back to article More and more Brits are using ad-blockers, says survey

22 per cent of British adults now use ad blocking software, up from 15 per cent last July – and by four per cent over three months. The survey was compiled for trade group the Internet Advertising Bureau by YouGov. The IAB wants more consumer-friendly and “lighter” ads to fend off an “Adpocalypse”. Two weeks ago mobile …

  1. Andy Non
    Megaphone

    Turn it off? Not no way, no chance, no how.

    "54 per cent of those surveyed (and more 18-24s) said they’d turn the blocker off to reach a particular site or service."

    I've been using Adblock+ for many years (and NoScript) and I've never turned off ad blocking in all that time. I recently tried browsing the web using someone else's computer (no blocking) and it was an entirely different, horrible place, with pop up ads, ads blocking the content, flashing ads and even someone shouting an advert at me. F**k all that! How do people use the web without an ad blocker?

    1. RikC

      Re: Turn it off? Not no way, no chance, no how.

      Yep, same combination here. Especially NoScript is a delight when you turn on the synchronization function in about:config so your own configuration of scripts you've allowed is available across the devices you're using. I recently stumbled upon websites blocking you in those instances (typically the kind of website that offers you the well known kind of "did you know that" infotainment to keep you distracted from work). Simple choice then, not visiting anymore: Because when a website is so keen on such things the likelihood that their information is irrelevant distraction is simply quite high! :-D

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How do people use the web without an ad blocker?

      the same way you do it (and I do it), only the opposite. What I mean is that take it for granted, and then, when they see my google start page, with just a search box, they gasp, feel lost... but generally, very soon they see the light, and from there on, it's a one-way road for them, oh yeah! ;)

      1. Graham Marsden

        Re: How do people use the web without an ad blocker?

        Very very rarely I will switch off my ad blocker if there's a site I *need* to use and can't access it without, but more often I switch to another browser that doesn't block, but which clears history, cache, cookies and so on as soon as I exit.

        1. BobChip
          Unhappy

          Re: How do people use the web without an ad blocker?

          Likewise. I will - occasionally - turn off my ad-blocker, and usually Ghostery as well, when I find an article I really want to read, and if that supports a genuine content provider I don't have a problem with that. It does take a few moments to do, and of course it all has to be turned back on afterwards, but I can live with that for good content.

          Where I take issue is with the sheer junk content of most advertising. I'm no Einstein, but it is so blatantly obvious that most of the stuff out there is fake or at best highly dubious, even when it is not outright malware. And it sucks up my bandwith. Advertisers complain that I have no "right" to steal their expensively created "content", but also believe as an article of faith that they can treat my paid-for bandwidth as a free good. IT IS NOT! Ad-blocking helps me control my costs, and until the advertisers put their house in order, adverts will stay blocked.

          Have an up vote from me, Graham.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: How do people use the web without an ad blocker?

            "Advertisers complain that I have no "right" to steal their expensively created "content", but also believe as an article of faith that they can treat my paid-for bandwidth as a free good."

            That's the point.

            All advertising on the Internet is "cost shifted to the recipient" - which means that advertisers need to respect the recipient's wishes or face being blocked.

            The fact that so many demand access at all costs shows that the spammer mindset is alive and kicking in the marketing community.

            1. Glenturret Single Malt

              Re: How do people use the web without an ad blocker?

              I buy the actual paper edition of the Times each Saturday. First job is to run the mechanical adblock filter by going through it, taking out all the advertising supplements and binning them, unlooked at and unloved. Then, when reading the paper itself, my heart leaps with delight when I see a full page ad, knowing that I can ignore that page completely; even more so if it is a double page spread - I can turn over to the next page without even giving it a glance. The advertisers' "expensively created content" serves a good purpose - in the recycling bin - and has had minimal influence on my purchasing intentions.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How do people use the web without an ad blocker?

        " when they see my google start page, with just a search box, they gasp, feel lost"

        Probably not the best example - the google search page is hardly cluttered with adverts anyway... I just went to it, switched off adblock... no difference.

    3. Cynical Observer

      Re: Turn it off? Not no way, no chance, no how.

      @Andy

      ...Declaration - I've been running AdBloclPlus or uBlock Origin for tears - coupled with NoScript on my laptop and AdblockPlus on the phone. And likewise, I am in shock if I borrow a machine that does not have them installed.

      But..... I have previously (and will again) turned it off on the phone when I hit an AdWall. The page simply would not render with the AdBlock enabled. It happened to be a news article that I was particularly keen to read - so yes, there was a need to compromise on this occasion.

      Will it happen again - yes.

      Will AdWalls become prevalent? Personally I hope not but if they do then I can see me reassessing which sites I can and can't be bothered visiting - similar to pay walls.

      e.g I don't click on links to articles on The Times - I'm not prepared to pay and I know that as such the link is useless. If AdWalls and flashy intrusive advertising become the norm on a site then it will probably see me behave similarly

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Turn it off? Not no way, no chance, no how.

        I will admit I get ratty when I see likes to that site.

        Why can't google news automatically filter out paywalls and the like?

        Or could I configure my browser to look like a robot?

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          Re: Turn it off? Not no way, no chance, no how.

          "Why can't google news automatically filter out paywalls and the like?"

          Think it through (or make a wild guess)...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Turn it off? Not no way, no chance, no how.

          "Or could I configure my browser to look like a robot?"

          If you were to do that, you would find your browsing a horrible experience missing large chunks of content.

      2. Triggerfish

        Re: Turn it off? Not no way, no chance, no how.

        There's a couple of sites I do, they are however not only useful sites to me but also do not have stupid flashing adverts, self playing videos, and the content/advert ratio means I still feel like I am reading a site rather than a glossy spread.

        I do not really mind advertising, I have learnt to ignore it to some degree and so can live with it when its OK. However tracking me, commercialising me and my data, epilepsy inducing flashing things, fecking pop up windows that wander across the screen (el reg..seriously considering the site, considering it's readership, how? I mean really how did you think it was going to end up?), and all the other things advertisers think we actually want as part of our advertisig experience. Have caused me to go for the software option of nuke every ad on every site I can out of habit.

        It was the advertising companies fault they are the ones who wanted to play the big boys and be twats about it.

        1. Tom 13

          @Triggerfish

          I concur about the intrusiveness of the current crop of ads. I've tolerated it until today because I've figured it was the cost of getting free content. Websites have to make money somehow. But some of the ads have become SO intrusive I just loaded a blocker. And yes, I have the self-playing videos as well. It's MY data stream damn it! You can f*cking well ASK my permission before playing.

          1. KeithR

            Re: @Triggerfish

            "But some of the ads have become SO intrusive I just loaded a blocker. And yes, I have the self-playing videos as well. It's MY data stream damn it! You can f*cking well ASK my permission before playing."

            This, really.

            I'm not miltantly anti-ad on principle: it's the experience that results from allowing ads, rather than the ads themselves, that provoke me to block them (I've been blocking them waaaay before it became A Thing - anyone else remember Siemens' "WebWasher? I was running that in 2000).

            With bandwidth no longer being an issue, I'd happily accept some ads - but until they're delivered more unobtrusively, and are better targeted (I don't really mind Google's servings - they're usually on point, but I don't give a flying fark about pensions advice some random US pensions broker when I'm in the UK and nowhere near retiring), ad-blocking it will have to be.

    4. Grikath
      Facepalm

      Re: Turn it off? Not no way, no chance, no how. @ Andy Non

      "F**k all that! How do people use the web without an ad blocker?"

      We simply do?

      There's a fair amount of sites that *do* make sure their "source of extra income/hosting cost mitigation" behaves within acceptable parameters. They get the ad-blockers turned off. Unless they take the piss, of course.. The others.. well.. let's say you only get One Chance.. ( El Reg, for instance, has borked theirs several times already.. ah well...)

      And of course.. being "safe" behind your adblockers and noscripters has not given you the necessary desensitation and necessary knowledge to Not Go There Without.... that people who do regularly turn off their blockers, or do completely without have. By being militant about blocking, you failed to grow the callouses you need, and never learned to use the ads themselves as indicators of whether or not a site is worth visiting. You are the little lab rat that never saw the outside world, and has no clue, and no immunity..

      So the icon is for you, for making the crucial mistake of Ivory Towering, and acting all surprised when that does. not. work.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Turn it off? Not no way, no chance, no how. @ Andy Non

        "never learned to use the ads themselves as indicators of whether or not a site is worth visiting."

        I tend to find assessing the site content is a better indication than adverts that are served by a third party. If the content is crap or I need to turn off blocking - bye bye. I'm getting older and as I age I find my tolerance for bull lowering. It's just easier to close the tab, there are very few sites that I need to visit...

