eyeo, the parent company of Adblock Plus, is transitioning the Acceptable Ads program to an independant group.  The Acceptable Ads Committee (AAC) will oversee the whitelisting program that allows ads to pass through some of popular ad blockers – Adblock Plus, Adblock Browser, Crystal, and Adblock.

The controversial Acceptable Ads program was launched by eyeo back in 2011 in which certain companies like AOL, Google, Criteo and Yahoo would pay to have their ads whitelisted.  There are some smaller firms that aren’t being charged for whitelisting privileges.  In this industry, there are those who have equated this model to a type of extortion.  The IAB revoked Adblock Plus’s invitation to the IAB Leaership Summit last year, and because of that, the formation of an independent committee had been a step towards addressing criticism.

“The AAC will take full authority over these

[acceptability] criteria and the compromise between users who want to block intrusive ads and publishers who rely on advertising revenues,” Ben Williams, AdBlock Plus operations and marketing manager, wrote in the announcement.

Out of the 11 available committee seats available, eight of them have been filled and named.  These eight seats includes representatives from Rocket Fuel (in the ad tech seat), Dell (advertiser seat), M&C Saatchi Mobile (agency seat) and Conde Nast (publisher seat).

These 11 committee seats are going to represent user, expert and for-profit coalitions.  Advertisers, ad tech vendors, agencies and publishers/content creators each have a seat in the for-profit coalition. According to Williams, eyeo is facilitating the initial recruitment but that committee members will be taking over fulfillment in the future.  Every group can have up to 50 members.

Currently, Del is the sole advertiser named.

Among the publishers and content creators on the committee includes Dennis Publishing, TED Talks, Leaf Group and Local Media Consortium.  The agencies that have joined includes Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi, The Tombras Group, Omnicom’s TLGG, Schaaf-PartnerCentric and Look Listen

Rakuten Marketing, Sharethrough and Criteo are among other ad tech vendors on the committee.

There is a seat that is meant for a user who isn’t affiliated with any of the coalitions.  Any member on this committee isn’t compensated.  The committee is also non-profit.

The AAC is not the only organization that is looking at addressing the rise of ad blocking and improving digital ad experience and outcomes.  During the time that eyeo has worked with industry members to devise and launch this committee over the last year, Google, Facebook, the IAB and major advertisers formed the Coalition for Better Ads last September. The aim of the initiative is forming standards and developing technology that will improve online advertising. In February, ad-blocking startup Shine rebranded as Rainbow with a new focus.  Rainbow is now focusing on ad filtering against IAB and other ad standards at the mobile carrier network level.  Users will opt into the service, just like with Acceptable Ads.

The AAC will be meeting at least twice a year.

Source –