Popup-blocking is theft

November 25th, 2002 § 9 comments

If you are using a browser that block popups, you are a thief, according a company called Anti-Leech.

This company makes a “tool” that allow a site to deny access to visitors using popup-blocking tools. The company says this kind of blocking steals the profit companies would receive from ads.

Don’t people ever learn? Banners and popups are not a viable form of advertising anymore. Last time I checked, click-through rates were down to 0.5%, meaning only big sites can profit from this kind of ads.

Well, if a site calls me a thief because I block popups that don’t interest me, they are not worth visiting anyway.

§ 9 Responses to Popup-blocking is theft"

  • Mark says:

    You want my content you put up with my ads. No ads no content – simple :)

    Oh – I don’t serve popups and the site is entirely funded by advertising banners quite nicely thank you. The ad-blocker detection is home-brew and only just installed.

    Mark
    http://www.yourjokes.co.uk

  • Ronaldo says:

    That’s OK, as long as you don’t call me a thief because I don’t want popups or ads. After all, everybody has the right to decide whether he or she wants your content — and you ads — or not.

  • Mark says:

    I wouldn’t call anybody using ad-blockers a thief – freeloaders yes – thief no.

    I believe the rash of ad-blockers appeared because of pop-ups and pop-unders which I too find irritating so I won’t serve them.

    The problem for me is that http://www.yourjokes.co.uk is funded entirely from advertising and the ad-blockers can and do interfere with the operation of normal banner ads. If those ads don’t work I get no revenue – the same must be true of countless other sites. I suspect the end result will be fewer free access websites. If some genious comes up with a viable micro-payments scheme ads would vanish. Maybe a micro PayPal ?

    In the meantime I think I may develop my own home-brew stuff into a product and try selling it. Not sure quite what the best marketing method would be though – banners or pop-ups :)

    Mark
    http://www.yourjokes.co.uk
    http://www.kwikbreaks.co.uk – no blocker detection – yet :)

  • Ronaldo says:

    I understand your concerns. I try to honor the site needs when I use a free service. I usually don’t block ads, but I always block popups. If a site can’t work without popups, that is fine. I will enable popups selectively if I need the content. As I said, I only object to people calling me a thief :)

    I agree that the best solution for funding sites would be micro-payments. Although I don’t think ads work anymore — because of the so-called “banner blindness”, which makes people automatically ignore ads in Web pages — I understand that many sites have no other option. Unfortunately, micro-payments seem to be far from viable yet and I guess we will have to put up with ads for a long time.

    As for you product, as long as you don’t spam, everything else is fine 😉

  • Mark says:

    Spam – now there is some spawn of the devil – I’ve given up on the freeserve email I used to post here – I started getting spam on it before I’d even used it to send an email let alone as an address to register on anything.

    I suppose eventually freeserve will bin it andthe email will go as I never use it todial up anymore I just grab the mail from it on the remote chance that there will be something there other than vaigra ads and invites to watch various perversions.

    Mark
    http://www.yourjokes.co.uk

  • Ronaldo says:

    I had similar experiences with various Internet services providers. Small providers are likely to profit more from selling the e-mail addresses of their users than from paid access, so it’s a huge temptation for them.

    I hope someday somebody will devise a clever way to stop spam. The new Bayesian filtering in Mozilla is a great improvement, but there is still a long way to go.

  • mark says:

    I happened to spot that someone visited yourjokes from here – the blocking of visitors with ad blockers is temporarily removed while I come up with a general purpose set of code I can sell to others.

    That is not likely to happen any time soon as I’m working on other stuff more likely to generate some income first ( http://www.mx5bitz.co.uk ).

    So – all you freeloaders are (temporarily) wlelcome :)

    Mark
    http://www.yourjokes.co.uk

  • Ronaldo says:

    Hehe! Thanks for letting me know… :-) However, it’s unlike the person was blocking ads. I’m one of the few intolerant enough to do so. :-)

  • Robin Barrett says:

    I don’t mind ads. You have a right to your ads. But pop-ups, pop-unders, and installation of programs (like gator) without my permission is not fair use of advertising.

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