The Financial Times (FT) claims that nearly 40% of ad block software users have agreed to ‘whitelist’ its website when asked to do so, despite being offered unrestricted access.
The newspaper carried out a 30-day experiment, with a sample of 15,000 registered users offered three varying degrees of access to FT content alongside a request to deactivate their ad blockers.
The message stated, “We understand your decision to use an ad blocker, however FT journalism takes time and funding… Please whitelist FT.com in your ad blocker and refresh your browser.”
Of those users who continued to have unrestricted access, almost 40% agreed to whitelist the site. That proportion rose to nearly half (47%) of users when confronted with missing words in the article they were accessing, while over two-thirds (69%) of users whose access was restricted agreed to whitelist FT.com
A separate control group showed that 5% of registered users whitelisted the site without any prompt.
Dominic Good, global advertising sales and strategy director, said: “Through open dialogue with FT readers we are emphasising the importance of advertising as a revenue stream for quality, independent journalism.
“These results show that FT readers accept advertising as part of the reader/publisher value exchange, and they trust us to create the best possible advertising experience with our partners.”