French media websites take on ad blockers

Nearly one third of French Internet users run ad blocking software


Afp March 22, 2016
PHOTO: AFP

PARIS: The websites of several French media outlets joined together Monday requesting or requiring readers to disable ad blocking software to gain access to news content.

The initiative, organised by a trade association representing online businesses, aimed to reverse the growing popularity of software that blocks advertisements many Internet users find annoying, but provide critical revenue to media websites.

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"For our 400 journalists to provide you each day with high-quality, reliable and varied news each day... we must be able to rely on advertising revenue," read a message from the editor-in-chief of French daily Le Monde, Jerome Fenoglio, to users running ad blocking software.

While Le Monde then let users continue onto its website, others such as the website of sports daily L'Equipe and Le Parisien required users to disable their ad blockers.

In addition to the websites of numerous French print, radio, and television websites, the action was also joined by Deezer, a France-based music streaming service.

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In announcing its plans last year to organise joint actions against ad blocking software, the Geste trade association said the objective was to remind users that "content and services aren't free" and "the indispensible character of advertising as a source of financing".

Nearly one third of French Internet users run ad blocking software, according a survey published by the Ipsos firm earlier this month.

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