Adblock Plus is forming an independent review board to manage its Acceptable Ads program, to decide which ads get 'whitelisted' and shown to users of its ad blocking software.
The program has been criticised in the past, as its whitelist contains publishers and ad firms – reportedly including Google, Amazon and Microsoft – which have paid for their inclusion. Adblock Plus insists paying companies still have to meet the same criteria as everyone else, but it's easy to see how questions about a conflict of interest could arise.
In an attempt to make that process more transparent, the review board will eventually take total control of what criteria are required for a campaign to be considered 'acceptable'.
“We started as an open source project, so from day one, the Acceptable Ads program has been managed in an open and public forum,” said Till Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus. “Users determined the original criteria and can object in our forum to whitelisting proposals, but since we were the only ad blocker to offer such a compromise we have taken on a large role in the day-to-day maintenance of the criteria.
“We have been looking for a way to make the Acceptable Ads program completely independent while also updating the criteria to evolve with changing forms of online advertising. An independent board solves both issues.”
The board is slated to be formed next year.