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The Internet

New Ultra-Intrusive Pop-up Ads Introduced 1068

Posted by timothy
from the get-your-day-pass dept.
CrashRide writes "According to this story at AdAge.com, Unicast is attempting to introduce a new on-line ad format that takes over the entire screen of the PC for about 15 seconds and must be closed by the viewer. "The ultra-intrusive new format opens when a user is on one page of a Web site and clicks a link to go to another page on the same site. Instead of seeing that new page, the user sees an ad that fills the entire screen.""
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New Ultra-Intrusive Pop-up Ads Introduced

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  • by MrCaseyB (200218) * <casey_slash.luxedit@com> on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:13PM (#5845925) Homepage Journal
    Anyone else worried about the quality of the net degrading? How long until peopel are so fed up that they just stop using it?

    Ok So I'm not going to stop using the net, I will continue to do what I always have done. When a website resorts to these Ad tactics, I either a) give them money to stop as is the case with slashdot. ONLY if the content on the site is worth the price they are asking though b) use the handy features of phoenix to make the site usable, block ads from this server, nuke this image, dont allow pop ups or javascripts. or c) stop using the site all together.

    I imagine these ads will piss off users and confuse the hell out of net illiterate types, to the point where they just stop visiting that site. What good is running a website and selling advertising space if NOBODY is watching anymore? Seems to me if sites are so desperate for advertising dollars, there is a better, less intrusive way to do it. Or maybe they should call it quits.

    I like my slashdot subscription, but im curious if they makes more money from me removing the ads or from me viewing the ads?

    This article said the ads would be 300k. Imagine some poor sap on dialup who has to download that crap when he is quickly clicking through links and subjected to 4 or 5 of these stupid things.

    If I ever get one of these awful ads shoved in my face, I assure you I will not be coming back for seconds.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:20PM (#5846062)
      If I ever get one of these awful ads shoved in my face, I assure you I will not be coming back for seconds.

      Hehe, yeah, I would wait at LEAST 2 to 3 seconds before coming back. ;)
    • by RocketScientist (15198) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:36PM (#5846263)
      I really just wish that Mozilla would implement a "block flash crap from this server" option along with the "block images from this server".
    • by FreeLinux (555387) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:36PM (#5846270)
      They call the Superstitial ads. They're very proud and excited about them. You can see them here [unicast.com].

      Basically it looks like a full screen java script pop-up with flash content. Fortunately, Konqueror immediately complained about java script wanting to open a new window (I have it set to prompt), so it looks like these won't be much of a problem for the clueful user.

      Still, the fact that a company is expending effort in the development of more intrusive advertising is reprehensible. Therefore....

      Slashdot them here [unicast.com]
      • Hehe... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bashibazouk (582054) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:46PM (#5846403) Journal
        I get a large window with the "click here to get the plug in" link :)

        Pays to browse with just about everything turned off/not installed.

        I think the best defense against this sort of thing is to email the company in the pop-up add telling them you saw the add and because of it you are instigating a 6 month boycott of their product. Company gets enough of those, and they might rethink their adverting methods.
    • Mods, ANYONE who has access to the STATS can this be quantified ?

      MrCaseyB,"I like my slashdot subscription, but I'm curious if they makes more money from me removing the ads or from me viewing the ads?"

      Would It be better if I just gave in and clicked a couple dozen ads a day on a site I liked and wanted to support, or does micropayment scheme work out better ?

      This is like the VOD, a pipe dream, the bandwidth isn't there, and why would the customer front the bill for it anyways ? Maybe it is time for a vi
    • by Squirrel Killer (23450) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:44PM (#5846386) Homepage
      It almost hurts to see an ad company not get the medium so profoundly. The Internet is not TV and they should stop trying to emulate TV ads on a web browser.

      TV ads work, even in an age of remotes and Tivos, because TV is a passive medium. To flip to another channel or hit the "Skip 30" button takes effort from an non-interactive individual (even as small of an effort as using the remote is.) I've been known to watch commercial breaks on taped programs just because I'm too zoned out to notice, which says as much about the program as it does me. Inertia works against active ad avoidance on the TV.

