NY Times recommends ad blockers after CEO mulls ad-block ban

The New York Times' recent guide to smartphone battery life tweaks included an animated GIF teaching readers how to enable third-party ad-blocking software within iOS 9. This image was taken from the GIF. (credit: The New York Times)

The New York Times inadvertently found itself on both sides of the media world's ongoing ad-blocking conversation this week when a public statement by its CEO was countered by an article about smartphone battery life.

On one side of the argument stood CEO Mark Thompson, who spoke against the practice on Tuesday during a keynote discussion at New York's Social Media Week—and suggested possibly banning Times access for users who employ ad-blocking software. Adweek reported on that conversation, which saw Thompson say that his paper's content should be valued "like it's HBO rather than a broadcast network" and that "trying to use and get the benefit of the Times' journalism without making any contribution to how it's paid is not good."

Yet the Times followed those statements on Wednesday with a feature-length guide in its technology section titled "Tips and Myths About Extending Smartphone Battery Life." The guide, which is advertised as "part of a series of creative collaborations with The Wirecutter," covers topics such as downloading media instead of streaming it and keeping a phone's automatic brightness setting enabled, and it also dismisses battery-related myths. Most interestingly—at least in light of Thompson's statements—is its unqualified recommendation to "block power-sucking ads."

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