German Publisher Gruner + Jahr’s Latest Ad Blocking Tactic: Humor

German publishing giant Gruner + Jahr has one of the more sophisticated ad blocking strategies in the market.

When it first took action last November, it followed in Axel Springer’s footsteps with a hard ban on ad blocker users accessing its special-interest magazine sites. But it held back on running a hard ban across its main news brand Stern. That’s because it’s tougher to ban ad blocker users on general news sites — people just go elsewhere. For niche publications with differentiated content, it’s an easier sell. So, instead, it’s gone for a humorous approach on Stern. And it seems to be working.

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