      The Internet, however, is a very interactive medium. Since the death of push, the only time I'm not interacting with the browser is when I'm streaming audio or video. Since I'm so interactive, it take very little effort for me to alt-tab to a new browser window or alt-f4 to kill the pop-up (if it even makes it that far with Mozilla.) Since I'm already interacting, inertia actually works for active ad avoidance.

      Ultimately, this ad format will fail, not because it's too intrusive, but because it's too annoying. It's annoying enough that people will find a way to block the ads. Internet advertisers need to find a way to make their ads intrusive without being annoying, and full-screen pop-ups that steal focus are not the answer.

      A while back, I compared the ratio of ad space to editorial content on Slashdot as compared to other media. For example, magazine ads are relative benign, you don't see people rising up demanding ways to get around magazine ads. But where /. has less than 1% of it's space devoted to ads, a magazine might have 33-50%. Those ads are intrusive, in that they're always there in front of the reader, but they're not too annoying. It helps that they're also highly targeted, you don't see ads for bridal dresses in a video game magazine.

      • by Ian Bicking (980) <ianbNO@SPAMcolorstudy.com> on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @05:18PM (#5847645) Homepage
        For example, magazine ads are relative benign, you don't see people rising up demanding ways to get around magazine ads... Those ads are intrusive, in that they're always there in front of the reader, but they're not too annoying.
        I find them quite annoying. I can't easily leaf through a magazine, because different weight papers are used to divert my finger to certain pages (never the ones I want). I can't find the contents because it's hidden behind some random number of ads in the front of the magazine. And once I do find the contents, I can't find the article because only about half the pages have numbers on them (since ads don't have numbers) -- worse when the magazine decides that some ad section is special, and isn't included in the page count, so there's fifteen pages between "page 94" and "page 95".

        So there, I can bitch about all ads, all the time if I want to! I can't do as much about the magazine ads, though...

        Really, though, let's not pretend that ads in our real life aren't without their cost.

  • Sounds Like (Score:5, Funny)

    by Apparition-X (617975) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:13PM (#5845929)
    An absolutely fabulous way to absolutely positively guarantee that I will never visit that website again. Good luck with that one, guys...
  • by AssFace (118098) <stenz77@nOspaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:13PM (#5845932) Homepage Journal
    no seriously - like the subject says - until they develop a digital technology that invades my ass without my permission - then they best lay off prepending "Ultra" to that shit.
    otherwise you leave yourself no room once they do develop ass prodding software in ads.
    • by Jack_Frost (28997) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:17PM (#5845997)
      RealMedia has cornered the market on "ass penetrating" software for the past several years.
      • by El Camino SS (264212) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @06:24PM (#5848347)
        "Hey, I need to see this on the 'net. It says I need to install this thing called RealPlayer to see it... how do I do that?"

        I am not the IT guy so I cannot tell them what to do, so I simply discourage them strongly. I tell them that, "RealPlayer is broken. It doesn't work anymore. The company died in the dotbomb. It is dangerous. It is created by terrorists. It destroys computers. You should never install it, and tell your friend that they should not use it. We can't play RealPlayer on our system. It was used on the old C-3PO operating system. Our computer doesn't support it. It is full of viruses. IT WILL KILL YOUR COMPUTER."

        I hate lying to people. Hate it. However the urge to play anything, and I mean anything, no matter how inane, by their corporate buddy in another cubicle is SOOO STRONG (I mean moth to bug zapper strong) that they simply cannot exsist witout RealPlayer. After all, you are telling them not to do something, and they want to see that guy light his own flatulence. You see why you lose in that situation.

        However, if you don't tell people a thousand reasons IN THE MOST EXTREME TERMS why they should not use RealPlayer, then the little moron will dodge your advice and install the danged thing. Then they will come to you with a computer that is half the speed that it was before and screws with you at all times. Then THEY START THE REAL LYING.

        "I didn't install RealPlayer! No I didn't! You told me I shouldn't so I didn't!"

        -TWO MINUTES LATER-

        "Okay... Well, I just HAAAAD to see that baby dancing video! I saw it on an Ally McBeal rerun and it was soooo cute!"