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Turn it off? Not no way, no chance, no how.

      yup - same here - adblock plus on here. In addition, I have disabled embedded apps (click to run flash etc), Javascript opt in, and disabled third party cookies.

      The web is a fast, and enjoyable place. I tried a particular website on a colleagues computer and the page took ages to load and ultimately failed (as it couldn't load a particular advert).

  2. Steve Todd

    Take note of this yourself El Reg

    I was content to do without ad blocking myself until your huge banner and animated ads made the site unusable on a mobile device. Things have improved vastly since it was enabled. Limit the space and bandwidth of your ads or we'll do it for you.

    1. davidp231

      Re: Take note of this yourself El Reg

      The Android app isn't much better... open opening an article, the ad loads first, and half the time it doesn't bother trying to load the actual article afterwards. Ads load first time, every time though...

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Take note of this yourself El Reg

        open opening an article, the ad loads first

        Seeing more of this and yes on 3/4g with hit-and-miss connectivity and fluctuating data rates it is highly irritating... Also if you are running an adblocker the site will serve up an ad 'requesting' you to turn off your adblocker. Naturally when you turn off the adblocker and refresh, the site will condescend to display the content you were wanting to see; network permitting...

        It is a great shame that Agnitum have sold out, because they included an excellent web content blocker in their Outpost product for many years (it predates Adblock et al), unfortunately, they only did a plug-in for IE, so using it in Chrome etc. wasn't a user friendly point-and-click experience...

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Take note of this yourself El Reg

        "The Android app isn't much better..."

        You can get Apps like Ad Away (which drop in hosts file entries for most of the annoying webvertisers) and that will nuke most app parasites in addition to cleaning up the browsing experience.

    2. cyberdemon
      Go

      I don't use an ad blocker

      But I still don't see those nasty flashy-background ads on The Register (unless i'm on someone else's computer, in which case my first reaction is 'eww').

      The reason I don't see them is purely *because* the ads are so intrusive - they are running a whole load of javascript either to jump in your face or to slurp up your data (Mouse pointer tracking, anyone? Where's my tinfoil hat?)

      As I say, I don't use adblock. But I DO use a whitelist Javascript blocker (ScriptSafe for Chrome). This *breaks* most bad ads (including those on El Reg, and of course Google's innocuous-looking but data-slurping ones) but lets the "good" ads through. I.e. those which are a simple HTML image with a hyperlink. Those nasty ones that slow this site down just don't load, because they are pulled in by a script that doesn't get run. So the page loads much faster too.

      The only downside is that it breaks functionality on some websites (especially badly written ones) until I whitelist a whole domain. I often have to hunt a bit for the "functionality" scripts on a page, avoiding those which are "anti-functionality". But it's a small price to pay IMO for avoiding having my data slurped, and not seeing intrusive ads.

    3. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Take note of this yourself El Reg

      Sorry to say the Ads on El Reg are serious hogs of time, screen and system resources.

      I know your moto is Biting the hand that feeds IT but seriously I think you're half way through sawing off the branch you're sitting on.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: Take note of this yourself El Reg

        El Reg has intrusive adverts? Can't say I noticed...

  3. Kraggy

    When ad networks

    a) guarantee not to inflict malvertising on me

    b) never use animated ads

    c) never use ads with audio

    I MAY decide to remove AdBlock+ .. and I fully expect to see ice in Hell before that happens.

    And yes, Steve Todd, a very apposite comment, I do love good doses of irony.

    1. Known Hero
      Thumb Up

      apposite

      My new word for the day, I like it :) Many thanks.

    2. Tom 13

      @Kraggy

      You left off the one that finally pushed me over the edge:

      d) never obscures the content I actually came to read/watch

  4. Unep Eurobats

    Very different from magazines

    People were always fine with ads in magazines that they'd paid for. A good print ad can enhance the experience. How different it would be if you had to wait for 30 seconds before you could turn the page and then when you did the whole thing fell apart.

    Web ads have a long way to go. The blocker stays on.

    1. Richard Jones 1
      WTF?

      Re: Very different from magazines

      I did/do hate those ads in magazines which are printed on stiff boards and usually tear them out before trying to read the rest of the book. I guess that was a sort of physical add block.

      I wonder what the ads were for?

      On second thoughts, don't bother!

      1. BugabooSue
        Pint

        Re: Very different from magazines

        @Richard Jones 1

        "and usually tear them out before trying to read the rest of the book"

        I do exactly the same - I thought I was the only one!! :)

        Have a beer and an Up for making me smile

        (PS If I accidentally see the company responsible for the advert, I make a mental note not to buy from them in the future. Childish, true, but it makes me feel better at the time to think that there is the *possibility* their advert has had a negative effect on me...)

      2. Darryl

        Re: Very different from magazines

        Those annoying stiff card ads bound into the magazine are the print version of the pop-up ads on websites that move around and play audio.

        I remember Car and Driver waaay back when promised that if you subscribed to the magazine, you'd always receive a copy with none of those irritating cards stuck inside.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      Re: Very different from magazines

      Speak for yourself buddy. I always remove magazine adverts with scissors before reading articles.

      1. Andy Non

        Re: Very different from magazines

        Today I bought a newspaper for the first time in a very long while based on an interesting front page article. As I picked it up some loose ad cards and leaflets fell out of the middle so I just tipped the rest out and left them on the news stand. I don't mind printed ads in the paper and generally skip over them but I'm not taking extra litter home.

    3. Triggerfish

      Re: Very different from magazines

      No the advert to content ratio in them has actually grown so much I rarely buy magazines anywmore, why pay £6-8 for a glossy magazine of adverts, postman drops the same shit through my door everyday as free junk mail.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Very different from magazines

        Isn't that what eventually did in Computer Shopper - when people realised that they were paying for an insane advert:content ratio?

        1. Tom 13

          Re: Isn't that what eventually did in Computer Shopper

          Nope. I actually use to buy it FOR the ads. Their content was crap.

          What did them (and pretty much all the rest of the print PC mags) in was the internet. You had tech savvy people who understood it, it cut costs for everybody, you could do direct comparisons, and you could save a week by ordering on line.

          I suppose I should note one of the useful features of the ads back then was they frequently listed prices for key items.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Isn't that what eventually did in Computer Shopper

            "Nope. I actually use to buy it FOR the ads. Their content was crap."

            That was the point. But eventually it went from some of the ads being crap to most of them.

            Ads are supposed to pay for the magazine/newspaper (what you pay bears little relationship to production costs and is more related to distribution, plus "what the market will bear").

            On the internet the same thing applies, but the same as I stopped reading mags which over time became more useless ads vs useful copy, I'll stop using a site if the copy is bad - but in the meantime I tend to block the ads because they're intrusive.

            (I'll bring up the subject of bandwidth charges, especially on mobiles. Webvertisers and spammers all think that the Internet is free, but that's because the recipient is paying.)

    4. Tom 13

      Re: Very different from magazines

      And the print ads never scrolled over on top of the article you were reading while you were trying to do so.

    5. Paul Shirley

      Re: Very different from magazines

      I'm pretty sure it could take 30sec finding the 1st real page in some of those 1000page monster magazines. I think it was Watford that had the genius idea of booking the pages before the real content AND having a smaller page size for their catalog and a natural bookmark, helping skip past the ads while still showing you theirs!

  5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    54 per cent of those surveyed (and more 18-24s) said they’d turn the blocker off to reach a particular site or service

    Sounds like "do what I say, not what I do".

    Polls like this remind me of those that regularly demand more spending and lower taxes: people know that they are not accountable for such opinions.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      True. Everybody lies to a man with a clipboard.

      It is also a well established fact that 57,3 % of all statistics used to make a point in any discussion are made up on the spot.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        It is also a well established fact that 57,3 % of all statistics used to make a point in any discussion are made up on the spot.

        I'll think you'll find the latest survey put it at 73.75%

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge
          Joke

          Meh - 85% of all statistics on the internet are made up. So said Abe Lincoln, and this site is selling a bargain wooden plaque to commemorate this.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More and more Brits are using ad-blockers, says survey

    wonderful job with those surveys, almost as good as with the ICO!

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    'The IAB wants more consumer-friendly and “lighter” ads to fend off an “Adpocalypse”.'

    They should have thought of that a few years ago and not just "wanted" but insisted. It's far too late now. Welcome to the Adpocalypse.

    1. MrXavia

      agreed, as soon as these damned auto-play audio and video ads appeared, adblock stayed on

      I now use it to remove other crud from sites that are full of non-ad but infuriating things (such as facebook constantly trying to get me to add friends i don't want!!)

