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Shock horror! (Well, maybe not.)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
January 13, 2002

E-Poll: New ads annoy surfers

Jan. 14, 2002

By Paul Bond

The online advertising industry might be recovering as a result of aggressive tactics like "pop-behinds" and "spawned" browser windows -- where closing an ad spawns another ad -- but advertisers and the Web sites featuring such ads are alienating the very consumers they're trying to reach, according to a new study from e-Poll.

The scientific study, with a 95% confidence level and error factor of +/-5%, concludes that intrusive ads -- like spawns, pop-ups and those that address the Internet surfer by name -- are most objectionable.

E-Poll uses a sample of adults that reflects the demographic of the U.S. population, except, of course, that all those surveyed have Internet access.

The study, "Online Advertising: The Consumer Perspective," also asked specifically about online movie ads and determined that 39% of Internet surfers recall seeing at least one ad for a current movie. Thirty-four percent have not seen such an ad, and 26% were unsure.

Those answering in the affirmative were asked which sites they recall seeing the movie ad/ads at: 16% said Yahoo!, followed by AOL (10%), MSN (7%), IMDb.com (4%), Amazon.com (2%), AOL Moviefone (2%) and E! Online (2%).

Encino-based e-Poll will tout the online ad study at the upcoming National Association of Television Program Executives convention in Las Vegas, along with studies regarding consumer opinion about interactive TV, broadband Internet access and DVDs.

The take-away for online advertisers and ad-dependent Web sites, according to the study, is: "Look for advertising practices which do not violate the consumer's sense of control over his or her browsing experience. Make advertising relevant to the user's activities, either through targeted ads or paid search results. And keep in mind that Web users don't necessarily object to online advertising and, if done right, may even approve of it."

What constitutes doing it right? Asked which online ads are actually enjoyable, Internet users answered the following: those relevant to the content at the site they're visiting (11.9% like such ads), banner ads (6.7%), creative and interactive (6.4%), ads offering discounts or promotions (5.8%) and unobtrusive ads (5.5%).

Most people click on one or two online ads a month, with men and older Web surfers clicking even less frequently, according to the study. Twenty percent click on no ads per month, and 18.1% click on six or more.

As for the pop-behind ad, being used more and more, e-Poll found that 72.4% of surfers "always close this type of ad without paying attention to it," and 40% said their opinion of advertisers that use pop-behinds is lowered, while 36% said the same about the Web sites that allow such advertising.

© 2002 VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.

post #2 of 9
How bizarre...while reading this, a pop up ad appeared! :LOL:

Did you plant it there Joe??? :paranoid2
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Honest! I had nuttin' ta do wit it! *hopes Cleo was kidding else I'm in big trouble with Anne*

post #4 of 9
Gee, and I thought I was the only person who didn't read those things. I kept thinking they must be effective or they wouldn't do that! But it's true, I never read them. I often click off the pop-ups before they've even filled in all the ways, and I usually don't see the pop-behinds until I hit quit and the windows in front of them close. I just wonder if the findings will affect the advertising at all . . .
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
That's a good question. In this era of the winner-take-all brand of capitalism — with Yahoo! buying up the inter-net right, left and center — I can't imagine Madison Avenue being overly impressed by those survey results. Advertising methods, once they become habitual, don't change unless a law is passed. That's what it took to get rid of the clutter of billboards along major highways years ago.

Take television in the U.S.A., for instance. Even though advertisers make plenty of money in Europe and on other continents via non-interruptive advertising, here in the U.S.A. television programs continue to be interrupted every several minutes by several minutes of commercials. Back in the 1970s when I worked at the local CBS affiliate, the CBS Evening News contained two commercial breaks of one minute's duration each. And our local news went right up to the network's news, with no advertising between the programs.

That bastion of journalism the New York Times not only has pop-up advertising on every page of its web site, but now the pop-ups have audio tracks which play automatically no matter what kind of audio system one's computer contains! Places such as The Cat Site, bereft as it is of obnoxious advertising, are an endangered species.

post #6 of 9
I do the exact same thing that Sunlion does. I close all those silly pop-up ads just as fast as I can. They're just something that gets in the way of whatever I'm trying to look at.
post #7 of 9
Definitely no pop-up ads here! And you won't see any either! I can't stand them myself. The only one I am considering is adding a pop-up of my own to the opening page which will encourage people to join the site's monthly newsletter, as I'm told by other webmasters these are effective. If I do put one up, it will be accomapanied with a cookie, which will only let the message pop-up once for every user. That means it won't show up again in future visits. I'm still not sure about that either - like I said, I don't like pop-ups one bit myself!

Even the banners went away. But I do have a sponsorship program and there is even a sponsor for parts of the site right now (visit any of the care, behavior, health, nutrition or grooming sections and you'll see the sponsorship message at the top of the page). I think this is better as it's less intrusive then a banner + it allows me to work with specific companies that make cat related products and so offer the visitors a focused ad which they might actually find interesting. This sponsor has a terrific product which is like a cat tree only it's attached to the walls and doen't take up any space on your floor. I really like it and I'm happy to introduce it to cat people.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Anne, I can't tell you how much I appreciate the fact you've always kept any advertising here in a low-key mode. My blood pressure thanks you!

Lorie, as soon as we all become adept at giving pop-ups the boot as soon as they show up the advertising people will begin using even more obnoxious methods. Oh, well.

post #9 of 9
That was very interesting, Joe. I hate those pop up ads, and I never even look at them, but they are still annoying.
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