Data Strategy

June 25, 2007

Real Good: ISP Deleted Advertising

Filed under: Advertising — chucklam @ 10:45 pm

TechCrunch had a post a couple days ago discussing a Texas ISP that inserts advertising into pages its customers visit. That post is called Real Evil: ISP Inserted Advertising. Needless to say, TechCrunch is judging the practice to be “real evil.”

As a thought exercise, what if an ISP does the exact opposite and offers ad blocking as part of its service? Would that make it “good”? This can be done either on the client side with software (e.g. Firefox plug-in) that comes with an ISP’s installation CD or on the server side. Functionally, the first option would really be no different than the pop-up blockers already included in IE and Firefox. Besides, such ad blocker plug-in for Firefox does exist and is free to download on the Web. There’s little incremental cost to the ISP and it can attract more customers that way. This benefits the readers at the expense of publishers. Right now not enough people use ad blockers to worry publishers too much, but what happens when a major ISP supports it? What if it’s part of IE? Microsoft can ostensibly add the feature as a benefit to consumers, but with the real intention of destroying Google’s advertising revenue. They will piss off a lot of other people in the Google ecosystem too, but if they really want to…

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