  8. Steve Crook

    Ad free please

    I'd rather pay £25 a year and have an ad free service from all the sites I visit. Hell will freeze over before I click on an advert in a browser, so the best anyone's going to get is thousandth's of a penny per ad per page view.

    I pay a central service, and like the performing rights society it divvies out a sum to all the sites I visit. Top up as and when necessary.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Ad free please

      So, what do you think of the idea I had for a "PayPal" browser that would allow you to do just that?

      1. Steve Crook

        Re: Ad free please

        Sounded just like the sort of thing I've been looking for.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      Re: Ad free please

      I pay a central service, and like the performing rights society it divvies out a sum to all the sites I visit.

      You've not dealt with the PRS have you?

    3. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Ad free please

      So the PRS-equivalent keeps a record of which sites you've been to. Interesting.. I wonder what they'd be tempted to do with that sort of information...

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Ad free please

        Well, you could easily anonymise the payment stuff through a clearing house. I'm just thinking of the integration of paywalls in the browser as a way of lowering the barrier to entry.

        Visit The Register initially for free then after a while it's used up and you get offered conditional access: single article, monthly sub, yearly, etc. Or ad-supported access with ad-blockers disabled for that site.

        To be honest I'd be more worried about abuse of the service by unscrupulous websites than by the data slurping stuff.

      2. Steve Crook

        Re: Ad free please

        Dude, the world already knows that. Besides no-one really cares how often you visit pornhub...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same here

    Enabling Adblocking,,stopping Javascript, adding more than 3000 entries to the hosts file and nuking FLASH is SOP for me and many other like minded people I know.

    As a certified Grumpy Old Man, I never:-

    - Buy anything advertised to me on TV. most of the time I skip the Ads anyway because they are not relevant to me in any way shape or form.

    - Go to any site more than once that detects the present of Adblock and tells me to disable it.otherwise they won't let me see the content.

    - Answer ANY unsolicited telephone marketing/survey phone calls.

    - etc.

    - etc

    I do however subscribe/contribute to a few sites in lieu of the revenue loss from me blocking the ads.

    And yes, I did once work for an Ad agency (shame on me)

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Same here

      "And yes, I did once work for an Ad agency"

      Do you know if the industry has ever attempted to measure the net effect of advertising? They can easily say x% of people who saw an ad bought from it. But if y% were so pissed off that they made a mental note never to buy that product the net effect is actually x-y% and that could very easily be a negative number.

      I doubt its something that could be easily researched. I also doubt that anyone with any sense in the ad industry would avoid doing that for fear of what they might find but there seems to be sufficient arrogance that the possibility of finding something to burst their bubble might never occur to them.

      1. Andy Non

        Re: Same here

        @Doctor Syntax. There is definitely a "pissed off" effect from some advertising. I've deliberately excluded various products, large and small, due to them having annoying advertising; especially those who shout on TV adverts. I'm on the lookout for a new small car and based on that crappy irritating TV advert for Suzuki cars where some twat shouts like a car horn, I definitely won't be buying one of those. There used to be a double glazing advert on TV years ago too where they shouted and shouted, so I replaced my double glazing with one of their competitors. If advertisers get in my face they are automatically excluded.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Same here

        "But if y% were so pissed off that they made a mental note never to buy that product the net effect is actually x-y% and that could very easily be a negative number."

        Back in the 1980s when I looked at this, advertisers reckoned that the really annoying adverts (Colgate's australasian "Mrs Marsh" ads being a classic example) caused the product name to stick in people's minds long after they'd forgotten the negativity.

        Of course if you're feeling like a "right evil bastard" and have b/w to spare, you might setup something to repeately drag down as much advertising as possible to drive up their bandwidth costs and/or click charges.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      Re: Same here

      If advertising din't work, then people wouldn't pay extra for branded goods.

      1. Known Hero

        Re: Same here

        Trust in a brand is not equated to advertising.

        I would attribute trust in a brand to past experience and judgement of that brand by my peers.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Same here

          "I would attribute trust in a brand to past experience and judgement of that brand by my peers."

          That is no longer a reliable yardstick. Replacing my venerable washing machine with the same established brand has produced a lemon. Just before the 1 year guarantee expired it obviously had a fault that was very unpredictable. The drum sometimes filled with water between washes - yet a much vaunted feature is an electronic "flood preventer" on the water inlet hose.The "helpline" merely books an engineer's visit - and tells you they will charge £100 if you can't show the fault.

          Even worse is the new dishwasher. Trying to get a recommendation from numerous friends showed that specific models were no longer on sale. In the end went for a Siemens that had good customer reviews on the John Lewis pages. It may be very quiet - but that seems to equate to it not cleaning anything other than items that have had all residues removed first.

          Wish I had gone for the "uneconomical" repairs for my old devices that had been reliable and effective.

        2. KeithR

          Re: Same here

          "Trust in a brand is not equated to advertising."

          But to gullibility.

          Which makes said individuals more susceptible to advertising.

      2. Lysenko

        Non sequitur

        I buy branded products, but that has nothing to do with positive advertising effects in the sense they are being discussed here.

        I bought my last car because I know someone with the same model and I liked it. If I were in the market for a new laptop (or whatever) I might well be guided by fellow commentards. Adverts? No. If I buy a branded product after the company has inflicted advertising on me then the purchase is despite of their annoying behaviour, not because of it.

      3. VinceH Silver badge

        @Lost all faith Re: Same here

        That merely hints at advertising working for those particular people - it doesn't necessarily mean the point made by Doctor Syntax is incorrect.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: @Lost all faith Same here

          Advertising can be completely irrelevant. I'll admit I love the Outback* ads they run on this side of the pond. But I never eat there. I have a mild allergic reaction to something in their spices. My lips go numb about halfway through the meal and I usually wind up with a stomach ache later. Mind you, I did LOVE the flavor when I tried it, but it doesn't agree with me. So no matter how much I like their ads, I never go there.

          *US steak chain just for clarity. Yes, I tried the chicken too, same effect. Why, because my friends love to go there. But after the chicken I gave up.

          1. Ben Boyle

            Re: @Lost all faith Same here

            @Tom 13

            Odd, my wife has the same reaction to Outback's food. Personally I find the over the top "aussie" accent used by their voice over people to be incredibly irritating, but I know a few others who think it;s great.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Lost all faith Same here

            I still have a lengthy mental list of companies, mainly local to London, that I studiously avoid due to radio advertising, principally LBC and Virgin radio, which my co-workers insisted on having on in our darkroom in the early 90s. Web advertising at its worst is dreadful, but I reckon nothing induces visceral and lasting loathing more thoroughly than a 'wacky zany' attention catching low budget ad yelling at you once every 10 minutes for hours on end. By the time web ads turned up a couple of years later, my lifetime patience quota for ads in general was well into overdraft, and it's been war on the lot of them in every medium but print ever since - thankfully a good deal easier these days.

            No wonder ITV has been heading down the pan in the last 15 years with their racking up of ad to programme ratios.

    3. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: Same here

      Only one TV add persuaded me to by the product and that was the original Boddingtons add with Melanie Sykes.

  10. Egghead & Boffin

    Right to choose

    I have a fundamental right to choose what I do, and do not, look at online or through broadcast media. If I don't want to see adverts in my TV programmes I either don't watch commercial channels at all or record the program and jump through the adverts (don't you love the 'skip' function on DVRS ?). I use Ublock (since Adblock sold out), ghostery and noscript to avoid wasting my time and bandwidth. Any site that uses adblocking detection is telling me that it no longer wants me to use their site.

    I fail to see how any organisation that forces me to see their adverts is expecting me to a) like the experience and b) be inclined to buy their products. If you have p*ssed me off I am not going to be a customer.

    I also agree with Kraggy, the adverts are all-too-often a means of infecting systems through insecure third party sytems. I choose not to accept that risk, but avoid it instead.

    I am obviously in the minority, because I would rather pay than see adverts online.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Right to choose

      "I am obviously in the minority, because I would rather pay than see adverts online."

      I'm not sure that that's properly tested. The number of sites one would pay for is always going to be less than those one might arrive at by a link from a paid for site. But that doesn't mean that there wouldn't be scope for worthwhile sites to earn paid subscriptions and - who knows? - maybe make more than they could through adverts.

      I can't help feeling that the people who are really being ripped off in all this are the actual advertisers, the people with the products being pushed. The advertising industry is taking money from them and presumably they see some orders coming in but the industry's antics might well be losing them more potential customers than they bring simply by being so annoying. But then, as I've said before, the one thing you can be sure the advertising industry sells successfully is itself.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Right to choose

        "I can't help feeling that the people who are really being ripped off in all this are the actual advertisers, the people with the products being pushed."

        Yup, as it ever was.

