Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

This page is under review as management of the Acceptable Ads initiative has been transferred to the independent Acceptable Ads Committee.

What are Acceptable Ads?

Acceptable Ads are ads that aren’t intrusive or annoying. They are respectful, don’t interfere with content, and are clearly labeled with the word “advertisement” or its equivalent. In order for an ad to be an “Acceptable Ad”, it must adhere to standards that have been set forth by the Acceptable Ads Committee.

Ads that abide by Acceptable Ads standards are placed on a whitelist. The ads on the whitelist are then shown to ad-blocking users who allow Acceptable Ads.

Most websites use advertising to make money, meaning that you can see these websites for free. However, many websites use too many annoying or intrusive ads to get your attention. Adblock Plus lets you choose to block ads, but we don’t believe websites should be punished.

What are Acceptable Ads without third-party tracking?

Acceptable Ads without third-party tracking are ads that comply with the Acceptable Ads criteria and that do not allow third-party entities to track any of your browsing behavior. These are ads that comply with Do Not Track, and / or ads which are served by the domain which is wholly owned by the same company.

What is the Acceptable Ads Committee?

As previously announced, in 2017 eyeo / Adblock Plus transferred governance of the Acceptable Ads initiative to an independent group, the Acceptable Ads Committee. The Acceptable Ads Committee consists of interested parties from for-profit companies, industry experts and Internet users like you.

Acceptable Ads criteria

Acceptable Ads, as defined by the Acceptable Ads Committee, have to comply with the following criteria:

Desktop criteria

Placement

Ads must not disrupt the user's natural reading flow. Such ads must be placed on top, side or below the Primary Content. 1

Acceptable ads criteria placement

Distinction

Ads should always be recognizable as ads, and distinguishable from all other content (e.g. are not hiding the label, are not misleading users into thinking an ad is part of the primary content). Ads should be clearly marked with the word "advertisement" or its equivalent.

Acceptable ads criteria label

Size

Individual ad-size requirements depend on the placement of the ad:

Ads must always leave sufficient space for the Primary Content on the common screen size of 1366x768 for desktop, 360x640 for mobile devices and 768x1024 for tablets. 2 3 4

All ads that are placed above the fold (the portion of the web page visible in the browser window when the page first loads under the common screen size), must not occupy in total more than 15 percent of the visible portion of the web page. If placed below the fold, ads must not occupy in total more than 25 percent of the visible portion of the webpage.

Acceptable ads criteria percentage

Specific criteria

Text ads

Text ads designed with excessive use of colors and/or other elements to grab attention are not permitted.

Image ads

Static image ads may qualify as acceptable, according to an evaluation of their unobtrusiveness based on their integration on the webpage.

In-feed ads

For ads in lists and feeds, the general criteria differ depending on:

Search ads

For search ads - ads displayed following a user-initiated search query - the criteria differ depending on:

Ads on pages with no primary content

Only text ads are allowed. For webpages without any primary content (e.g. error or parking pages), the criteria differ depending on:

Mobile criteria

Placement Requirements

Size Requirements

Ads showing on mobile screens are bound to the following size restrictions:

Animations

Animations are allowed for the 6x1 ad type when placed as a ‘sticky’ ad on the bottom of the screen. Animations have to comply with the LEAN standard for animations, and a close button or some other closing mechanism must be included. 9

Other Acceptable Ads formats?

Are your ads displayed on alternative screens, or are you convinced that you have an innovative Acceptable Ads format which doesn't fit the ads outlined above? Let us know!

Why is the Acceptable Ads feature enabled by default?

We believe that Acceptable Ads are the sustainable middle ground between a user’s choice to use an ad blocker and the continued need to support free online content with advertisements. If the majority of Adblock Plus users have the Acceptable Ads feature enabled, advertisers will have a bigger incentive to produce better, less intrusive ad formats.

But I hate all ads!

No problem, you can disable this feature at any time:

Adblock Plus for Chrome, Firefox (versions 3 and above), Maxthon, Opera, Yandex Browser

  1. From your browser’s toolbar, click the Adblock Plus icon and select the gear icon in the upper right corner.
  2. From the General tab, scroll to the Acceptable Ads section.
  3. Uncheck Allow Acceptable Ads.
  4. Close the tab.

