Internet Ads: Annoying, Intrusive, Apparently Acceptable

Those damn Internet ads are getting worse.   

Remember when…? It’s a phrase that makes progressive thinkers cringe, but in this case it is apt.  Remember when Internet ads weren’t so damned intrusive?

Ten years ago, pop-up (or pop-under) ads skirted the edge of Internet advertising ethics, but with the assault of today’s traffic tactics on mobile devices, most of us would gladly welcome them again.  Now even reputable sites (including several Indiana news outlets) are using automatic redirects that shoot readers to counterfeit Amazon phishing sites.  Only a fool would consider purchasing from those links, right?

Maybe, but then that means there are many, many fools in the world.  You’d think these ads would steer people away from specific sites or links. Sometimes they do, but sometimes isn’t enough.

In a recent Ad Reaction study by Kantar Millward Brown, the first reaction to a clustered convoy of digital advertising wasn’t “they’re irritating” or “they’re a waste of money” like you’d expect.  It was “it reminds me of a brand” and “it leaves a strong impression”.  Very far from negative responses.  In the same study, 69% of those surveyed agreed that advertising has become more intrusive.

From these few statistics, we can glean a significant conclusion:

Advertising pounds us at every corner of our online lives, and most of us don’t mind. 

That’s…a little terrifying.

Want to Know More?

Read Wired‘s oldie-but-goodie piece “Internet Ad Industry Begs for Regulation.”

Consider online periodical Slate‘s plea for readers to end their ad filtering “Why Ad Blocking Hurts Slate and How You Can Help.

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