Thursday, June 19, 2003

I would like to nominate this pop-under ad, shown at half its original size, for the "most annoying pop-under ad of the year" award:

Once the ad gets onto your screen, it starts continuously playing this sound file, only 5 seconds of which have been captured here. The ad is a Flash animation, and the animation shows fireworks "exploding" in the background. This sound file is the sound of the explosions. Once you figure out what is going on, your only choice is to go track down the ad (which in my case was buried within a stack of about 25 open windows) and close the ad in order to get rid of the noise.

This is not the first time I have thought that if we banned all advertising, in every form, our world might be a much nicer place. It would be a less expensive place too -- companies in the U.S. spend something like $200 billion per year on advertising, or about $2,000 per household per year. The money for all those ads comes from higher prices on every product we purchase. Short of a total ban, there has to be a way to eliminate advertising that forces you to waste time dealing with it. An ad in a newspaper or magazine is one thing. Telemarketers, spam, noise-producing pop-unders, etc. are another.

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