        It amazes me how many people have come to me for casual advice and then utterly bypass it to their own detriment. It is one thing to not know and accidentally install RealPlayer. It is another thing to ask, and then after hearing "EVIL! EVIL! EVIL!" from a person who knows, and still install it.
    • by Orblivion (548121) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:19PM (#5846041)
      Nah, you have:

      Ultra-Intrusive
      Ultra-Wide-Intrusive
      Ultra-Fas t-Wide-Intrustive
      Ultra-Fast-Wide-Intrustive160
      and coming soon:
      Ultra-Fast-Wide-Intrustive320
  • So? (Score:5, Funny)

    by conner_bw (120497) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:13PM (#5845933) Homepage Journal
    So what? This works for TV and Newspapers, why wouldn't it work for the web!

    Oh wait... i'm a marketer and i'm also an idiot.
    • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Atzanteol (99067) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:36PM (#5846257) Homepage
      It doesn't work like that in a newspaper at all... Do they hire some guy to force you to stare at ads in between articles?

      Now *that* would be ultra intrusive...
      • Re:So? (Score:3, Funny)

        by broter (72865)
        Do they hire some guy to force you to stare at ads in between articles?

        Yeah, they used to tie up Vinny and throw him on my porch every Sunday. He was a really nice guy with a real talent for breaking arms and hammering toes when I skimmed passed the Classified section or glanced pass one of those ad boxes on the bottom right.

        Unfortunately, he suffered from splinters and abrasions after the rainy seasons when my wooden porch fell into disrepair; and, when the new paper boy started throwing him in the cact
  • by RealAlaskan (576404) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:14PM (#5845947) Homepage Journal
    I used to see a lot of popup ads before Mozilla could block them. Are the advertisers still using them?
    • by Dub Kat (183404)
      It sounds like mainstream sites won't be using them. It would just alienate users too much. From the article here are quotes from guy at AOL and CBS MarketWatch:

      When asked about the new Unicast full-screen format, Chuck Gafvert, AOL's vice president of ad technologies and sales engineering, e-mailed back that "we are looking at a variety of ad formats -- including Unicast -- that advance advertiser interests without in any way negatively affecting the member experience. We look forward to expanding our ad
    • I used to see a lot of popup ads before Mozilla could block them. Are the advertisers still using them?

      I have memories of popups as well but Mozilla (or mostly Galeon in my case) deals with them so well that I don't even know of their existence.

      Some time ago blocking popups wasn't always so succesful because some sites relied on users' ability to see popups. I remember one common use was a username/password popup but I think they have mostly disappeared. Because site designers know that they can't rel

    • by dheltzel (558802) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:38PM (#5846317)
      I dunno, I've got the same thing. Today one of my co-worker's sons complained about all the popups on the net. I tried to demonstrate how Mozilla blocks popups, but I couldn't remember a site that uses them, it's been so long since I've seen one. He was happy to supply a URL for me and sure enough, no popup in Mozilla. The boy's now thinking his daddy works with a real wizard (daddy's our help desk guy, and does everything the MS way). I told him to get Mozilla, the browser of champions.

      I'm still not sure if popups actually exist out there. I guess I have to go fire up IE and check it out sometime :)

      Thanks, team Mozilla!!

    • by Sparr0 (451780)
      I prefer to use Ad Muncher [admuncher.com] to block ads, as well as do a plethora of other web based security, privacy, and annoyance removal tasks. It works better than anything I have seen in a single browser, including Mozilla, and works on anything that initiates HTTP connections, even things like game patchers and web spider programs. It can block banner ads, textual ads (anything to, for instance, a linksynergy redirect page), and a host of other things. Hell, it even blocks the adware ads in the Main Bar of the a
  • by esanbock (513790) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:14PM (#5845950)
    Disable page moving, page resizing, and bringing page to foreground.
    • I tried this with Phoenix, and even with all of the Javascript disabled, it STILL opens a big ol' fat window on my screen, full page size.

      It covers the Start bar (Windows XP), but I still have the control box to close the stupid thing at least.

      Also, I have my user.js file set to keep windows from opening in a new window, but that didn't stop the ad from opening in it's own window.

