Yahoo joins battle against ad-blocking

Tech giant Yahoo has joined the fight against ad-blockers in the United States by preventing users with blocking software from accessing their emails, as world-wide resistance to the practice grows.

Users in the US reported they were prompted with a message asking them to disable their ad-blocker before being allowed to access their inbox.

Yahoo confirmed the move, saying it was testing a “new product experience” in the US. Many users took to social media to voice their disapproval.

A similar action is unlikely in Australia. The policies of Yahoo US do not necessarily apply to Yahoo7 in Australia because it is a joint venture, a spokesperson for the company said.

Meanwhile, European publisher Axel Springer has continued its fight against ad-blocking by taking the developers of Blockr, the iOS9 ad-blocking app, to court to prevent its use.

The law firm representing developers argued that its software was legal and should be allowed to continue. It also was the user’s choice to use an ad blocker, the firm said.

The court appeared to agree with the Blockr lawyers, and pointed out that Axel Springer had other options as to how it dealt with the issue. For example, it could lock out users from a website when it detected the use of ad blocking software, as it had done in the past.

The final ruling will be on December 10.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau Australia announced last month that it would launch new guidelines that would help advertisers alleviate some aspects of content that could lead to consumer frustration and ad-blocker use.

These included content that slowed download speeds or could be intrusive.

The more consumer-friendly standards, the Light, Encrypted, Ad choice supported, Non-invasive Ads program (L.E.A.N.) will be launched in Australia next year.

L.E.A.N. Ads were introduced by IAB UK in October this year.

IAB Australia also will launch a study next year to improve its understanding of how consumers perceive ad-funded content. The study was inspired by similar research in the UK that found that 61 per cent of adults surveyed preferred to view content with ads rather than paying for content.

A call by global industry body WAN-IFRA at the end of September for all newspaper publishers to join forces to fight against ad blocking prompted a special report on the issue by The Newspaper Works, with research and insights manager Brian Rock looking at possible resolutions.

Publishers must join forces to confront the risk to revenue posed by the rapid rise of ad blockers, theWorld Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) has urged.

The global news industry body has formed a new coalition with Digital Content Next (formerly the Online Publishers Association) to help address ad blocking.

More on ad blocking:

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