The “strict” whitelisting criteria of Europe’s most popular ad-blocking tool has been stretched even further after news that retargeting from Criteo will be shown to its users.

French publication Journal du Net shares reports of a payment being made by Criteo to AdBlock Plus that will allow the company’s targeted inventory, based on browser behaviour picked up by cookies, to pass by the latter’s content block on Chrome, Firefox, Android, iOS and more.

There is still an option which enables users of AdBlock Plus to turn off seeing inventory from Criteo and many more of the companies ‘whitelisted’ under the tool’s acceptable ads policy. 

However, the move has certainly raised a few eyebrows, as retargeted ads will be shown on a tool which claims to block all forms of “intrusive” advertising from view.

Pay to display

Reports indicate that Paris-founded Criteo is the latest big name in advertising to have paid Eyeo, the German company behind AdBlock Plus, to have its inventory displayed on the company’s browser and browser extensions.

Back in February The Financial Times broke news of Microsoft, Google and Taboola all entering whitelist agreements with AdBlock Plus, which brought speculation of bigger ad firms being asked to pay Eyeo a cut of their revenue in exchange of becoming unblocked. 

It would seem that companies can pay their way out of the problems they have with ad blockers, only Criteo appears to have taken its time in between deciding on the most suitable course of action.

The company is deemed a starlet of the personalised ad economy and, in its latest financials, increased revenue by 54% between Q3 2014 – Q3 2015, hitting a total of €299 million.

The growing acceptance of ad blocking may still have been seen as a thorn in its side, though, as many of its listed publishers will be unable to get paid off the back of ads that aren’t seen by the user.  

“We messed up”

With ad-blocker use growing 41% worldwide over the last year (Q2 2014 – Q2 2015), a number of well-known figures in marketing have presented their ways of solving the problem.

IAB senior vp of technology Scott Cunningham issued one of most memorable statements; declaring that “we (the ad industry) messed up”. Cunningham even picked up on issues with retargeting as a way of explaining some of the problems being faced.

Ad blocking dominated the headlines in the midpoint of this year and became a huge point of focus for some of the world’s biggest media outlets after Apple’s decision to allow ad blockers in iOS 9.

In the aftermath, publishers have been looking into ways of improving how they monetise their businesses without upsetting their users – some of whom have turned to ad blockers as a result.

As for ad servers like Criteo, they too are looking into the best ways of getting around the adoption of tools which inadvertently syphon revenue from their businesses.