Already fed up with pre-roll ads that want you to view a full-screen movie before letting you proceed to the Web page you requested? Hate those ads that expand to cover the content you want to read when you happen to mouse over them?

Wait until you see what the major Web advertisers have in store next!

The Online Publisher’s Association (OPA) this week announced, “a new initiative designed to help stimulate a renaissance of creative advertising on the Internet that meets the needs of marketers by better integrating their messages into the fabric of the Web.”

What means is, three even larger, even more intrusive Web ad formats that will be ‘standard’ by this summer, as the OPA news release explains:

  • The Fixed Panel (recommended dimension is 336 wide x 860 tall), which looks naturally embedded into the page layout and scrolls to the top and bottom of the page as a user scrolls.
  • The XXL Box (recommended dimension is 468 wide x 648 tall), which has page-turn functionality with video capability.
  • The Pushdown (recommended dimension is 970 wide x 418 tall), which opens to display the advertisement and then rolls up to the top of the page.

The OPA says the new approach to online advertising is designed to ‘inspire creativity’ in advertising, ‘provide a greater share of voice’ for advertisers (i.e.- give them more screen space), and ‘enhance interactivity’ with page visitors.

OPA members include major news outlets such as CBS Interactive, CNN, Discovery Communications, ESPN, FOXNews Digital,, MTV Networks, NBC Universal, The New York Times, Time Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network and All OPA members have committed to offering at least one of the new formats by this coming June.

We wonder when the inevitable, massive reader backlash against increasingly greedy and intrusive Web advertising will start…

One Response to Even-more-annoying online ads

  1. Evolving Squid
    Mar 12, 2009

    The more intrusive on-line advertising gets, the more people will actively take steps to ignore it. 14 years ago, a friend of mine doing research for his masters found that people will stare at the mouse pointer rather than look at banner ads. 5 years ago, Ad-Block Plus ( )revolutionized Mozilla Firefox and continues to block the overwhelming majority of advertising content for a huge percentage of Firefox users.

    It’s a simple fact that people are so inundated with advertising in every aspect of their life that they’re already going out of their way to ignore it. Making the advertising more intrusive will just piss people off. It won’t hurt the product being advertised so much as it will the site the advertisement is on. TV advertising revenues are down. Why? Because people don’t watch the ads on TV – they come to the net to get mostly-ad-free content. Internet sites can’t expect that people will suddenly love advertising.

    If I go to some web site and it tries to make me load a big Flash ad that I can’t skip, then pops up some ad window that scrolls with the text – or worse – uses java to pop up over the text forcing me to manually close it, then I go away and don’t come back… and I tell my friends to not go there. So the web site loses and the advertiser gains nothing.

    Make no mistake, the backlash has already started. As more net-savvy people start to take control of their internet experience, advertisers are going to run into major disappointments.

    Personally, I’ve been an ABP user for years. I hardly ever see ads on the internet any more. I block most cookies too, so advertisers can’t track my surfing habits. I think that is the shape of things to come.

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