GQ Tells Readers to Turn Off Ad Blockers or Pay Up

December 29, 2015, 8:25 PM UTC
GQ 20th Anniversary Men of the Year Party - Inside
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 03: GQ's Men of the Year issue is seen on display at the GQ 20th Anniversary Men of the Year Party at Chateau Marmont on December 3, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for GQ)
Photograph by Stefanie Keenan Getty Images for GQ

Conde Nast publication GQ is pushing back against readers using online advertisement blocking software, asking them to turn it off or pay to read an article.

When a user with ad blocking software clicks on a GQ article, a popup comes on the screen with an image of Amy Schumer as Princess Leia with the message: “Support GQ’s award winning journalism! Turn off your ad blocker or purchase instant access to this article, so we can continue to pay for photoshoots like this one.”

Below the message are two buttons, one that will show the article with advertisements and a second that will allow a reader to view the story for 50 cents.

The payment is processed by micropayment company CoinTent, which requires new users to sign up with a digital wallet. CoinTent collects payments for other media sites as well, including Conde Nast’s Epicurious, according to Digiday.

GQ isn’t the first media outlet to ask users to disable ad blocking software. Other sites like Forbes, The Washington Post, and Yahoo (YHOO) have also made efforts to discourage people from using the programs.

Ad blocking costs publishers that rely on advertising revenue to support their operations. Currently, only about 16% of web users in the U.S. use such software, according to one report. Though many media companies are trying to find ways to stop such plug-ins before they become widespread and ultimately put their business models at risk.

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