o you find pop-up ads on the Web as
annoying as I do? Is it just my impression or are they increasing
in size and number?
And aren't travel purveyors among the principal sponsors of
these intrusive messages?
Lately when I try to sign off from the Web, I can't get out
without Orbitz or someone else rearing their heads to try to grab a
last-minute piece of action from me.
The practice is particularly objectionable when the unsolicited
ad sits between you and your desire to log off so you can get on
with your life.
I also notice that some of the country's major news
organizations, apparently in a desperate struggle to generate Web
advertising, are creating ad configurations that are placed
prominently inside editorial content, and that sit there and
occasionally flash as you try to read something.
Intrusive advertising is a time-honored practice. Consider how
television commercials are relentlessly played at higher sound
levels than we hear during the programs they accompany. That
technique was concocted by some ad executive who decided that
people go to the kitchen during commercials so the sound level
better be louder. They haven't met my wife who now automatically
hits the "mute" button every time a television commercial
On the Web, intrusive advertising began in the form of discreet
banners atop and alongside editorial content. These techniques
proved insufficient to generate adequate click-throughs to
advertiser sites so the people spending the money are demanding
more in-your-face impressions.
While these pop-up intrusions do nothing but infuriate me, they
may turn out to be effective with some portion of the Web
There's an old advertising industry theory that when ads become
truly irritating, they finally have made an impression on the
Years ago, the makers of the pain reliever, Anacin, kept the
same commercial on the air for what seemed to be forever. When the
headache reliever's ad agency was told that the commercials were
causing, not curing, headaches, the agency replied that the sales
of the product were rising at an increasing rate the longer the
same old commercials were played.