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Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Acceptable ads criteria placementWe 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 .

This is beneficial in two ways:

  • We hope that the initiative encourages the ad industry to pursue less intrusive ad formats and thus have a positive impact on the Internet as a whole.

We believe that this initiative is a sustainable middle ground between the user's choice to use ad blockers and the continued need to support free online content with advertisements. In general, an Acceptable Ad is a non-animated ad, clearly labeled as such, that does not interrupt reading flow. It is important to note that these criteria try to reflect the ongoing discussions between our users, publishers, advertisers and us. They will evolve as the web changes and as we receive more feedback. We explicitly invite everyone to join the dialog on our forum or contact us at acceptableads@adblockplus.org. Furthermore, in the very near future we intend to hand over complete control of these criteria to an independent committee.

To ensure transparency and fairness, the following rules have and will always apply to everyone without exceptions:

  • Participants cannot pay to avoid the criteria. Every ad has to comply with the criteria.
  • For transparency reasons, we add all Acceptable Ads to our forum to provide our community with the opportunity to submit feedback. We greatly value feedback and read all comments.
  • Adblock Plus users are valuable to us and we listen to them. If, for valid reasons, any Acceptable Ads proposal is rejected by our community, the ad(s) will be removed from our whitelist.

Acceptable ads criteria labelWhat is an Acceptable Ad?

Ads that shall be treated as Acceptable Ads have to comply with the following criteria:

Placement

Ads must not disrupt the user's natural reading flow. Such ads must be placed on top, side or below the Primary Content .

Distinction

Ads should always be recognizable as ads, and distinguishable from all other content (e.g. are not hiding the label, are not misleading users into thinking an ad is part of the primary content). Ads should be clearly marked with the word "advertisement" or its equivalent.

Size

Individual ad-size requirements depend on the placement of the ad:

  • When placed above the primary content, the maximum height of an ad should be 200px.
  • When placed on the side of the primary content, the maximum width of an ad should be 350px.
  • When placed below the primary content, the maximum height of an ad should be 400px.

Ads must always leave sufficient space for the Primary Content on the common screen size of 1366x768 for desktop, 360x640 for mobile devices and 768x1024 for tablets.

All ads that are placed above the fold (the portion of the web page visible in the browser window when the page first loads under the common screen size), must not occupy in total more than 15 percent of the visible portion of the web page. If placed below the fold, ads must not occupy in total more than 25 percent of the visible portion of the webpage.

Specific criteria

Text ads designed with excessive use of colors and/or other elements to grab attention are not permitted.

Image ads

Static image ads may qualify as acceptable, according to an evaluation of their unobtrusiveness based on their integration on the webpage.

In-feed ads

For ads in lists and feeds, the general criteria differ depending on:

  • Placement requirements
    Ads are permitted in between entries and feeds.

Search ads

For search ads - ads displayed following a user-initiated search query - the criteria differ depending on:

  • Size requirements
    Search ads are permitted to be larger and take up additional screen space.

Ads on pages with no primary content

Only text ads are allowed. For webpages without any primary content (e.g. error or parking pages), the criteria differ depending on:

  • Placement requirements
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