        My experience of being a business buying advertising was that the ad sales people are at least as slimy as the worst of their adverts in terms of what they guarantee it will do for your business - and will twist like a weasel on a stick when it doesn't.

  11. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I'd rather pay £25 a year and have an ad free service from all the sites I visit.

    But the "model" from subscription TV is not only do you pay for the content. You're *also* paying for the ****ing ads !

    Why pay for GoT - with ads - from Sky, when you can download GoT - without ads - for free ?

    1. KeithR

      Re: I'd rather pay £25 a year and have an ad free service from all the sites I visit.

      "Why pay for GoT - with ads - from Sky, when you can download GoT - without ads - for free ?"

      Dunno - something to do with not being a thieving parasite?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'd rather pay £25 a year and have an ad free service from all the sites I visit.

        I pay for a few streaming services, and pirate anyway. Service is much better on the pirated platform.

  12. adnim Silver badge
    Devil

    "More and more Brits are using ad blockers..."

    Word gets around.... Spread the word.

    I wouldn't really call such resistance to advertising militant. More passive imho.

    Militant would be DDoSiNg ad servers... This is not a suggestion. But take it as you will.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: "More and more Brits are using ad blockers..."

      "Militant would be DDoSiNg ad servers... "

      That would be nasty.

      Passive militancy might just be setting things up so the servers can tie up all their lovely bandwidth delivering to Dave Null.

      With a 80Mb/s connection that's mostly idle, home users could trivially bring the advertising industry to its knees - and the irony of complaining that website users are "viewing too many adverts" would be simply delicious.... <evilgrin>

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dont give a flying

    how much they tone adverts down. Or how "friendly" they make them, i will always block adverts.

    If i want to know about product A or service B then i will get of my arse and go research it myself.

    Adverts are nothing more than a pain in the spincter 99.99% of the time.

    I didnt ask for them, i dont want them and i will do anything and everything to stop them.

    By hook or by crook.

    Which is par for the course for some of the ad slingers tactics these days........

    Sauce for the goose...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dont give a flying

      Me too. Never watch live TV on a commercial channel any more because as soon as I come to an ad break I either turn over, or hit record if it's something I actually want to watch.

      I also have a mental list for when I come to sell my house, to lead on and waste as much time of any estate agent who posts junk mail through my letter box every fucking day. Hopefully by then they'll be defunct anyway as they provide no value whatsoever.

      As well as adblockers, I use my own DNS server in the house, so I don't get them on my phone either, at least when I'm at home. Apps that show ads usually get removed quickly anyway.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Dont give a flying

      I would not object to some ads in the page margins. If they were simple and unobtrusive.

      Ads that take over the site, flash, move etc.

      When that appeared was when I introduced adblock, ghostery etc.

      I will lift the curtain for some sites, from time to time. To pay my way. But if something nasty pops out I will not ever give it a second chance.

  14. Adrian Midgley 1

    The next step in the war of manners

    is to download the ads...

    into a place where they are not seen.

    I suppose one might add punishment, by one's ushabti automagically clicking the links in those ads...

  15. Elmer Phud

    Why the fuss just about Ad blocking?

    Is the running of things like Ghostery also not making inroads to income trails?

    How much income has been missed by not creating a paper-trail of my visits across the net?

    When are newspapers going to realise that ad-blockers are really just fancy HOSTS files?

    1. John Lilburne

      Re: Why the fuss just about Ad blocking?

      Of course and some sites are getting antsy when you run ghostery to block the web trackers, beacons, and other shite they want to shove at you. Fuckem. Doubleclick and Adsense will never be enabled on my machines.

      1. Boothy

        Re: Why the fuss just about Ad blocking?

        Some sites also seem to break if the tracking is disabled!

        I've had things like missing buttons, or pages that just won't load unless you disable ghostery and reload!.

  16. caffeine addict Silver badge

    Is there a decent adblock+ filter that only kills the really annoying ads?

    I hate ads, but I leave them enabled because I know that my favourite websites need to make money somehow. The only things I currently block are calls to the Facebook servers so that Zuck doesn't track me (and incognito FB when I visit deliberately). If there was an adblock+ list that just targeted the noisy ads and the ones that load a video ad without asking, I'd install that.

    Don't punish the publishers/websites - just the advertards who think being annoying is the same as being innovative.

    1. Cynical Observer

      Whitelist

      Isn't that what the ABP whitelist was suppose dto achieve - allow through the non-intrusive advertising.

      From their website....

      So starting in 2011, in consultation with our users, we decided to propose a compromise. Because we share a vision with the majority of our users that not all ads are equally annoying, the Acceptable Ads initiative was created. It allows advertisers and publishers who have agreed to make ads that abide by user-generated criteria to be whitelisted. Users can support this less extreme version of ad blocking by allowing the Acceptable Ads option to remain enabled. To browse completely ad-free, users can disable the option.

      It's not without issue and I know that the last time I was bothered to better inform myself, I decided to go for uBlockOrigin. That still gets disabled selectively for certain sites - typically e-commerce - where having it active means they just don't work.

      1. John Lilburne

        Re: Whitelist

        Problem with ABP whitelist is that it allows Google through. The advantage of the list is that you can add it to the list of things to block. Google get to pay ABP to give us a useful list of Google sites to block. I'm fine with that.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Whitelist

        "Isn't that what the ABP whitelist was suppose dto achieve - allow through the non-intrusive advertising."

        What the ABP whitelist proved was that advertisers want to have their cake and also eat it.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Facebook

      My wife moaned at me because I had FB in HOSTS to 127.0.0.1

      Simply because other sites linked to it and it was putting crap on the PC

  17. kryptonaut

    Like it or not...

    ... let's face it, everyone dislikes ads, but everyone equally dislikes paying for stuff. And at the moment ads largely pay for that stuff, so there is a problem.

    Rather than being smug about blocking ads and getting content without 'paying', how about people suggest constructive ideas for an acceptable alternative that still allows content providers to get funded according to how popular their content is?

    People claim that "it's my right to view sites without ads" - but it's equally a content provider's right not to serve you content if you block the ads. I predict that more and more sites will refuse to work without ads, and that this will be the undoing of the new ad-blocking networks/browsers - they will not catch on if only a fraction of the web works with them.

    Yes, ads are becoming increasingly irritating. We need to find a way either to rein that in, or to pay publishers through some other channel. But as it stands, having everyone block all web advertising is unfortunately not the answer - however much some people might want it to be.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      Re: Like it or not...

      > ...suggest constructive ideas ...

      Have a little box in a corner that just says 'advertisements', opening a page of ads when clicked on. I have yet to see this on any web site. I'd certainly click on these on much visited sites like El Reg.

    2. MrXavia

      Re: Like it or not...

      I would disagree that everyone dislikes ads, IF they are done right, they can be enjoyable to watch and inform you about a product. I enjoyed the 'good to be bad' Jaguar adverts.

      for me, web ads are very annoying when they basically show you something you've already looked at!

    3. John Lilburne

      Re: Like it or not...

      We only have ads because 20 years ago there weren't any trustworthy ways to pay for content. No payment processors etc. Ads were a way of doing it back then. The internet should grow up and find a more modern way to finance itself.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/06/technology/personaltech/banner-ads-the-monsters-that-swallowed-the-web.html?_r=2

      The banner ads got taken up by one trick ponies like DoubleClick and Google.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Like it or not...

        "The banner ads got taken up by one trick ponies like DoubleClick and Google."

        Doubleclick was the first outfit I ever /dev/nulled at the firewall and in DNS.

        Regardless of who owns them, they'll stay in there until the heat death of the universe.

    4. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Like it or not...

      The advertising industry deliberately chose to ignore the wishes of the majority.

      I am happy to let my browser download adverts that do not move, do not cause content to move, do not flash, do not make any noise, do not attmept to download anything else whatsoever and do not cover any content.

      Basically, I'm happy to accept static images and/or static text. Just like Google used to serve when it first launched.

      I only got an adblocker when adverts started moving around and making noise.

      Almost everyone who has an adblocker decided to get one because of an advert that they found untenable - and most will never, ever disable that blocker.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Like it or not...

        Same here.

        Popups and hoverovers.

        I blame the admongers

    5. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Like it or not...

      "... let's face it, everyone dislikes ads, but everyone equally dislikes paying for stuff. And at the moment ads largely pay for that stuff, so there is a problem."

      Ads might pay website operators, but downloading the ads costs the enduser. The more irksome/intrusive the ad (and therefore the more code or embedded movies it invariably contains), the more it costs.

      This is completely unlike the ad delivery model in every other kind of media. Think of adblockers as someone changing channels (it's that threat which mediates advertising on TV or Radio).

  18. Tromos

    Message to advertisers

    If you want to use some of my bandwidth, you can pay for it. Until then, I reserve the right to block, blank or otherwise mutilate anything destined for my connection.

