The Newspaper Association of America filed a complaint and request for investigation on May 26 with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that certain ad blocking technologies and related services violate Section 5 of the FTC Act as unfair and deceptive trade practices.
NAA requests that the FTC investigate ad blockers that offer “paid whitelisting,” substitute ad blockers’ own advertising for blocked ads, claim that subscription services prevent publisher harm, and facilitate the evasion of metered subscription systems.
“Newspapers recognize that ad blocking technology is responding to a consumer demand, and publishers are working diligently to improve the ad experience for consumers,” said NAA President & CEO David Chavern. “However, some ad blocking firms have implemented ad blocking business models that deceive consumers. These practices undercut our members’ ability to provide a satisfying customer experience because the consumer is not receiving the whole truth.”
The complaint calls on the FTC to investigate Eyeo’s practice of using paid whitelisting that misleads the consumer into believing the “acceptable” advertisement is based on quality, when in fact advertisements are passed along to consumers if advertisers pay a fee.