Adblock Plus for Safari

  1. From the Safari toolbar, click the Adblock Plus icon and select Open Adblock Plus.
  2. Uncheck Allow Acceptable Ads.
  3. Close the tab.

Adblock Plus for Firefox (versions 1 and 2)

  1. Click the Adblock Plus icon and select Filter preferences.
  2. Uncheck Allow some nonintrusive advertising.

Adblock Plus for Internet Explorer

  1. Click the Adblock Plus icon and select Settings.
  2. Uncheck Allow some nonintrusive advertising.

Adblock Browser for Android

  1. Open Adblock Browser for Android.
  2. Tap the menu icon and select Settings.
  3. Tap Ad blocking > Acceptable Ads.
  4. Uncheck Allow some nonintrusive advertising.

Adblock Browser for iOS

  1. Open Adblock Browser for iOS.
  2. Tap the menu icon and select Settings.
  3. Tap Ad blocking > Exceptions.
  4. Check Hide all ads.

Adblock Plus for Samsung Internet

  1. Open Adblock Plus for Samsung Internet.
  2. Uncheck Allow some nonintrusive advertising.

Do Adblock Plus users really want Acceptable Ads?

Yes! Eighty three percent (83%) of Adblock Plus users don’t mind seeing Acceptable Ads because their browsing experience isn’t ruined by loud, annoying and irrelevant ads.

Are all annoying ads blocked?

No. It isn't technically possible to automatically recognize ads that don’t meet the Acceptable Ads criteria. We have agreements with some websites and advertisers which stipulate that only advertisements matching the Acceptable Ads criteria will be displayed when Adblock Plus users visit these particular sites.

Can I view the Acceptable Ads whitelist?

Absolutely. You can view the list by clicking here.

How do I report an ad that doesn’t meet the criteria?

Send a message to email address with the following information:

How can I get ads on my website whitelisted?

The process of getting your ads whitelisted takes about 10 working days once the ads adhere to the Acceptable Ads standards:

  1. If your website has ads that comply with the Acceptable Ads standards, simply fill out this form.
  2. Someone from eyeo, the company behind Adblock Plus, will contact you to determine the exact ads, and check whether they comply with our criteria.
  3. After you have made any necessary changes, both sides sign an agreement".
  4. We submit the whitelisting proposal in the forum and the ads are whitelisted at the same time. The topic will stay open in order for the community to declare concerns if or when the candidate does not meet the requirements.

Is there payment involved?

Click here for a detailed overview of our financials.


  1. The 'Primary Content' is defined as (based on Mozilla's description of the <main> HTML element): The Primary Content consists of content that is directly related to, or expands upon the central topic of a document or the central functionality of an application. This content should be unique to the document, excluding any content that is repeated across a set of documents such as sidebars, navigation links, copyright information, site logos, and search forms (unless, of course, the document's main function is a search form). 

  2. The 'common screen size' for desktop is 1366x768, based on data from StatCounter

  3. The 'common screen size' for mobile is 360x640, based on data from StatCounter

  4. The 'common screen size' for tablets is 768x1024, based on data from StatCounter

  5. Large ad: any ad >300px height 

  6. The 'Primary Content' is defined as (based on Mozilla's description of the <main> HTML element): The Primary Content consists of content that is directly related to, or expands upon the central topic of a document or the central functionality of an application. This content should be unique to the document, excluding any content that is repeated across a set of documents such as sidebars, navigation links, copyright information, site logos, and search forms (unless, of course, the document's main function is a search form). 

  7. The visible portion of the webpage is defined as a standard CSS pixel size of 360x512px (Samsung Galaxy S7 with the SBrowser), which is based on the standard viewport of 360x640px, but with the OS- and browser UI elements deducted. 

  8. This means that users can scroll past the primary content and an ad unit served after it can take up the whole screen; but following this ad unit, additional ads cannot be implemented. 

  9. From: Iab New Standard Ad Unit Portfolio (2017)