Tired of those Pop-up Ads on the Interent?
You know those ads if you spend any time on the Internet –
they pop up and take over much of your computer screen. To many
consumers, they are at best bothersome and if you are unlucky
enough to accidentally to hit them with your mouse, you will
get bombarded with a stream of advertisements for the latest
in home-monitoring devices, insurance, vacation discount sites,
etc. Moreover, you will most likely download an Internet “cookie”
into your computer that allows the advertiser to track your
movements over the Internet.
Advertisers initially used bannerads that appeared across the
top and bottom of computer screens—promotions that consumers
quickly learned to ignore. Beginning in 1995, advertisers resorted
to the more bothersome pop-up displays in the hope you couldn’t
miss them. Indeed, market research indicates consumers are 50
percent more likely to notice a pop-up ad than a banner ad.
Market research firm Dynamic Logic surveyed consumers and
discovered that consumers rank popup ads just ahead of telemarketers
in the category of undesirable advertising. Fortunately, according
to the Wall Street Journal, advertisers are growing increasingly
wary of the consumer backlash, and advertising using the pop-up
ads has fallen off dramatically. Late last fall, America Online
(AOL) announced that it would discontinue using pop-up ads to
prevent its 35 million frustrated customers from defecting to
another Internet service provider.
AOL’s departure from using popup ads reportedly cost the
company about $30 million. According to the Journal, AOL has
moved back towards using more banner ads. EarthLink, an AOL
competitor, offers a service that actually blocks pop-up ads,
while AOL competitors MSN and Yahoo still use pop-up ads. My
favorite Internet search site, www.google.com,
does not allow pop-up ads.