Simon, left, described the ad-blocking business model as “extremely unhealthy” and “pretty unsavoury” at a conference held by media research service Enders Analysis.
His comments come the week after culture secretary John Whittingdale warned ad-blocking software could kill journalism, telling the Oxford Media Convention that ad-blocking companies are “depriving many websites and platforms of legitimate revenue.”
Mr Whittingdale further described ad-blockers as a “modern day protection racket.”
Simon told Tuesday’s conference: “The business model of ad-blocking is a pretty unsavoury one.
“They offer software for free [to consumers] and then come to us and say ‘your site’s OK so if you pay us we will ensure ads on your sites get through’. There is something extremely unhealthy about this business model.”
He added: “It is also becoming a war of technology. As we come up with ways to detect ad-blocking software they come up with other way. It is a war, you have to be constantly updating.”
Regional publisher Newsquest is currently trialling a system whereby visitors to some of its websites cannot view stories if they are using ad blockers.
The trial means people using the software, which removes advertising links from web pages, are unable to view individual stories on some of its websites.
Instead, readers are confronted with a message explaining that the revenue from advertising funds local journalism and a guide to removing ad blockers.