Internet Advertising Does. Not. Rock.

I just accidentally rolled over a Levi’s Jeans banner ad, which popped up out of nowhere. Cue sudden loud music, and adrenaline-filled horror; mouse flails around the screen, and a box pops up with the magic X in the corner.

I just hate the way the commercial internet is becoming. The experience is like being trapped inside a jack-in-the-box.

Internet ads keep The Dream ticking over

I know it’s a necessary evil (sorta); I know that the internet is the land of opportunity, and without all those intrusive ads, the available levels of opportunity would be lesser. Not as much money, not as many fans; the internet wouldn’t exist if nobody looked at it. Those ads wouldn’t be there if we weren’t clicking on them.

Trust me on this. Internet ad folk are looking for proof that their ads work. They compile huge databases of information to help them find it. If ads don’t work, the companies don’t spend the cash.

But I hate it.

I love the internet. There was a period, say from 2004 to 2011 when I often thought that the internet was everything I’d always hoped it would be. Information on anything, right there. In seconds if you knew where to look. Then the advertising changed.

Venn Diagram

Adverts behave differently now. Those pairs of ’em, the rectangular ones that scroll down with you. Banners* that pop up. Sign-up requests before you’ve got to the second line of an article. Eternally hitting the X.

I’m a savvy user. I’ve loved computers since the BBCs in Year Two, circa 1986, and I’ve spent a lot of time using them in the last fifteen years. There must be more ads than ever – apparently there was an upwards trend in 2012. If ad-jacking is making me uncomfortable, it must be hellish for people who don’t use them as often.

So, much as I love the internet wholeheartedly, I’m torn on the issue. I want there to be a golden egg with  my name on it, waiting on the internet somewhere. I want the chance to shine in public and say something worthwhile. But I don’t want the means by which that happens.

How much of a hyprocrite am I? In my defence, I used to forgive the ads because of the ‘necessary evil’ aspect, but now the levels of intrusive distraction are becoming untenable. Not quite there yet, but close enough. Enough is enough.

Stop already. (Said the hypocrite).

*Understanding Internet Banners useful article.

Image by Philip Wels, Flickr, via Creative Commons