band’s album, I’ll revise that opinion.)

  2. There is a small percentage of people who won’t tollerate advertising in any form.. I’m not one of them.. I have nothing against ads. They sponsor the content, and they can even be useful. Somtimes, you come across an ad for something you want need, but didn’t know about until you saw the ad.. win win.

    Somewhere along the way, both on Televevision, and epsecially the net, Advertising has gone from trying to be useful and entertaining to trying to to be the most annoying and making the most noise. Adverstising companies and many websites that depend on ads have done *nothing* to prevent this trend, and so I feel no sympathy when I was finally pressured into installing ad-block plus. Before I was happy with just flash blockers and disabled animation, as well as Javascript blacklist for misbehaved sites, but Ironically, it was Kobo advertisement served via Google that finally tipped me over to ad block plus, (It was annoyingly animated with HTML5)

  3. Very few people disable adds in Google result pages. Why? Because they are unobtrusive to the point that you do not want to deal with the hassle of installing something.

    A typical add on a typical web page is usually so loud and annoying that it is impossible to concentrate on reading the text. So I have no choice but to use things like adblock.

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