Online Ads – Crossing the Line?

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Ads. They’ve been part of our lives for years now. Web ads have evolved since the web became commercial. From Text ads to popups, overlays, javascript and cool little flash pages. Ads are all over sites and can be either non-obtrusive, or very annoying.

Last week I wrote an article about a Match.com advertisement where a girl who didn’t really look 18 was supposedly looking at her screen. It bothered me that I had to see that. Then, as I entered into , I found a lot more questionable, concerning ads. It really made me wonder – What is really when it comes to advertising?

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*Audio of Valerie Garnier*

This is what she is talking about. Go to Food Network.com and chose a chef. You get

*Audio of Food Network Ad*

MySpace.com seems to have changed their ads. Granted, we’re not seeing those dancing people asking us to refinance our mortgages anymore, but there seem to be more questionable ads than before.

The one I am seeing a lot is a picture of a girl slightly tugging on her already small t-shirt, saying “Find a now”. How about the ad of the Government check and the “I made 17,000 in 1 month”. At first I thought it was an overlay ad – an ad that MySpace doesn’t distribute, but more of on the computer. It takes over a file, then overlays the MySpace ad with their own.

I did the easiest thing I could think of – walked over to a brand new computer, and logged into MySpace. If my personal computer had Spy ware, then I wouldn’t see these ads on the other computer. Alas poor Yorrik….
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Ads are a part of anything. It’s really a question of how much they can annoy. Geekazine has been working with a full page ad that shows up only once per visit. It is the same type of full page ad you would see on other sites like CNet.com, USAToday.com and many other websites.

*Audio from Tamera Komuniecki ModernGearTV
*

At first, when I saw movies take over the background picture, I thought, “That’s pretty cool and very invasive, so pretty effective.” Of course that changed when they started putting on flash scripts of the trailer, or even the dual flash script that would cross over from one ad to another. Just like those Mac vs. PC ads did a couple months back where PC was trying to light up a Marquee or something.  Even though the sound was not running, the video was.

And advertising hasn’t stopped from the web. This next call is a little disturbing, because someone had to put in a cell phone number for Joe to get this next annoying ad:

*Audio from Joe Palmer *

For me, when I am asked for someone’s cell number, I tell them – “I don’t give that out. I will however text them YOUR cell phone number and ask them to call you”. Even if I know the person wouldn’t have a problem with giving the number, I still will not do that.

Ads have gotten better on mainstream sites. Usually advertisements get grouped together – some web analysts say by doing that people feel more comfortable with the site. Still there are a lot of ads out there that really…

Er really

Er really

Well, you get the picture.

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