From Murphy Apps (makers of the Crystal ad blocker):
Honestly? As a single developer, it would be impossible for me to manage the workload required to make sure publishers conform to any strict standard. Eyeo however has the experience & infrastructure in place, the data of acceptable ads that meet a criteria, the support staff to assist with reviews (all done through open forum) and the necessary business relationships within the industry.
The Verge, while being one of the single worst offenders of grotesque revenue models, is also enamored with talking about their needs, yet they missed this important point. They also seem to have manufactured this entire backlash against an ad blocker to support the little ad agency they run. Reading this post by Crystal, it seems like a more accurate story is the one about an app developer looking for a way to support both readers and writers. Nope. That wouldn't allow The Verge to set as many cookies.
I'm also not a fan of the term "acceptable ad." Everyone has a different threshold. Someone at the Verge took a look at the 17 cookies they set and the ridiculous ad quantity they load and said, "it's pretty hot, but let's go with a font that has larger kerning."