    1. caffeine addict Silver badge

      Re: Message to advertisers

      Same goes for websites - if you want to use their bandwidth, you can pay for it in adverts. Until then, they reserve the right to block your access to content. Yeah?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Boffin

        Re: Message to advertisers

        Sure.

        And I reserve the right to scrape the content and defeat their anti-adblocking techniques.

        And they reserve the right to block my anti-anti-adblocking.

        And ...

        1. caffeine addict Silver badge

          Re: Message to advertisers

          And then they go behind a paywall because they're getting no revenue and you keep breaking the implied contract by taking their content without paying for it...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Message to advertisers

            Download a site-rip. Though probably there isn't a site-rip as the content just wasn't that valuable to begin with.

            1. caffeine addict Silver badge

              Re: Message to advertisers

              So - no more ElReg, yeah? Because no-one will pay for it and there's no point in a site rip because it would always be out if date.

              Its the adverts that pays for this site. By blocking all adverts regardless of how safe and friendly they are, you are costing ElReg money. Without that money, there is no Register.

              How are ppl so blind they can't see this?

              1. KeithR

                Re: Message to advertisers

                "How are ppl so blind they can't see this?"

                It's not that they can't see it - they're just too selfishly short-termist to care.

              2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

                Re: Message to advertisers

                > How are ppl so blind they can't see this?

                Can only speak for myself: I CANNOT look at a page with animations next to where I read. Even the changing job ads at the side (here on El Reg) are very distracting to me.

                Bandwidth: the ad page could say how much data it is, I'd be fine if the figure is reasonable.

                1. MJI Silver badge

                  Re: Message to advertisers

                  I detest moving ads one of the moain reasons along with popups I usually block ads.

                  I also have this with moving channel logos, ordinary channel logos bad enough, but moving ones!!!!!!!!!!!

                  Despite having a Freesat HD PVR I prefer to watch C4 than C4HD.

                  Haven't watched C5 since their logo returned, I told them at the time that viewers were more important than branding, but they are morons.

                  And if logos on TV channels are so important why take them off in the ads when all ad channels look the same.

                  Some of the TV ads are more watchable than the dross around them. As I FF rather than skip I stop to have a look if an ad grabs my attention.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Message to advertisers

            and if they go behind a paywall - IT. IS. FINE. BY. ME.

            but as they chose the "free", that is "free*" as in "free**" model, well, finally technology (and fads) have caught up with them. They can spiral into anti-blocking-anti-blocked-blocking-anti-blocks bollocks, or come up with an alternative "revenue streams". Like paywalls, or pay-per-click sh..., or any new uninvented way to make money without annoying their would-be customers.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Message to advertisers

              The register is one of only a few sites I'd use behind a pay wall.

              I love my free stuff, I don't block ads to piss of the register (or 99% of other sites) or to stop its income, I block ads because I don't want to see them.

              Ads are every-fucking-where, doesn't matter where you go, when you go, if someone thinks you will buy it, they will try to sell it.

              Not in my world they don't. Yes, my world is very very different from most other peoples worlds, I'm wired up wrong to start with but that doesn't mean I don't fight back.

              An hour of TV is 20 mins of adverts. Radio, 1 song, 14 adverts, rinse, repeat. Either charge £ or shut up fucking moaning because people are blocking ads. Give us a free ad site and an ad free pay wall one.

              1. KeithR

                Re: Message to advertisers

                "Either charge £ or shut up fucking moaning "

                And yet UKG wants the BBC licence scrapped...

              2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: Message to advertisers

                "I block ads because I don't want to see them"

                I block ads because they got intrusive. I keep blocking them because they've gotten moreso over the years.

                Just like spammers, marketers think the solution to fewer people clicking on adverts is "MORE ADVERTS!" and if more people are clicking on the ads, then "SELL MORE ADVERTS!"

                It's the tragedy of the commons writ large.

    2. KeithR

      Re: Message to advertisers

      "If you want to use some of my bandwidth, you can pay for it. Until then, I reserve the right to block, blank or otherwise mutilate anything destined for my connection."

      And - for free - you'll also get the opportunity to watch the internet slowly shrivel up and die...

      1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Message to advertisers

        > And - for free - you'll also get the opportunity to watch the internet slowly shrivel up and die...

        As if there was no internet before the ads came.

        1. caffeine addict Silver badge

          Re: Message to advertisers

          The first banner ad was in 1994, so advertising and the web have effectively gone hand in hand.

          1. Paul Shirley

            Re: Message to advertisers

            Oh yes, I remember the first banners. And the first adblockers turned up within weeks...

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Message to advertisers

              "And the first adblockers turned up within weeks..."

              Back in those days you could switch off images. It was easy and fast.

              The _vast_ majority of any website's bandwidth is images. Lose those and the operating costs are quite low. The problem is that website operators are now "trained" to think they must have ads.

  19. Graham Marsden
    Holmes

    The IAB wants more consumer-friendly and “lighter” ads

    You mean what *we've* wanted for years because of their annoying/ intrusive/ loud/ slow/ malware laden adverts which force us to use uBlock etc to allow us to browse in peace?

    See icon for details...

    1. VinceH Silver badge

      Re: The IAB wants more consumer-friendly and “lighter” ads

      Quite.

      I don't use an ad blocker per se, just NoScript which effectively blocks the worst, only letting through simple, static adverts served up using vanilla HTML. If [the site's own] scripts have been whitelisted, and adverts are served via the site's own Javascript, I'll see those. (I also use Ghostery for blocking trackers - but cookies are wiped at the end of every session here anyway.)

      On sites that carry simple adverts that are dished up that way, therefore, I see their advertising.

      So it's pretty much a case that I do see adverts that are more consumer-friendly and lighter. Sadly (for the sites) not many seem to carry that sort - though some do. Krebs on Security, for example.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I understand that people have to earn a crust but that doesn't mean by putting a megaphone at full volume 2cm from my ears and a 10 metre dancing animated billboard shoved right up to my nose.

    The advertising industry only has itself to blame for taking the piss, which is just about the consensus of everyone posting here it would appear.

    I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own!

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Be seeing you!

  21. caffeine addict Silver badge

    Since a large number of us here are supposedly IT professionals...

    How long would your employer last if their clients rejected all attempts to make money?

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Meh

      caffeine addict-

      Either an Advertising wonk, or Stef from UserFriendly.

      Same thing, really...

      1. caffeine addict Silver badge

        Re: caffeine addict-

        No... I'm a web developer. I just know that things need to be paid for by someone.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: caffeine addict-

          Of course they have to be paid for, but they also have to be worth what they are asking and be good value for money. If something ceases to exist because nobody wants it enough to pay for it and nobody wants to supply it for free then so be it. It was always living on borrowed time anyway.

          If the experience that the website gives becomes an unpleasant experience because of the ads then it is not worth visiting. In fact if a person doesn't want to see ads, yet they have them foisted on them, then the advertiser loses goodwill through their intrusive action, and therefore business.

          How are people so blind that they cannot see this?

          The goal is for these people to find a better way of monetizing the web, one that works and doesn't piss people off.

          1. KeithR

            Re: caffeine addict-

            "If the experience that the website gives becomes an unpleasant experience because of the ads then it is not worth visiting"

            That's a RIDICULOUSLY flawed conclusion.

            1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

              Re: caffeine addict-

              > That's a RIDICULOUSLY flawed conclusion.

              Wot? I stopped watching commercial TV long ago because of the ads. Simply cannot stand them. Do I need to feel bad about it? Btw. I do pay for content on my TV. Stopped buying DVDs because of forced ads as well.

              1. Andy Non

                Re: caffeine addict-

                @GrumpenKraut, Having recently moved back to the UK I'm horrified how many crap ads are on TV here. Most of the adverts are just plain annoying trying to push stuff I'm really not interested in such as online gambling sites, accident claims, PPI claims and other shite that I regard as barely legal scams. I'm now looking into buying a recorder purely to skip through the ads. It is either that or stop watching commercial TV because it really is that bad.

                1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
                  Mushroom

                  Re: caffeine addict-

                  > ...recently moved back to the UK...

                  Try US TV. The ad "brakes" where long enough I forgot what I tried to watch.

                  And then they had that channel that ran on donations only (npr? 13?, I forgot), I stuck to that (only) after I noticed it. No idea how it is now, that was about 1998.

                  Here is another thing that makes my blood boil: Ads for own program shown creeping up from bottom of screen in "slow" scenes. Here in GrumpenLand. I really want to gently stroke whoever is responsible for that, with a chainsaw.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: caffeine addict-

              "That's a RIDICULOUSLY flawed conclusion"

              Elucidate, please!

