Tool Fights Pop-Up Ad Blockers

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-04-27 Print this article Print

A German vendor of online ad delivery platforms says it can detect blockers and thwart them by turning pop-up ads into other forms of online ads.

In the ongoing battle over pop-up advertising, marketers are gaining a new weapon to fight back against the increasing use of pop-up ad blockers. Falk eSolutions AG, a German-based vendor of online ad delivery systems, plans to offer publishers and marketers a way to thwart software that blocks pop-up and pop-under ads by automatically converting them into other forms of online ads when such software is detected. The pop-up blocker detection will be an option in the companys AdSolution FX rich-media ad management tool, which is slated to be announced Wednesday, said Joe Apprendi, CEO of the companys Falk North America subsidiary.
With the option turned on, AdSolution FX will automatically replace a pop-up or pop-under ad with what are called "floating" ads, or ads that appear as transparent images over Web-site content, he said. Marketers also will be able to create and select their own types of replacement ads, if they choose.
"The proliferation of pop-up blocking software has made it harder for Web publishers and marketers to do business and monetize the content that users desire," Apprendi said. Pop-up blockers have become common in ISP software bundles; in a range of Web-browser toolbars from companies such as Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc.; and in security software. Forrester Research Inc. projected that in 2002, about 15 percent of consumers already used a pop-up blocker. Apprendi said Falk estimates that number at about 20 percent today. To read some opinions on pop-up ads, click here. Whatever the percentage, it is likely to increase as Microsoft Corp. later this year releases Service Pack 2 for its Windows XP operating system. That update includes a pop-up blocker for Internet Explorer that is turned on by default. Apprendi said Falks pop-up blocker detection will work with IEs upcoming blocker because it is independent of the specific ad-blocking software. Pop-up ads have drawn the attention of lawmakers. Click here to read how one pop-up ad software maker is fighting back against laws banning the ads. But Falks move to detect and overcome pop-up ad blockers wont be the last battle cry in the pop-up ad wars. As quickly as the company announced its new offering, one developer of ad-blocking software, InterMute Inc., was firing off its own challenge to those trying to overcome its AdSubtract software. "Over the years, various companies have claimed to have a way to sidestep their online ads from being blocked," InterMute CEO Ed English said in a statement. "History has shown [that our] AdSubtract has no problem keeping up with ever-changing online ad technologies." Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at for the latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion about productivity and business solutions. Be sure to add our enterprise applications news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:  
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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