- Andy Burgess
Adblock Plus today sent out a pop-up notification to users of its Chrome browser extension, advertising its Adblock Plus browser for smartphones and tablets.
There’s an obvious irony here: An ad blocker doing advertising.
And not just any ad, a pop-up ad. The Adblock Plus website even promotes that it blocks “tracking, malware, domains, banners, pop-ups and video ads.”
A handful of people tweeted about being served the notification:
— Nospmis Rolyat (@iLama) September 25, 2015
— Stephanie (@SBteph) September 25, 2015
Adblock Plus just spammed me with its own popup ad for the smartphone version of Adblock Plus.
What’s a better desktop ad blocker?
— Jeff Noxon ???? (@jnoxon) September 25, 2015
adblock is giving me a popup which is advertising adblock
— tuhkakuppi (@tuhkakuppi111) September 24, 2015
AdBlock+ just used Chrome’s HTML5 notification mechanism to advertise AdBlock+ to me.
— mfollett (@mfollett) September 25, 2015
An Adblock Plus spokesman sent Business Insider this statement:
“We have not run any ads on any of our users. We felt a notification to people who use our product telling them about another product (Adblock Browser) was just Adblock Plus communicating with our users, and we use that format from time to time with important announcements. An in-app notification is not an ad, and I’m hoping that you understand that.
If some users don’t want to know about Adblock Browser and were annoyed by our notification, they can always opt out of ever getting another ABP notification again.”
Adblock Plus hasn’t done anything wrong here. Lots of Chrome extensions send notifications about updates or products about updates or other products they might find useful. And it’s not like swathes of users are publicly complaining about it either.
But it goes to show that it’s easy to bash online advertising … until you have something you need to promote.