        2. Someone Else Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: caffeine addict-

          Oh, so you're responsible for that shit we're so desperately trying to shield ourselves from.

          Niiiiice!

          1. caffeine addict Silver badge

            Re: caffeine addict-

            Oh, so you're responsible for that shit we're so desperately trying to shield ourselves from.

            If that was to me, then no. I work on brand websites (shops, govt agencies, etc) or internal sites where you won't find an advert. Before that I worked for a games developer, who didn't want adverts taking ppl offsite. I think the last time I placed a banner ad was in about 2003, and that was for another service the company operated.

            So. What's the next assumption for how/why I'm a shill or have an invested interest in advertising?

      2. KeithR

        Re: caffeine addict-

        "Either an Advertising wonk "

        Doubt it - he's thinking a damn' sight straighter than some on here.

        1. caffeine addict Silver badge

          Re: caffeine addict-

          "Doubt it - he's thinking a damn' sight straighter than some on here."

          You take that back...

    2. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
      FAIL

      @caffeine addict

      Explain this: I get brochures for clothing posted through my letterbox. You would think that by not having the overhead of retail outlets that the items for sale would be cheaper. In fact they are more expensive and all such advertising goes unread into the bin. It's the same for TV, I would not buy anything that is advertised. The enormous cost of the TV advert means that the product is of inferior quality, overpriced or both.

  22. chivo243 Silver badge

    Blowback

    I regularly encounter websites that encourage me to disable my adblocker... Some sites won't even let you in any longer. Forbes I'm calling you out! As I work on a Corporate LAN, there is a big fat content filter sitting just behind the firewall, as a test I tried with a computer that had no adblocker, and got the same nice page saying "unless you turn off your adblocker, you can't view our site" Do the "admins" at these places even think? Or look inside their own server room/farm/center?

    Gee, Joe, do you think if we have a content filter, that others might too? naah, couldn't be... it's all gotta be browser based adblockers... keep putting up the banners

  23. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
    Megaphone

    It's the tracking stupid!

    The other stuff is annoying but not the primary reason for blocking.

  24. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

    I've certainly told all my rellies to install ADBlock+, etc onto dekstops and mobiles, more than anything to stop them clicking and to make webpages look much nicer.

    Web pages with adverts are like trying to watch a 50" TV in Piccadilly Circus, there's the stuff you want to see but it's nigh on impossible to concentrate on it 'cos there's all this "flashy crap" happening at the periphery of your vision!

  25. Tachikoma
    Trollface

    Reg readers want more consumer-friendly and “lighter” ads to fend off an “Adpocalypse”.

    FTFY

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. quattroprorocked

    Wired gave me a choice

    Turn my adblock off, bugger off, or pay $1 week for no ads

    You know what, I like Wired. I like them enough to pay $1pw, but not enough to pay them nothing and risk malvertising.

    El Reg, at a similar price point, happy to pay also.

    1. Someone_Somewhere

      Re: Wired gave me a choice

      I'd rather whitelist sites I want to support.

      I can change my I.P. and use antimalware/antitracking, but once my bank details are on the company's server somewhere, it's only a matter of time before I'll end up regretting it. Maybe later rather than sooner, but inevitably, it'll happen - and when you add to that the increased risk surface of financial transactions between them and my bank (multipled by all the companies that have my details), it doesn't bear thinking about.

      Each to their own though - just my 2c.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Wired gave me a choice

        The thing is you can't whitelist sites you want to support because you get malvertising even though it's a reputable site. IIRC I've had two from El Reg, WhatsApp on your PC when no such program exists and the "you've got a virus" nonsense when browsing with the Android browser on a mobile.

        We really need some micropayment solution.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wired gave me a choice

      I suspect the reason behind unwillingness to put up paywalls is that the revenue stream can be counted, but the would-be punters are anybody's guess. Or, worse perhaps, by the most favourable surveys, the monies brought in by the (future) paying users, would come nowhere close to the money (already) steadily coming in - from the ads. Or, to make it equal, the subscription would need to go way, way up, at which point, the numbers of those willing to pay would shrink dramatically...

      Basically, it's about greed (and I don't blame anyone for that sin, I'm as greedy as the worst adman, banker, or politician), but it's going to be very, very gard for anyone to let go of a certain revenue (no matter stable or dwindling due to ad-blocking), versus venturing out into the unknown, where the only guarantee is a much, much lower revenue stream. But hey, who started that spiral into the "free" with the F... asterix behind it? Let them come up with a solution to save their revenue stream.

      1. Someone_Somewhere

        Re: Wired gave me a choice

        Also, perhaps, the site would like to <ahem> 'monetize' casual viewers as well as their subscribers.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Wired gave me a choice

        "I suspect the reason behind unwillingness to put up paywalls is..."

        That time and time again, paywalls have proven not to work.

    3. chivo243 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Wired gave me a choice

      Wired will never get anymore of my traffic. That site hurts my eyes and probably my brain. If I had to pay $1 a week for every website, I would not have beer money, and we all know that won't happen!

    4. d3vy

      Re: Wired gave me a choice

      That starts to get very expensive very fast....

      At £1 a week per site I regularly visit Id be paying out at least £50-100 a month. Then theres the sites the kids use... and all of the little sites that I dont frequent that often but do go to quite regularly...

      so £600-£1200 a year using your model compared to nothing now and a little inconvenience. Take a guess what Ill be choosing.

      The only advertising I really object to is when its paid content - really Sky do I really need to pay you AND watch your adverts?

  28. Someone_Somewhere

    WHAT sites that disable ad-blockers?

    I've never seen one of those: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/disable-anti-adblock

    Ignore the negative reviews - as someone else recently said, works for me!

    1. d3vy

      Re: WHAT sites that disable ad-blockers?

      I object to your blatant advert for this browser extension.

      Remove it immediately.

      1. Someone_Somewhere

        Re: I object

        Heh :)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Need A Passive Ad-Blocker

    Blocking all ads is wrong. We're asking Ad Block plus developers for a long time about this(a passive ad-blocker). Specially when downloading something from file-sharing sites, we should allow their ads in return(unless it's very annoying and contains ads that trick you to download PUA). But active tracking cookie blockers are allright. No one reserves the right to track us. Browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge which track you no matter what should also be banned. Hope this blocking tendency will force ad companies to change their policy in a good way.

    1. KeithR

      Re: Need A Passive Ad-Blocker

      "Specially when downloading something from file-sharing sites, we should allow their ads in return"

      So you're happy to pay the site that helps you steal software, videos and whatnot...

      Fucking fuck me...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Need A Passive Ad-Blocker

        No, I'm happy to pay the site that gives me their valuable server bandwidth. Piracy is another subject.

  30. noj

    I use Tor anonymous browsing and fully unfilter-bubbled searches, Firefox for other browsing, and Safari for specific sites that disallow Tor or can't get past the Firefox safeguards below.

    After reading some of the posts here (well, all of them) I took a look in my FireFox Add-Ons to see what I have there to block ads. I was surprised to see quite a collection of add-ons that I've collected over the years. Might be some overlap - need to prune: Click-per-pay element, Clickjacking Reveal, Disconnect, Facebook Disconnect, FlashOnOff (always off), Google Disconnect, HTTP Nowhere, HTTPS Everywhere, NoScript, PrivacyBadger, and ShareMeNot. I also run Cookie, which is set to remove any type of cookies, flash stuff, browser databases, and clear cache of all browsers.

    All browsers are set to remove all browsing history, cookies, etc when they close and when browsing I frequently hit Cookie to clear everything out when going to more than one site during a browsing session.

    I don't have an ad blocker (yet) on my desktop because I don't like sending my browser choices to an external site for filtering. If anyone has a suggestion for an ad blocker like 1Blocker (below) please let me know.

    I use 1Blocker on my phone because it sends me a list of ads to block and it doesn't send any info to an outside web site. Funny, I can't decide which ads to block on my phone so I just chose the "block all" button and haven't thought about it since.

    1. Someone_Somewhere

      @ noj

      FlashOnOff is redundant - NoScript already does that for you.

      I suspect that HTTPNowhere and HTTPSEverywhere will conflict with each other and at least slow your browsing down, if not impact in other ways.

      You might want to consider Twitter Disconnect as well.

      CookieMonster is a better option than the cookie-deletion addons - it stops them getting onto your machine in the first place and you can choose your default policy, then whitelist/blacklist/allow temporarily/accept session cookies. You can also set it to automatically delete cookies when you leave a page/close a tab and you can inspect current cookies and manage them individually or per site/domain too.

