They’re bad.

I wait feverishly for your ad to finish loading so I can click on the X to dismiss it. The only exception is when I decide my life’s completeness does not depend on the pathetic page behind the awful ad, so I just kill the window.

I promise I will never read your stupid ad that’s in front of the things that I thought I wanted to see.

When I see it, I suspect a broken business model; if you need to inflict this kind of abuse on your readers, a barrel’s bottom is being scraped. If that’s what’s up well I’m sorry, sucks to be you and I genuinely hope quality publishing finds good business models but I’m really fucking sure none of them are in-yo-face interstitials.

Anybody who needs to park their message between me and what I want to look at is someone I despise, and I’d promise to actively avoid their products except for I can’t because I never stay to watch them.

I don’t care if it slides in with graceful HTML5 witchery; in fact I hate that more, it puts off the delicious moment when I can click on the X and make it go away.

I suspect there’s a legion of marketing geniuses telling revenue-hungry site owners that it’s a good idea; just like TV, where you don’t get to see the program you want without waiting through the ads. Wrong, because TV ads don’t have a little X-to-dismiss in the corner. And you can make your ad un-dismissable but you can’t work around the close-tab keystroke..

There are alternatives; TPM slides an ad across the bottom of the screen and it’s irritating but sometimes I don’t bother to dismiss it. The Big Picture shows you a couple pictures and makes you do a little 1-or-2-question survey to see the rest.

I’m thinking of a Kickstarter to equip decision-makers at the major Web quality-publishing sites with supersoakers containing pungent permanent purple dyestuff, to be used on every advertising strategist who proposes an interstitial.

I’m pretty sure I’m right about this.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Thomas P. Magliery (Oct 15 2013, at 22:42)

+1, except that I refute your assertion that I slide an ad across the bottom of your screen. ;-)


From: hawkse (Oct 16 2013, at 01:26)

Said marketing geniuses never cease to amaze me. They seem to think that if they can only manage to get their spammy garbage between the user and their content, defeating said users' popup/ad/tracking blockers, the user will see the error in their ways and suddenly gratefully submit to buying the crap advertised?

I see it IRL too. Every single mailbox in my house has a sign saying "No advertising, please.". Quite telling, I think. What do advertisers do? They start distributing "free local newspapers" consisting of mainly ads and some poorly written articles about new businesses in town.

My point? I argue the main problem is not how advertising is delivered but rather advertising itself.

You would know. I'm sure your employer works very hard at making advertising *not* suck by making it context relevant and staying out of the way.


From: gvb (Oct 16 2013, at 04:02)

Does your hating include the ads on YouTube before you can watch the video? It does for me.

Unfortunately I usually don't have an option to not watch the ad + video, unlike web pages where I can hit the back button and go to the next search result.


From: Bob Haugen (Oct 16 2013, at 04:41)

Thank you! Can you prevail upon your colleagues at YouTube to adopt this attitude?


From: Lance (Oct 16 2013, at 06:04)

Does this include pre-roll ads on YouTube? Sometimes I wait 5 seconds to dismiss an ad, sometimes I just close the tab.


From: Allinson's Photography (Oct 16 2013, at 09:02)

It just seams like yesterday when all that junk mail stopped falling through our letterboxes and here it is again in our browsers. I don't mind advertising when it helps deliver info I want either free or cheaper Newspapers have done it for years but why use such annoying in your face techniques there is enough screen space for ads and info together as you say.

The trouble is it probably works - it reminds me of the time I asked a friend where they had bought their new sign on the front door saying "No Salesmen . . .etc." they had bought it from a door to door salesman - you can't make it up sometimes.


From: Jake Munson (Oct 16 2013, at 11:59)

The "little X-to-dismiss in the corner" for TV ads is called a DVR.


From: Michael Kay (Oct 16 2013, at 15:51)

There's really something very odd about a world that puts so much energy into selling us things we don't want. I re-read "The affluent society" recently, and it clearly explains the problem but offers no solutions. There are many industries now where the cost of producing the product is completely dwarfed by the cost of persuading people to buy it. And all that money that we spend on absurdly expensive soap powder is being used to finance junk advertising that we then resent. The root cause is really that it now takes only about 3% of the workforce to produce the things we actually need, yet the remaining 97% have a desperate need to do something that keeps themselves gainfully employed; more than that, it seems that our world comes to an end if we don't actually grow the economy by 3% a year. Perhaps we should make everyone take 3 months' holiday a year? And perhaps we should be more prepared to pay for ad-free content?


From: Cedric (Oct 17 2013, at 09:30)

As maddening as these ads are, they are not going away any time soon because they work. I know, it's hard to believe, but they really do.

You say that you will never read them. When I am subjected to a forced video ad, I foam at the mouth, angrily press the mute button and make a conscious effort to look at another tab while it proceeds.

Yet, the harm has been done: you and I have both noticed that ad and we have generated an emotional response to it. You and I might be more sensitive to this than a lot of people, but if the number of people who browse the web without ad block or with full permissions for pop ups and THEY DON'T CARE, you know that this kind of advertising is here to stay.


From: Joseph Ratliff (Nov 09 2013, at 09:14)

Anyone who thinks that advertising on the Internet is the same as advertising on TV... doesn't understand the Internet at all.

And... no, I can't think these ads work very well, especially when:

1. Some people use ad blocking plugins. (an increasing number)

2. Sometimes the ad doesn't even show up in the interruption window at all.


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October 15, 2013
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