Adblock Plus Releases Updated Criteria for Acceptable Ads Program; Transparency on Pricing

Updates to Acceptable Ads program and more pricing information helps Adblock Plus prepare for 2016 handoff to independent committee

Adblock Plus, the #1 most popular browser extension for blocking annoying online advertisements with over 400 million downloads, announced that it has updated its Acceptable Ads criteria, the rules for better ads that advertisers must abide by to be included on the extension’s whitelist, in preparation for a 2016 handover to an independent committee. In addition, Adblock Plus made the Acceptable Ads program even more transparent by releasing new information about how the whitelisting process creates compensation.

Adblock Plus developed the first criteria for Acceptable Ads with their users in a series of forum discussions in 2011. Since that time the company has conducted a number of studies, including one recent survey with Ipsos and a previous eye-tracking study, which were used to make minor updates to the Acceptable Ads program. While the foundation of Acceptable Ads criteria will not be affected, the updates make the criteria more specific and digestible, help make the initiative more scalable and provide a solid platform for an independent board to take control of the criteria in 2016.

The updated criteria are available here.

In addition to the improved criteria, Adblock Plus announced more information about how they monetize through the Acceptable Ads initiative. The Acceptable Ads initiative is a certification process for ads that meet specific criteria, and the largest companies that are certified pay a licensing fee for the process. Starting today, the Adblock Plus website clarifies what divides a paying advertiser from a non-payer and explains the base fee.

The new page devoted to explaining payment information is available here.

“We always said that the Acceptable Ads criteria could change as the Web and advertising changes,” said Till Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus. “Before we step back from them for good and hand the job over to an independent board, they needed a slight polish with things we’ve been working on for the past couple of years. Plus, we thought it was time to open up our monetization policies to the public, so that people can better understand how a free project like ours is financed.”

“This is just the opening salvo,” he continued. “We plan on releasing more information about how our company works in the near future, and are looking forward to seeing where ad blocking goes in 2016 when the Acceptable Ads independent committee meets for the first time.”


Adblock Plus is a free download for mobile users on iOS and Android, and a free browser add-on for Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Maxthon and Opera.

About Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus is an open source project that aims to rid the Internet of annoying and intrusive online advertising. Its free web browser extensions (add-ons) put users in control by letting them block or filter which ads they want to see. Users across the world have downloaded Adblock Plus over 400 million times, and it has remained the most downloaded and the most used extension almost continuously since November 2006. PC Magazine named the extension as one of the best free Google Chrome extensions, and it received readers’ choice award for best privacy/security add-on.

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