      Try it yourself here http://www.unicast.com/gallery/index.asp# [unicast.com]
  • Requested popup? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AnonymousCowheart (646429) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:14PM (#5845952) Homepage
    "The ultra-intrusive new format opens when a user is on one page of a Web site and clicks a link to go to another page on the same site."
    hmmmm...since you have to CLICK on it, would this be considered a "requested popup," something that pheonix, and mozilla allow? I'm sure the great team of programmers will still beat it,but until they do, this will be annoying!
  • by Shant3030 (414048) * on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:15PM (#5845957)
    While surfing around at work during some downtime and all the sudden you land on a questionable site and BAM a big vagina pops on your screen for 15 seconds...

    You begin freaking out but that doesn't compare to the reaction your boss is going to have when he walks by...
  • by VT_hawkeye (33442) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:15PM (#5845966) Homepage Journal
    I predict that, if this kind of thing becomes popular, future browser releases will include disabling of JS window resizing and JS foreground/background control, just like we have pop-up control now.

    If it gets obnoxious enough, people will find ways around it.
  • by questamor (653018) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:16PM (#5845974)
    This one will work quickly to do two things.

    1. make sure a user of a website is forced to see at least one ad for 15 seconds.

    2. make sure the user goes "wtf is this shit?" and go find a better site without that kind of crap.

    even if it becomes pervasive, and 90% of sites use this kind of 'feature' in its ads, it'll force people over to the sites who don't... which will in turn increase their traffic and own ad revenue.

    tards!
    • by unicron (20286) <unicron@nOsPAm.thcnet.net> on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:36PM (#5846276) Homepage
      I completely agree. What advertising exec believes that annoying people is good for business? Somewhere someone had to think this up and decide it was a good business move. I'm flabbergasted why they think this way. As a consumer, I know what I want, and I know how to find it. I mean I'm grinding my teeth here completely devoid of any reasoning as to who would think this practice would yield positive results.

      Here's a great story. The other day, I realized it was high time I ran ad-aware and cleaned up. It found about 30 spyware apps that had found their way on to my box and proceeded to clean them up. I rebooted. Nothing. It would load 2k all the way, but nothing would start. Rebooted safe mode, ran my boy Norton through there, no errors found. Reboot normal mode. Nothing. To date, I've NEVER had a 2k problem this bad. Visual C++ programming, 3d studio, a ton of other high profile, system-hogging programs, and nothing this bad, ever. I'm 100% sure it had something to do with the spyware removal. Something deliberate and malicious. The basic, underhanded message seems to be "wipe our spyware, we'll make your machine unusable"..

      So..reinstalled 2k, updated, patched, drivers installed..about 2 minutes into use..messenger service message comes in..oh fuck, forgot to block that..the message is an ad..telling me I can, for $29.99, buy a program that will BLOCK MESSENGER SERVICE ADS. At this point I'm so full of rage that I'm punching the cat. I don't know what to be more furious over..the delivery method they employed..or the fact that they're charging $29.99 to bust out at most 10 clicks of a mouse..I send them a STRONGLY worded letter..and offered them my "change your background image" software for $49.99 and that I'd throw in my "boot up sound changer" for free..still no reply.

      This was ours..all of this..before they took it and raped it and bastardized it. This was our geekly little hobby and now I'm ashamed of it. I question if it's even worth fighting for.
  • I'm not worried (Score:3, Insightful)

    by F.O.Dobbs (17317) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:16PM (#5845975) Homepage
    Power users won't have a problem with this. Either this will be easy to block with Mozilla or only work with IE or people will get so fed up that it'll peter out quickly. I've been using Mozilla so long it's always a harsh shock when I use IE and pop-ups start cluttering everything. But I'm sure there'll be plenty of people who get used to sitting through this crap and it'll catch on.
  • by thatguywhoiam (524290) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:16PM (#5845983)
    I think it was IGN or one of the giant networks... not a pop-up, but an interstitial page that appears between pages.

    Don't see the point of a pop-up. However I have set my Mac to emit a large belch every time it smacks down a popup for me. I like that.