      PrivacyBadger has never worked for me - just does nothing - and I gather a lot of people have the same expereince - so, I'd recommend a combination of other addons in addition to what you're using instead: BetterPrivacy, Calomel SSL Validation, CanvasBlocker, Decentraleyes, Disable Plugin & Mimetype Enumeration, Ghostery, Location Guard, Random Agent Spoofer, RequestPolicy, and uMatrix.

      As for not liking to send "browser choices to an external site for filtering", if you didn't code it yourself (or read the source thoroughly before compiling it yourself) then you really have no idea what any bit of software does, so there's a definite chance that one, or more, of your addons is doing that anyway - so what real difference would an adblocker make?

      Moreover, are you certain that filtering is not done clientside rather than serverside ?- I may well be wrong about this but ( IIRC) AB+ doesn't prevent ads being downloaded but just doesn't display them, which suggests that no server will ever know what you filtered.

      Finally, Tor has already been shown to be nowhere near as impenetrable as people thought - just enter "tor not anonymous" into DuckDuckGo and have a look at some of the articles.

      I'm in two minds about Tor: It /may/ be a good idea and it /may/ work (most of the time) but it may equally just draw attention to yourself instead - not sure there's a simple answer to this issue other than using I2P for what it's good for and simply browsing normally with your addons otherwise.

      Anyway, not a criticism of your choices, just my 2c :)

      1. noj

        Re: @ noj

        @Someone_somehere:

        Not considered criticism at all; I asked for comments and received very detailed and well intended post from you. Thank you.

  31. Archie Woodnuts

    Advertising

    or as I tend to think of it, corporate begging, is not my cup of tea. It's even less so when it gets right in my face, occasionally crashes the browser - good work, The Independent - obscures, moves, bifurcates, or otherwise unacceptably fondles the content I've come to see.

    I'm sure there are many fine an cogent arguments in favour of advertising and in principle, I'm not against small text ads here and there - I even pay for some content - but on the whole I don't like wading through a sea of piss just to view a web page and so I don't.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not how it used to be

    I remember the internet was a great place to get information.

    Going back pretty much a couple of decades now, but it was a wonderful place.

    We all shared with each other freely, it was a new way of doing things, and it was good.

    Then people figured out how to monetize it.

    Sad sad day.

  33. Someone Else Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    A Tee, and then a Hee

    Something about lying in the bed you made....

  34. JDX Gold badge

    I have ABP on my PC but have not (as far as I know) ever tried installing anything on my iPad, my WinPhone, or my Mac (used rarely). I don't find the web a horrible place on the unblocked devices but then I don't tend to visit sites with awful ads. Or maybe my brain blocks the ads for me.

    Oh, other than ads on Youtube. They are a PITA.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Angel

      > Oh, other than ads on Youtube. They are a PITA.

      There are ads on Youtube?

  35. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Culcha secretary

    "Adblocking is a 'modern-day protection racket', says culture secretary"

    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/mar/02/adblocking-protection-racket-john-whittingdale

    He's damn right, I want to protect my PC and phone.

    Another politician who knows nothing is going to weigh in and make it worse.

  36. RetroTom

    SECURITY!

    I consider an ad-blocker a security patch.

    near 100% of malware infections I've had to deal with on clients machines in recent times have come from, you've guessed it, ads exploiting browser bugs, or simply tricking the user into installing junk which then further opens up their system.

    First thing I do is give them an ad-blocker (and recommend something like no-script if they can manage it)

    Never had another problem, it's a better anti-vrius solution than an actual anti-virus.

    Ad-blockers are the FIRST line of security, and the most important.

  37. PNGuinn
    Mushroom

    The IAB wants more consumer-friendly and “lighter” ...

    Ok guys, read this carefully, it's not that difficult.

    1. Plaintext ads ONLY - that means:

    2. NO VIDEO.

    3 NO SOUND.

    5. NO ANIMATION.

    6. NO COLOUR CHANGES

    7. NO MALWARE

    9. NO MALWARE

    10. NO MALWARE - Got that yet you cretins??

    11. The ad stays in its original place and doesn't jump about.

    12. ADs DO NOT refresh unless *I* reload the page. Don't even think about trying to do that for me you b*****ds.

    13. Keep out of the way of the information I'm trying to read.

    14. Keep to the same colour as the text and background of the main text. NO BRIGHTER. You can fade it down a bit if you like. the same as the background would be nice.

    Enjoy eating the icon - it'll help you digest the message.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      Re: The IAB wants more consumer-friendly and “lighter” ...

      And until all that happens, I'll stick to: 0. no ads.

      I _tried_ to selectively allow ads. It is very near impossible to me, hence utterly impossible for the majority of people.

      Here is another reason to block ads not mentioned so far: NSFW material. I had a full screen pop-up "adult entertainment" ad very recently when I partially disabled Adblock. No having Adblock may cost you your job.

      Dear advertisers: FU, FU, and FU with a rake.

  38. Adrian Midgley 1

    HM SoS for Culture regards the adverts

    as the bit citizens should be obliged to watch.

    The rest, not so much.

    Micropayments anyone?

    1. Andy 97

      Re: HM SoS for Culture regards the adverts

      Yes, absolutely I agree.

      People are so used to content being free and the folk that write the content have families, mortgagees and food to buy.

      If the content is worth is, I wouldn't mind paying a fair amount and (importantly) unlike News International without a firm commitment over 12 months.

  39. John70

    May want to read this

    Seen this at the bottom of the story on BBC web site about iPlayer "loop hole"...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-35708623

    ...

    Mr Whittingdale (Culture Secretary) also launched a new drive to tackle ad-blocking, saying it poses a similar threat to websites that illegal file-sharing did to music and film a decade ago.

    "This practice is depriving many websites and platforms of legitimate revenue," he said. "It is having an impact across the value chain, and it presents a challenge that has to be overcome. Because, quite simply, if people don't pay in some way for content, then that content will eventually no longer exist.

  40. A Ghost
    Mushroom

    A dark and sinister turn...

    Mr Whittingdale also launched a new drive to tackle ad-blocking, saying it poses a similar threat to websites that illegal file-sharing did to music and film a decade ago.

    "This practice is depriving many websites and platforms of legitimate revenue," he said. "It is having an impact across the value chain, and it presents a challenge that has to be overcome. Because, quite simply, if people don't pay in some way for content, then that content will eventually no longer exist.

    "And that's as true for the latest piece of journalism as it is for the new album from Muse."

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-35708623

    I'm really surprised at the blinkered viewpoint by many here on El Reg. A few of you get it, I know, but to be arguing over this 'someone's got to pay for the content' malarkey, is totally missing the point.

    This is about control. This is about taking away your right to sovereignty. It has nothing at all to do with people being all concerned that some people aren't making money. They are making money. Business is thriving.

    The reason people are getting uppity is because they have realised that the advertising does not work, so therefore do more of it to make it work more! And for those whom it does work for, it's just about greed.

    I will not take your adverts on prinicple. If you don't allow me to use your site because I use an add blocker, you can fuck right off. Like with the BBC, if you make me pay for iPlayer, I simply will not watch it. No big deal. There's fuck all on worth watching anyway. The propaganda in the entertainment field is disgraceful. The actors and the writers, reduced now, to nothing better than cheap whores.

    I can't stress this enough. This is a non-issue. You will not server me adds. I will not accept them. It was never part of the deal. I don't even have to give a reason for it. I'm breaking no laws. There is no contract, implied or verbal or written or anything else. A few sites have pulled that 'yo dude, we heard you like adblockers, so we decided to block you from using the site until you turn it off'. I then fuck them off sharpish.

    This is universal for me. I will not pay for a TV license, for the very same reason I don't pay for a fishing license. No explanation needed. It's all you mugs that do pay for a TV license that are part of the problem. But it's all good, because you are paying to have me be tracked. Yes, that's right. I'm actually being tracked by the BBC and their clandestine services, and you paid for it. Suckers.

    This is a war. There can be no middle ground.

    Let me be very clear, I am under no legal obligation to put myself in a position, where I would be required by law, to have adverts served to me, or forced to watch content that I chose not to (iPlayer). By all means make iPlayer a service that requires a fee. I will then no longer require the service. No explanation needed.

    Quite simply, Whittingdale the witless can fuck right off. For him to conflate music piracy with people using an adblocker is not just ingenuous - it is wrong on every conceivable level. I can only conclude then that the man has ulterior motives. This is not about adblockers and people getting paid for content. It is about what you have a right over and do not have a right over.

    Then again, we really have entered into the dark ages now, the dream is over, big brother is here, and he is starting to push his weight around already. Didn't take long did it? Don't you see how this is all pre-planned and being rolled out to a timeline? Don't you see the game they are playing?

