interMute Inc., developers of technology that allows consumers to block ads and reject cookies as they browse the web, is close to signing distribution agreements with PC manufacturers, Ed English, CEO, tells Internet Retailer. The agreements would include the standard version of interMute`s AdSubtract software on new PCs. Already, Braintree, Mass.-based interMute has agreements with major modem manufacturers to include AdSubtract with modems; English says that 70% of modems sold in North America will include AdSubtract by the end of the summer.
AdSubtract blocks ads by checking incoming ads against a data base of known ad servers. It automatically blocks those ads and the associated cookies. The more advanced version of AdSubtract highlights cookies already on a user’s computer by their source so the user can delete the ones that the user doesn’t want-such as ad cookies-and keep the ones he does-such as brokerage account or news site cookies.
“We are making major inroads to the general population,” English says. Already, 500,000 consumers are using AdSubtract and it has been made available on 20 million CDs distributed with computer equipment. Interestingly, says English, 25% of AdSubtract users cite their desire to speed up web travel, rather than privacy or dislike of ads, as the reason they use the software.
English says the company has heard no response from online advertisers or operators of ad servers about the service. “To date, they have pretended that we don’t exist, but by the end of summer, our existence will be undeniable,” English says.