Camen Design

Imagine running a restaurant where 40% of the people who came and ate didn’t pay. In a way, that’s what ad blocking is doing to us.

Ars Technica

Wrong. You are running a restaurant where the food is free, and on every table there’s a pot of leaflets advertising other restaurants. You are claiming that when people don’t walk out of your restaurant carrying those leaflets that they are stealing from you.

You are so, so wrong.

There is no signed contract I have made with anybody that means that I have to view any ads, otherwise I haven’t paid someone. Your contract is between you and your advertising agencies, there is no contract between me and them, nor you. If you give me your stuff for free, don’t complain if I then take it.

And don’t blame me if you made crappy decisions on how to run your business.


Because I’m publishing this publicly, it’s only fair that Ars Technica has the right to reply:

It’s a real shame that you didn’t comprehend my article and have instead created a strawman. I suggest you ruminate on the meaning of “in a way,” and follow that up by locating where in my argument I say anything about “stealing.”

And by the way, we’ve not made crappy decisions on how to run our business. We’ve seen more success than 99.99% of other online content entrepreneurs out there.


What I can’t understand is that if they are so successful, why is the article so riddled with blame? Your advertising is based on page-views, and those page-views are being cut off industry-wide. Don’t blame users, that’s one step short of the music industry blaming piracy, when they themselves created the need for piracy. Change your advertising model. Innovate. Never blame your customers.

For perspective, OSnews ran a story about its advertising problem in 2007. The comments make for interesting reading. My opinions have definitely changed and strengthened since then (because of the worsening of bad advertising tactics), and I believe that OSnews is, like Ars Technica, making the mistake of thinking that the current advertising model is worth defending—it’s not. I am working with OSnews to revamp their advertising.