    I am done with arguing the points on this. My main reasons for ad-blocking are technical - security wise. 'Nuff said. I do NOT have a reason for blocking ads 'for getting free stuff' and 'getting something for nothing'. It's called a business model. Those that have a working one will survive, those that do not, will not. I visit many sites where the blocking is turned off effectively, because the ads are built into the content - I'm talking audio websites like KVR and Gearslutz. I eradicate a lot of the ads, but those sites are just one big advertisement anyway, so they survive.

    If I wanted fucking dick pills flashing across my screen in bright red letters, when I am researching my suspected prostate cancer, I would have asked for them. Time and a place gentlemen. Time and a place.

    The fact the government are getting involved in this is really worrying. They are not to be trusted. They just crossed the totalitarian line. Those that do their bidding are not to be trusted either.

    I said it before, and I'll say it again. The good old days are over. I'm actually looking to go totally offline in the coming months. There is not one thing in this world that I need the internet for. I don't have a mobile phone or any other mobile devices that would connect outside anyway. I'm not going to get one now.

    Of course, the sleeping masses are walking right into this one (including even you techies here at El Reg who think this is about advertising). And not only do they love their servitude - they are happy to pay for it out of their own pocket.

    These are very dark and dangerous times, gentlemen (and ladies).

    People are already getting knocks on the door because of a comment on twitter. How long before the knock comes and they say 'our records show that you have been using an adblocker'? Hard to believe eh? Well this whole world is hard for me to believe, compared to how I thought things were going to turn out a few years ago. 1984 is here, now, today. A few decades late, but in fine form.

    Government ministers calling me a fucking thief for using an adblocker when it is my connection, my electricity, my time, can go to hell. There is no contract that says I have to view your site. If you disallow the use of adblockers, I will not even circumvent it, I will break the law in NO way, but I will NOT view your site.

    Peaceful resistance to a Totalitarian regime who are provably criminally insane - and they won't even allow that!

    This is about nothing other than power and control. And everyone knows it. People are not deprived because they did not see an ad. They don't go without. The companies don't suffer because no one had the money to buy it anyway. If everyone bought everything they wanted after watching an ad there would be nothing left in the shops. Our economy is working fine! For the moment.

    Ad-Raping, malware-serving, time-stealing, leccy-lifting bastards.

    And they want me to think I'm the one in the wrong and they have the moral high ground?

  41. A Ghost

    Just for some balance and perspective, I have to note that I am a content provider, though I have no business and make no money, because, well, I don't know, I imagine it's because what I offer is not good enough or unique enough. Having said that, I get tens of thousands of downloads of some of my stuff, and no one pays a penny, donates in any way shape or form. On a good day, 0.0001 percent will give a quick 'thanks', but 0.1 percent will tell you how shit your work is and don't bother giving it away for free again, even in thousands of other people found it useful. Welcome to the internet in the 21st century.

    See John Walkers essays, the digital imprimatur and the internet slum. Essential reading.

    You don't hear me crying or making up or abusing totalitarian laws that no one voted in, do you? I just crack on with my miserable little life. People are cheap, they will not even pay for that which they value, they will not even take the time to say thanks. I pulled all my stuff off the net over the actions of the few - the vocal minority. If the silent majority had spoken up, it would have drowned them out in seconds. But no. To paraphrase good old Alexander: I guess they didn't love their free stuff enough. Fuck them too.

    A case in point.

    A VST plugin maker offered to give away (as in free) 4 very high quality plugins that would normally cost say 50 dollars each, if people got together and made a contribution of 1000 gbp to a cancer charity. People refused to pay, and to his credit he released two plugins as he raised half the money. Do you know what he said that somes all of this up in one sentence? The words used were: IF EVERYONE WHO VISITED THE SITE GAVE ONLY 1P, WE WOULD HAVE RAISED THAT AMOUNT AND OVER ALREADY!

    There is no accepted standard for micropayments, and I don't see one coming on to the horizon now. They will keep beating this adblock thing to death, until they eventually die out. We will last longer than them, there are more of us. Throw your TV out the window because that is just sophisticated advertising as well. Tell every site that wants you to view and ad to fuck right off. If I want your service, charge me for it. If I have the money I will pay, if not, I can't. If I can pay but decide that your stuff is not worth it, that is your problem.

    I'm telling you now this will not end well.

    Government meddling in affairs that have nothing to do with them. Fascism is here now and it's already too late.

    We are going to see a lot of websites fold in the coming years. Many many companies that have not model will disappear. It's all one big bubble, and not even the majority of you in tech see this. Best not to look.

    This internet thing is based on shakey foundations and is a house of cards. It's not a god-given thing that gives a person a right to make money just because they get hits. And I can't wait for the bastards to start learning that lesson the hard way. Expecting us to pay to be spied on is a bridge too far for me, don't know about you.

    The internet is more trouble than it is worth these days. It's one big high rising balloon and we are all clinging on to its rope, wanting to jump, but we can't as it's already out of control, and still the balloon goes higher. This will not end well at all. I'm not even going to go into the abuse my family had to put up with as we deal with a dying loved one. We were forced to use the internet at great cost and suffering to ourselves, but at least it was possible. Someone without an internet connection would not have been able to do that, even at the great cost of suffering. They would have had money stopped and starved to death.

    They are forcing us to use the internet. They are forcing us to have ads served. They are forcing us to be data raped and spied on. I pray you all have nice jobs and nice families with good health, but not everyone is so fortunate. Imagine those, disenfranchised, isolated, alone, no internet connection - how are they supposed to traverse modern society.

    We have turned into a nation that is deeply shameful. I for one, am ashamed to be British. From the corrupt and evil government officials, to the mindless ultra-violence that is a part of many people's everyday lives, to the acquiescence of the general population.

    I'll finish my rant with two quotes from famous people:

    No one is innocent.

    There are none so hopelessly enslaved, than those that believe they are free.

    [Sorry for any mistakes, it's taken me long enough to write without going back and spell-checking. I already fear for my blood-pressure along with my sanity, so, time to stop]

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Angel

      Innocence is a continuim

      from a new born baby to V. Putin maybe

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Resource hogs

    Apart from preventing malware, the other main reason I use an adblocker is because so many adverts are so resource-heavy. If you have a few tabs open suddenly your computer can slow to a crawl because some badly-coded Javascript or Flash ad is sucking all your CPU cycles. On some websites it's so bad that scrolling the page is very laggy and the page is unusable. Perhaps Firefox will totally lock up.

    The whole point of ads is a way to generate revenue in return for creating content, but if the ads take over the page so I can't consume the content, then it renders them useless

    1. A Ghost

      Re: Resource hogs

      Absolutely.

      I have 60-70 tabs open at one time, quite often. It's how I browse. I'll have half a dozen subjects I'm interested in, all with 10 pages each.

      And the resource usage of this is very demanding if you run a 5yr old lappy to browse with. I've monitored them and compared with all the usual tools you use. They are a drain on any system, but make it decidedly unstable when you have a use case like mine: 60 tabs open at once! Come on. Not like I'm trying to be awkward for the sake of it.

      Ads and ad networks are malware and they need to eradicated totally and those that use them be boycotted, if needs be, if they are going to do the calling out. But like most people when they do the calling out, they only usually do it when they know they can get away with it. And by that point, just like with the snooper's charter being passed, they don't even ask you anymore, they just go ahead and do it anyway. This is no democracy. People are waking up to things pretty fast. I see some pretty desperate and unhappy people around me, and they have fantastic lives. But something is stopping them from being happy.

      Unless you physically force me to watch an ad, there is no way you can make me. I will just opt out. But I won't stand for this constant bullying by the tech companies and the government they are in bed with. They only want the ad stuff set up to spy on us. It's not about money. It's about giving free reign to their malware. I won't do it knowingly.

      The fact I have to say these things I find shocking. This country has so much potential but I just see people willfully stifled at every turn. People want to live, not be milked...

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems to be the hot topic at the moment...

    Guardian

    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/mar/02/adblocking-protection-racket-john-whittingdale

    The Culture Secretary is getting involved...

  44. mike_ackee

    Possible alternative perspective

    "22 per cent of British adults now use ad blocking software"

    Maybe it's a case of "100% of British adults who know ad-blockers exist choose to use them"?

  45. Derichleau

    Section 11 of the DPA might help

    Under section 11 of the DPA, if you ask a UK data controller to stop targeting you with adverts they would also need to remove their own advertising banners that appear in a logged-in website. I went to great lengths to clarify this with the ICO some years ago but it never found its way into their direct marketing guidance.

    Direct marketing is marketing by any means and would include even generic banners appearing in a logged in page. This is because the data controller will know at all times who is logged into the account pages. I keep meaning to raise this issue with the ICO again but to be honest, they're so crap I can't be bothered

    Webmaster www.mindmydata.co.uk

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