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Ad flog Plus: Adblock Plus now an advertising network, takes cash to broker web banners

Everyone's got a price

The maker of ad-busting plugin Adblock Plus (ABP) has opened up a market to let publishers and advertisers link up on ads that it will not filter out.

A new "Acceptable Ads Platform" (AAP) marketplace will allow advertisers to pay to get around the ABP settings, while also providing site owners and publishers the ability to choose which ads are served up to readers who use ABP, while paying ABP a tidy commission in the process.

Publishers (such as site owners and bloggers) can access the market and select from lists of pre-screened ads on the ABP whitelist. They then receive payouts for page impressions (with ABP taking a 30 per cent cut from advertisers in the process).

The aim of the market, which is currently classified as a beta program, is to allow publishers to streamline the process of getting non-intrusive, pre-screened ads onto their page (and around the ABP blocks) with less of a hassle.

"Looking ahead, the chief improvements the AAP will offer are its feedback mechanism, the way that mechanism will turn real-time bidding on its head and how the AAP will be an especial boon to small blogs and medium-sized publishers," writes ABP head of communications Ben Williams.

The marketplace beta is part of ABP's ongoing project to make peace with advertisers and publishers who are angered by the plugin blocking their primary revenue source. ABP maker Eyeo is developing policies that would – depending on user settings – allow through ads that are not overly intrusive, distracting, or pose a security threat to readers.

You can still choose to block all ads with Adblock Plus if you wish, meaning you'll see no banners at all.

Eyeo created the AAP process as part of that effort, and last year the developer announced plans to give control over the definition of "acceptable ads" under the platform to an independent committee.

"Acceptable Ads is a process, not a destination," Williams said. "We've been tinkering with it, trying to get it just right – so that, in my own words that you're probably totally sick of hearing, we make a 'compromise between users and advertisers'." ®

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