The Croydon Guardian has barred readers from viewing its website if they have ad-blocking software installed on their computers.
Readers with ad-blockers installed are greeted with the following message:
It looks like you have enabled software that blocks our advertising. Did you know that the revenue from advertising funds our local journalism.
“So we can continue producing great local journalism, we’d be grateful if you could disable your ad blocker, at least for this website.”
In an FAQs page the title responds to possible concerns readers may have:
“But it’s the internet! It should all be freely available with no strings attached!
“It would be great if it could be like that, but is it really reasonable to expect people to work hard and then not be paid for it? Would you do it?
“But there are just too many ads and it means the page takes ages to load.
“We know there’s a balance to be struck and we absolutely don’t want adverts to get in the way of you being able to read our articles. If you think that specific types of adverts are doing that then let us know and we’ll take a look. We actively review how we display our adverts and we’re very focussed on making sure you get the best possible experience.
“I don’t like the way some ads seem to know something about me, that’s why I use ad-blockers.
“There’s nothing sinister about this or any reason to be worried. Surveys show that most people much prefer to have relevant advertising placed in front of them. It’s no different from a mailshot addressed to you landing on your doormat except that it’s helping fund local journalism.
“Would you be willing to take the ads off completely if I paid you?
“That’s something which we’re keeping under review.”
The site then explains how readers can turn off ad blockers for this particular site.
The Croydon Guardian is owned by regional newspaper group Newsquest. Other sites run by the group are still available to those with ad-blocking software.
According to a Yougov survey published last November, nearly one in five UK adults use ad-blockers.
Free London business daily newspaper City AM has taken similar action on its website.