  • by 27B-6 (239669) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:17PM (#5845996)
    ..for me when I'm not sitting at the computer, so I can replay "my" browsing session without ads later on. Just delightful. I just can't wait until the whole world is super-broadband so these delightful adverts can feature full video and sound. Sigh.
  • by Shadow Wrought (586631) <shadow.wrought@g ... m minus language> on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:17PM (#5845999) Homepage Journal
    That's certainly one way to discourage traffic at your site. Maybe they should make sure it flickers through a whole bunch of colors really, really fast just to make sure that no one will come back. Oh yeah, and don't forget really loud obnoxious sound either. The advertising trifecta of annoyance!
  • Old News (Score:4, Funny)

    by HughJampton (659996) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:17PM (#5846003)
    These have been in common use in porn sites for years.

    Of course, this is not through personal experence.

    Of course.

  • This is wonderful (Score:5, Interesting)

    by overshoot (39700) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:18PM (#5846016)
    No, seriously. I'm not trolling.

    Garbage like this just makes b0rken browsers like IE less and less tolerable to Joe User. Making Joe unhappy with IE is good because the sites the rest of us need to use will be less and less able to count on IE as some "universal standard."

    As the French Revolutionaries put it, "The worse, the better."

    • Re:This is wonderful (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zathrus (232140)
      Why do people seem to assume that IE is incapable of blocking popups?

      Ok, yeah, it can't do it by default. So what? There are innumerable popup blockers which vary from blocking all new windows unless you hold down some key (like Popup Stopper [panicware.com]) to COM wrappers that do pretty much what Mozilla does (one of which is Crazy Browser [crazybrowser.com]) to proxy filters that filter out unwanted popups, ads, and more (such as Proxomitron [proxomitron.org]. The last of which filters out far, far more than what Mozilla does, although it could be used w
      • Why do people seem to assume that IE is incapable of blocking popups?

        My personal kneejerk reaction is that MS has some vested interest in allowing popups. While this seems plausible, I haven't figured out all the intermediate steps, between "1. Allow popups" and "8. Profit!".

  • by gerardrj (207690) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:18PM (#5846024) Journal
    A pop-up ad is one thing. It's small code and content-wise. It probably takes 3-4 seconds to download, but the article states that these new ads are 300K!!! That's almost a full minute to download at 56K modem speeds.

    If their going to force people to spend 1 minute to download an ad (plus a forced 15 seconds to view the ad), they had better come up with a way to reimburse people, either financially, or with MUCH better content.
  • the victim (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sstory (538486) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:18PM (#5846025) Homepage
    The real victim here is going to be the ability to use scripts on web pages. It's almost to the point where I'll turn off scripting entirely just to get away from these terrible things. It's like the ability to put macro things in emails. It could provide valuable new capabilities, but it's ruined by abuse.
    • Re:the victim (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gerardrj (207690) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:31PM (#5846186) Journal
      Advertising makers, please don't read this or use any of the ideas in here!

      The insideous part of this is that it doesn't require any scripting on the client side. In todays database served web pages, all that has to happen is that each link is really a link to an ad, and passes to the ad a reference to the actual content that should be displayed afterward. That reference may be an actual URL, or just a symbol that only the server can decipher.

      This will all be taken care of on the server side. Ex: Slashdot main page is displayed. Instead of a link taking you to an article, it links directyl to a full page ad, but as part of a hidden form the real destination page is passed. So you click the link to see the full article, you first see a full page ad, then the ad sends you to the article page.

      All the client ever sees is standard HTML, and a header with a "refresh content" directive with a 15 second delay.

      The best you could hope for here is that a browser, upon recieving an HTML header with a reload directive would immediately jump to the new URL and not display the ad's URL. Of course, the web server could have an extension that would literally lock you out of the content until the 15 seconds were up. To be more malicious, the server may be set to lock you out of the entire site for progressively longer periods if it detects you are bypassing the ads. You might find that you are barred from a site for 24 hours because you refuse to generate a revenue stream for them.

      The short of it all: This may very well be the Internet killer that everyone has feared.

      We can block pop-ups. we can filter images, we can block most spam, but we can't get around this ad scheme, at least no completely.

