Opinion: Advertisements getting in your face

Bruce Walton

Bruce Walton

Bruce Walton is a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

Let me say first and foremost that I approve of ads. They’re perfect tools for corporations, they keep the economy flowing by urging consumers to buy more products and they help newspapers in ways you can’t even imagine.

But what I do hate is when advertisements go too far in their pitches. I’ve been noticing a lot of very persistent pop-up audio ads on YouTube and other sites; sometimes I just hear them and can’t even find them.

It’s as if some sort of corporation poltergeist has possessed my computer.

This is one of the easiest ways to lose your audience as quickly as you get them. They kind of remind me of the first annoying ads that almost ruined the Internet for everyone: pop-up ads.

In 2004, my family had just gotten a new computer: a new desktop Dell home computer. We all took turns going online to some of our favorite sites like Yahoo and, for me, Cartoonnetwork.com.

But most Internet users were still inexperienced with the dangers of online, including pop-up ads.

First you’d start with one, click on it thinking that you are truly the 1,000th customer, then BAM! — four more pop-ups.

You try to close them all but it’s too late; more pop-ups appear. It’s like battling a hydra; as you cut off one, three more pop-up out of its place and your only hope is to restart your computer.

That almost ruined the Internet for me if it weren’t for standard pop-up blockers on browsers.

The Internet was such a magical free domain, so full of life and information. I hated that I was almost constantly badgered by pop-up ads wherever I went.

It would be like walking in Times Square in New York City seeing all the bright lights, colorful characters and the hustle and bustle of the city. But those ads on top of the buildings are constantly flashing and popping out from the buildings to crowd you until you buy the product or leave the city.

You go inside of a building and they still follow you in; you run in Central Park and they’re already there.

It just ruins the experience for you and I hate it. I’m fine with these Internet ads that these websites are paid to show, it keeps their businesses flowing and pays the bills. My only advice is that you need to be careful about how these ads are received by consumers. YouTube is a pretty powerful website, but it isn’t invincible. Those annoying ads get to me so much it makes me want to forgo YouTube completely.

I’d be happy with having YouTube put more ad space onto the webpages if they need to show more ads. By all means, go right ahead. However, if you want to keep up your popularity, change those things so they don’t bother me while I try listening to some guy scream while a baseball hits his balls.