Another publisher is playing hardball with visitors who use ad-blocking software — polite hardball, but hardball all the same. Forbes Media has begun denying access to some people with ad blockers active on their devices, presenting them with a notice asking them to turn off the ad-blocking program in order to see the requested content.
Users who agree to turn off their ad-blocking software are rewarded with an “ad-light experience,” with no ads featuring data-intensive auto-play video or animation, in the hopes that they may be persuaded to remove Forbes from their personal list of ad-blocked sites.
A Forbes spokesperson confirmed that the publisher is blocking access to some ad blockers in an email Wednesday, adding: “We’re continuing to experiment to better understand the kind of experience that visitors to our site are seeking.”
As noted, Forbes joins a growing list of publishers that are trying, at least symbolically, to block ad blockers. Two months ago, Axel Springer, one of the biggest publishers in Germany, lowered the boom on ad blockers at the tabloid Bild. Ad-blocker users met with a notice asking them to switch off the ad-blocking program or become a subscriber to Bild. A statement on Axel Springer’s corporate blog explained that publishers must monetize their content in some way in order to pay for journalism and other types of content.
Separately, Forbes also announced the launch of its new “Forbes Agency Council,” an invitation-only group formed in collaboration with the founders of the Young Entrepreneur Council. It is composed of executives in public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies.
Members get personalized introductions to each other based on their business needs,and are also invited to share insights on Forbes.com, among a number of other benefits and services.