Online Publishers' Solution To Falling Ad Revenues: Bigger, More Annoying Ads

from the sledgehammer-on-a-thumbtack dept

Things aren't looking good for the online ad market: reduced spending by advertisers combined with the fact that people don't pay a whole lot of attention to banner ads portends doom and gloom. While the first part of that equation might be out of online publishers' control, they're trying to tackle the second part not by recognizing that advertising needs to be engaging or interesting content in order to be satisfying, but rather by clubbing internet users over the head with some new, huge and intrusive banner ad formats. Say hello to the Fixed Panel, which is a huge vertical banner that "scrolls to the top and bottom of the page as a user scrolls", the XXL Box, which is pretty much exactly what it says, and the Pushdown, the biggest of the bunch, which rolls down from the top of the page to get right in the user's face. The trade group behind these new formats says they are "designed to help stimulate a renaissance of creative advertising on the Internet that meets the needs of marketers by better integrating their messages into the fabric of the Web." That sounds like a lot of buzzwords, but conspicuous by its absence is any mention of the user's experience of these ads. These ads might grab users' attention through brute force, but will the experience be a positive one? It seems likely that intrusive advertising that gets in users' way will simply make the current situation worse by driving users away from the content. This is a further reflection of just how dead the captive advertising model is. Consumers have plenty of choices about where to get their content online; if a publishers' advertising keeps getting in their way, they'll move on and get content from somewhere else.
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Filed Under: ads, online ads


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  1. identicon
    Yakko Warner, 11 Mar 2009 @ 9:47am

    Re: Plugins for ad filtering

    Sometimes ad-blocking plug-ins aren't an option (work or library or other issues where you can't control what is installed on the PC; and not everyone is savvy enough to know to run Portable Firefox and/or remember to keep their USB stick with them always). And not all ad blockers catch all ads -- a lot like viruses and anti-virus software, coders on both sides are constantly trying to find a way around/to catch each other, so that sometimes ads slip by until the ad blocker can be updated.

    I have searched for info in Google, come across a site, clicked on it, and closed it down when I saw the page and its annoying ads. So there have been cases where I've been driven away from the content.

    I've also seen cases where an interstitial page is used to display an ad, but the ad blocker blocks it, but the page waits for the ad to "finish" before redirecting to the content. Because the ad is blocked, the ad never finishes, so I never see the content.

    I actually came across one site very recently that detected my use of an ad blocker (just some javascript that checked to make sure an ad image loaded with the page), and when it did, it redirected from the content page to a separate "please disable your ad blocker" page. Yeah, there's a site I'm not visiting again.

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