      • Re:the victim (Score:3, Insightful)

        by UCRowerG (523510)
        You might find that you are barred from a site for 24 hours because you refuse to generate a revenue stream for them.

        unfortunately, most marketroids won't understand that those people who use popup blockers find it morally objectionable to purchase products advertised in them. they could think of it this way: by still allowing these people to see whatever content (and standard banner ads too no doubt), they're effectively saving themselves 300K of bandwidth per page hit.

        now the thousand dollar challenge

  • Freedom (Score:3, Interesting)

    by m0rph3us0 (549631) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:18PM (#5846030)
    I think it is a good thing, it will speed deployment of mozilla, and other browsers with pop-up blocking features.

    The most dissapointing thing is I think adult sites have been doing this for a while now. So it really isnt new.

    Anyways this technology doesnt really affect me as I dont have the features enabled to take advantage of their new ads.

    They're free to do what they want with their sites but we're also free not to view their sites.

    I think that with AOL reducing pop-up ads that you wont see too many of this format.
  • i've seen this... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Blob Pet (86206) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:19PM (#5846042) Homepage
    My coworker was fuming after a full-screen ad took over his screen after while he was going to msn.com.

    If he's any indication of whether or not these things work, well, I think this won't go over well with people at all. It may turn some people off of the advertised products. In any case, use mozilla or netscape with pop-up blockers...and don't set msn.com to be your homepage *sigh*.
  • Note to self: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by billmaly (212308) <bill.maly@mcleod ... inus threevowels> on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:20PM (#5846067)
    1. Find out who does these ads. 2. Do not buy products or services from these places.
  • And this is new? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ccnull (607939) <null@@@filmcritic...com> on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:20PM (#5846070) Homepage
    How is this different -- or worse -- than sites that stick an interstitial between pages. Even Yahoo makes you view an ad after reading more than a few Groups postings, then you click "Continue on to the next message" or the like.

    At least if this is a genuine pop-up, you can use a pop-up blocking utility to kill it. With the interstitial ads there's no way around it because they're actually integrated into the page.
  • by SeanTobin (138474) * <byrdhuntr@hotmai3.1415926l.com minus pi> on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:20PM (#5846071)
    I'm sure this is just a natural progression of advertizing and

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    Support Think Geek [thinkgeek.com]
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    it will go away eventually as it is deemed ineffective. Unfortunately all the IE users are going to be stuck in the meantime. Another plus for mozilla.
  • Nothing new (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lowen Na (648807) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:21PM (#5846080)
    This is nothing new. Porn sites have had these full screen pop-ups for years. The worst ones are the ones with sound. Nothing worse than trying to masterbate quitely at night when one of these pop-ups take over your screan and plays at a volume load enough to wake up your roomate "Ooooohhhh! Hi, my name is Candy and I have a secret web site." That's intrusive.
  • by Ciel (622360) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:24PM (#5846119)
    Wonderful. So, in essence, Unicast is attempting to bring the lovely porn site advertising model to the entire internet.

    Except that there is just one tiny problem... porn sites have a carrot that can entice their prospective patrons into looking past such distractions: PORN. Most web sites don't offer anything that has such a powerful and nearly universal appeal. ;)

    I predict that this new advertising paradigm will have a half life measurable in weeks...

  • by Slashdolt (166321) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:25PM (#5846125)
    I quit visiting CBSMarketwatch (mentioned in the article) and MotleyFool simply because of those types of ads. When Weather.com got pop-ups, I nearly quit going there as well, but I guess I can live with pop-ups. What I can't live with is something that zips accross my screen and makes all kinds of sounds WHILE I'M AT WORK! But I'm sure no one visits CBSMarketwatch at work. Yeah, right.

    You use, you lose. Would Google be search engine king if it had pop-ups, flash animation, things zipping across the screen, or 15 second full screen ads? I refuse to sink to the level to even answer such a simple common-sense question.

    Those ads probably cost more and therefore generate more initial revenue for anyone visiting the sites that use them. But if you make enough surfers annoyed (as this will), eventually they won't come to your site anymore.

