Why The Soft-Sell Approach to Ad Blocking Doesn’t Work

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It’s a growing problem for ad-supported publishers: How do you get people to stop using ad blocking software?


Short of forcing them to see ads they don’t want to, many publishers including The Washington Post, Atlantic and the U.K.’s Channel 4 are trying to counter the rise of ad blocking by appealing to their readers’ better instincts or blocking access to content altogether. “Please consider disabling it for our site, or supporting our work in one of these ways,” The Atlantic asks before directing people to subscribe to its magazine or newsletter. The Washington Post has also begun testing such messages that start out friendly and get progressively terser. Forbes and Imgur have tried similar approaches.

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