I was just cruising Reddit and I came across a comment I wanted to post here. It was in a thread about Ad-Block. It fairly accurately described my own issues with advertisements (though I have sheltered myself a little more from it by working from home).
I run ad-block on both Chrome and Firefox and if I think your site isn’t going to assault me with intrusive crap, I will allow ads; Blessed by the Potato and Reddit are good examples of these. There are other sites, however, which I love, but every time I try to allow ads on them, I get painfully loud, distracting banners all over the place, Ain’t It Cool News and Dark Horizons are examples of these.
Anyways, here’s the comment I thought was good.
I really don’t give a shit how intrusive or non-intrusive ads are frankly. We are the most hounded generation from marketers the world has ever seen.
Lets assume I do nothing to block ads and lets just go through my typical day. Ok?
I wake up in the morning to my alarm radio going off – chances are instead of music – i get an earful of advertisements. I shower, eat breakfast, turn on the tv to catch a bit of an early morning show – which has ads, products sponsored right in the show sometimes, possibly even little popups at the bottom of the screen for shows on later tonight or the next day. I eat my breakfast, brush my teeth and leave.
On my way to work I pass by billboard signs attempting to convince me to buy this or to buy that, or little signs by jack-legs who are trying to earn a buck with startup computer repair and payday loan companies.
I pull into the gas station to fill up – and i get an earful from the speaker at the pump telling me to come on inside – get a coffee, a hoagie or a tacquito or whatever. Signs are everywhere advertising the price of cigarettes, beer, and such.
I make it to work. I login to Gmail and get assaulted with ads in my fucking inbox and mail messages. Thank god Gmail has a great spam filter because then I’d get even more ads in my mailbox. I go to my favorite websites – ads everywhere. I search for something job realted – more ads. All day at work – for work or when i’m slacking off – ADS ADS ADS. Some are “non-intrusive” text, some popup and cover the whole screen. Some are auditory and visual, some are static. Some open their own windows, some are embedded in text so when you drag your mouse over it -it give a java popup windows. Some are little blocks like at Reddit.
SOME carry fucking malware.
But you know – i make it to lunch, get in my car and go to a restaurant (passing more billboards) and i order and i sit down to eat. They either a) have the tv on – which will inevitably play more ads, or B) i’ll grab a newspaper or magazine laying around there which has MORE FUCKING ads in it. (Gotta love that people pay for magazines and you’re paying for a book of advertisements basically).
I go back to work – make it through the remainder of the day. On my way home I decide to stop by the grocery store. When I walk in the door there’s a machine audibly telling me about the store’s new deals. There’s ads on the floor, ads hanging from the ceiling, end-cap deals trying to grab my attention.
I get food for the evening, make my way home and check my mail. And like always my mailbox is fucking stuffed. Am i popular? Nope. Do i have “THAT” many bills? I have a lot – but not that many. No most of my mailbox is filled with credit card deals, ads for this, ads for that, 95% of the mail i receive is fucking junk.
So i sort through my mail and i cook myself dinner and right as i sit down to eat, my phone rings – it’s some shitcocked telemarketers trying to sell me satellite tv, insurance, comcast telephone, or any number of other services.
Every blank space in the world there is – there’s an advertiser that wants to put their fucking logo or witty tag line on it.
It’s getting to the point that they have to be “innovative” with viral ad campaigns that “engage” the consumer. Hell, we can look at a future where a walk in public means getting audibly assaulted with sonic beams that you don’t know where the fuck it’s coming from.
And this ignores also the entire issue about privacy – data collection on the populace for the sake of marketing data is at scary levels IMHO. Google and Facebook (and yahoo, Bing, and others) thrive on collecting everything they can about you and then reselling that data off to others.
We are generally so subjected to ads or the effect of marketing from the time we wake up until the time we fall asleep.
So excuse me if i don’t give two flying fucks about whether an ad is “intrusive” or not. A culture built on consumerism has given rise to a culture built on marketing and ads and excuse me but I will do everything i can to avoid it.
If that means ablock+noscript, fine. If it means Do Not Call registries – fine. If it means DVR to fast forward through them, or if it means buying the content on dvd/bluray or if it means torrenting the damn material to avoid ads – fine. I don’t buy magazines, i don’t buy the newspaper.
and i don’t have the slightest bit of pity for any lost profits someone might have because i didn’t view or click their ads. Small website or not. Want money? Charge me for content and provide content worth charging for. I do have had (in the past) subscriptions to several online publications – i’m not above paying for things.