    --
    Slashdolt
  • Been there (Score:4, Interesting)

    by The Bungi (221687) <thebungi@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:25PM (#5846132) Homepage
    Already at use over at Wired.com. Which is why I stopped reading Wired.com. I'm all for adverts but that was a bit too much, especially because the first few times I saw the ad clicking on the 'Skip' button would simply hang the connection and never bring up the main page.

    Talk about killing the goose and all that. Piss your readers off. Maybe Wired should go with the Salon model (view an ad, get a few pages).

  • Hacking? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MoneyT (548795) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:26PM (#5846134) Journal
    Didn't read the article because it's apparently /.ed but if from when the blurb says is correct, then these ads effectively take control of the user system without their permission and prevent the user from doing anything for 15 seconds. Could this not be construed as hacking the user's system?
  • by xTK-421x (531992) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:28PM (#5846160) Homepage
    Since they'll probably do this crap with flash..

    How to Uninstall Flash Manually (for Linux users) [macromedia.com]

    Direct link to Win32 Uninstaller [macromedia.com]
  • by moorg (537751) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:29PM (#5846169)
    Pick your poison:

    Phoenix/Firebird - blocked [texturizer.net]
    Opera - blocked [opera.com]
    Mozilla - blocked [mozilla.org]
    Netscape - blocked [netscape.com]
    IE - oh thats a feature.
  • Eep! (Score:5, Funny)

    by cK-Gunslinger (443452) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:29PM (#5846173) Journal

    Let's hope no one combines this pop-up technology with.. THE LINK. (you know which one I'm talking about.)

    Having that image full screen for a mandatory 15 seconds.. *shudder*
  • by gludington (101178) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:29PM (#5846175)

    Unicast has their gallery of examples here [unicast.com]. See the examples for "full-screen superstitials" -- Unicast's name for their format.

    Unicast claims these ads will be *less* annoying than pop-ups, because, rather than open new windows you have to close, this ad format temporarily takes over the existing window, and people are used to this style (think TV commercials).

    And, for those posters who wonder what types of sites would consider using this...Unicast has a list here [unicast.com].

  • Indeed. (Score:5, Funny)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:30PM (#5846181) Homepage
    From the article:

    "We believe that just like in television, the creative you build is what gets shown, the technology should not get in the way," said Allie Savarino, senior vice president for global marketing, Unicast.

    Heh. I agree wholeheartedly on the point of technology not getting in the way--if what they do annoys me, I'll work around it, regardless of whatever technology they employ to keep me from doing so. The marketroids may not yet realize it, but computer geeks know how to use technology, too!

    I'd say that this is like biting the hand that feeds you, but it's really more like biting the ass that flaps at you from a passing car's window. It's a really, really bad idea, the execution is almost guaranteed to be ugly, and in the end, the marketer's face is gonna be in a whole lot worse shape than the geek's ass...

  • by Aldurn (187315) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:31PM (#5846190)
    "...the creative you build is what gets shown,..."

    Run that by me again?

  • by ninewands (105734) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:33PM (#5846208)
    I first saw porn sites that popped up an ad page, hid all the window decorations and then maximized the window about 5 years ago. Of course I haven't seen popups at ALL since I learned how to turn off javascript about 3 days later.

    I guess I'll just have to alias the entire unicast.com domain to the good old 127.0.0.1 IP address in /etc/hosts now ...
  • by gilesjuk (604902) <.giles.jones. .at. .zen.co.uk.> on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:34PM (#5846223)
    It's a screen with a blue background with some text on it, can't find a way out of it though :)

    Surely these adverts can be killed on Windows by pressing ALT F4 or CTRL ALT DEL then kill the window.
  • Evil ads (Score:5, Informative)

    by retro128 (318602) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:34PM (#5846226)
    Forget popups, even worse are those Flash ads that pop up, make all kinds of horrible noise, and cover what you are trying to read. I almost stopped going to wired.com because of those. After a visit to CounterExploitation [cexx.org], I discovered the Proxomitron [proxomitron.org] and tried it out...It has eliminated 99% of ads. It even lets the "good" popups though, such as when you are shopping online and your cart pops up. Sometimes it causes problems with legitimate sites that require certain Javascript commands to operate properly, but it's easy enough to temporarily turn off Proxomitron to see those sites.
    It basically works by acting as a local proxy on your computer. As web requests comes down, it rewrites the http stream on the fly to get rid of objectionable commands (blink tags, status line scrollers, background midi music, popups, etc). All filters are 100% customizable, but the ones it comes with do a great job.
  • Remember that these aren't just popups -- they're pop-up inters...intestin....er, pop-up intermediate pages between where you clicked and where you were going.

    A simple pop-up blocker that blocks ALL pop-ups won't help, cause you'll click on the link and nothing will happen. A pop-up blocker that blocks unrequested pop-ups but allows those you "asked for" with a click won't stop them, they'll show up ('cause they appeared as a result of a click).

    Finally, something that recognizes, even for "requested" pop-ups, that it's a fiendish full-screen hijacker pop-up, won't help too much if it simply resizes the window, shoves it into your current tab, etc. It'll still have to dig into the pop-up data to figure out what link to go to next (which might not be obvious, could be randomly obfuscated, etc.) Plus, they could put a bunch of links into the pop-up, for more information, to get on a mailing list, etc., and only one of them (which one??) would continue you through to the original link.

    Basically, you can turn 'em off, but you can't get to the content w/out living with it. And there are LOTS of ways they can prevent you from getting there, automatically, without seeing their ad.

    (at least, this is what I'd expect, as I haven't seen any of these yet. but I haven't yet seen anyone come up with a way to skip the interstitials (there's that word again!) on, say, salon.com.)
  • by oGMo (379) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:35PM (#5846252)

    This just makes me more thankful for Privoxy [privoxy.org]. As an example, here are some fun rules I created. (Note, the regexps should be all on one line, regardless of what your browser displays.)

    Remove IGN interstitials: this skips them for the most part. I'm sure it can be modified for other places. (I pay for IGN Insider and shouldn't be subjected to this. Granted recently they've introduced a feature to switch off ads for insiders, but this is still a useful example.)

    FILTER: ign Remove IGN ads, including interstitials
    s%<!--Injecting.*%<html><head><META HTTP-EQUIV=Refresh CONTENT="0; URL="></head><body> <P>Skipping interstitial...</P></body></html>%gims

    Just add +filter{ign} to your default.action.

    Here's another one that makes a certain site you might be reading look considerably nicer:

    FILTER: thissite Remove thissite's ad code
    s/<!-- advertisement code. -->.*?<!-- end ad code -->/<!-- Privoxy Filtered -->/gims

    Of course, you should support any sites that you like. As I said, I subscribe to IGN, as they provide a great deal of extra content for insiders, in addition to an already great site.

    But ads still suck.

  • by Xformer (595973) <avalon73@3.14caerleon.us minus pi> on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:46PM (#5846401)
    "we are looking at a variety of ad formats -- including Unicast -- that advance advertiser interests without in any way negatively affecting the member experience..."

    Like that's ever going to happen.

    Then again, we are talking AOL customers, here...
  • by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @03:49PM (#5846459) Homepage Journal
    Like the ones from Google - they actually work, I would know, I clicked on them. I never clicked on any other ads before in my life.

    This kind of ultra-intrusive advertising is a TV style advertising that will not work on the web, since the web user is not expecting to accept information pushed onto him like a TV user does.

  • by vanyel (28049) * on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @04:00PM (#5846595) Journal
    ...to piss off potential customers? I cannot imagine this doing anything positive for an advertiser. Then again, 90+% put up with IE, so maybe I just have too high regard for the masses.
  • by sker (467551) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @04:22PM (#5846927) Homepage Journal
    http://www.unicast.com/pressroom/whitepapers/full_ screen.asp

    According to their "research" 78% of people find pop-ups annoying, but only 30% of people found the full-screen interstitials annoying. 59% found them "entertaining"...

    The sad thing is that with our culture, I am starting to believe those numbers...

    -sker
  • NOT NEW (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gurps_npc (621217) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @05:35PM (#5847833) Homepage
    Porn sites already do this all the time.

    As do many other sites, including yahoo groups, when you click on reading the next group, they first take you to an add and you have to click again to go to the real site.

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