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Pop-Up Ads Lead to Consumer Revolt, Ad-Blocking

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the in-yer-face dept.

Spam 697

securitas writes "The New York Times' Saul Hansell reports on pop-up advertising and the consumer backlash against intrusive advertising. It's worth noting that pop-ups and pop-unders are the most effective, lucrative and annoying online advertising form. The article discusses the boom in ad-blocker software, with AOL, Yahoo and Google getting into the game. Microsoft says that it will include pop-up blocking in IE when it releases WinXP SP2. According to one pop-under ad agency, 20%-25% percent of Web users have pop-up blocking enabled, double the rate of a year ago - Earthlink's numbers bear that out, with 1 million of its 5 million customers using its ad-blocking software 18 months after release. DoubleClick says that it is 'developing technology that will enable pop-up ads to evade the blocking software.' Why isn't that surprising?"

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Not just pop-ups (5, Insightful)

andyrut (300890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8023988)

Flashy, animated image ads on websites are just about as annoying about as much as pop-ups. Fortunately the Mozilla [] family of web browsers allows the user to block images from specific servers, which seems to work well in targeting ad-serving servers ( being one of the worst) yet leaving the ornamental graphics intact.

Thanks to this, I've pretty much squashed the "Get 1,000 Smileys Free" advertisements.

Now if there were only a way to block certain Flash advertisements and still be able to watch Strong Bad [] answering his e-mail.

Re:Not just pop-ups (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024008)

For that I use the Flash Click-to-Play module for Mozilla/Firebird.
Replaces flash with a box of same size with words "click to play".
Occasionally I tweak the entry it creates in userContent.css to have an opacity of 0.1 too.
Makes it even less obtrusive.

Re:Not just pop-ups (5, Informative)

loucura! (247834) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024029)

That's easy, download Ted Mielczarek's Flash Click To View Plugin [] , it displays a button instead of the flash animation. If you click the button you see the flash animation.

Re:Not just pop-ups (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024155)


I want that plugin to work for *all* forms of plugins. I mean, I love Java and Flash, but they are too damn easy to abuse.

I live in Calgary (Canada, eh?) and the city has Transit schedule information online. However, their main page has a small Java applet that displays the time. That's all it does. I don't want to load the JVM just to hit that page. And I don't think I should have to disable Java in my browser, either.

Make this work for Java, Flash and Quicktime and I'll be a happy camper!

Re:Not just pop-ups (1)

ooby (729259) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024049)

I think you need no higher than Flash 4 to view toons, games, characters, and email. I could be wrong. You might need 5. But, you don't have to have the latest flash. The only downside to not having it is that ads are persistent in trying to get you to download it and install it. But then again, they are also trying to get you to install gain.

Re:Not just pop-ups (4, Informative)

Gruturo (141223) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024070)

Now if there were only a way to block certain Flash advertisements and still be able to watch Strong Bad answering his e-mail.

I use Mozilla Firebird and the excellent Flash click to view [] extension, which only downloads and plays flash content once you've clicked on a message replacing the original content.

No more of those ugly beasts for me, and I still get to see all legit flash sites.

Re:Not just pop-ups (5, Informative)

gwernol (167574) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024084)

Now if there were only a way to block certain Flash advertisements...

Agreed, and at the risk of Slashdotting a good guy's website, I'd highly recommend this flash blocker [] . I installed it a couple of weeks ago and now I don't have any more Flash ads. Its improved my web surfing immeasurably. The trouble with Flash ads is they (usually) have so much animation in them that they draw the attention from the text of the article I'm trying to read. Some sites are now so Flash-ad heavy they're unusuable. Flash Click-to-View is a wonderful tool that lets you view only the Flash content you want to see. Let's hope they incorporate it into the main Mozilla build soon.

Re:Not just pop-ups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024095)

Now if there were only a way to block certain Flash advertisements and still be able to watch Strong Bad answering his e-mail.

Get the Flash click-to-view extension. [] Only the flash you click on will be viewed. The single bast extension to Mozilla, IMO.

I love those smilies (2)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024105)

Those smileys ads are my favorite--those stupid little creatures in their two frame animations really get a giggle out of me, especially since I can't imagine how they expect to make money off that stuff. The ones that really irk me are the 60fps flashing hot pink and yellow ones that proclaim that I'm a winner!

Not just browsers... (4, Informative)

T-Kir (597145) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024110)

...but firewalls and AV software as well.

My hard drive blew up last week, and when rebuilding my system, I skipped ZoneAlarm and installed Kerio Personal Firewall [] instead... an incredible piece of software if I do say so myself, but it also has built in ad blocking (and configurable to add more blocking).

Not that that matters too much since I am using FireBird, but a two pronged approach is better than one.

Re:Not just pop-ups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024140)

there is a plugin for Mozilla [] (regular and firebird) to transform flash objects into a button. If you press the button, the flash object is loaded. I've used it extensively on windows (I have some pb installing it on Linux).

Combine it with the best image blocker plugin [] and the tab plugin [] and you've got the best environment ever.


Re:Not just pop-ups (0)

luigi22_ (733738) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024192)

You could also use adblock, which blocks specific images and .swf files. Get it at

Does advertising have to be annoying? (5, Insightful)

glinden (56181) | more than 10 years ago | (#8023990)

I find it strange that companies like DoubleClick and X10 believe that advertising is most effective when maximally annoying. Google's advertising [] is a perfect example of how targeted advertising -- matching keywords to ads, tracking the effectiveness of ads, and showing ads where they are most effective -- can be quite profitable. And they're doing it with text-only ads, no flash, graphics taking over your entire screen, or pop ups.

At best, popup ads and other annoyances seems penny-wise and pound-foolish, sacrificing long-term customer satisfaction of the many who are subject to these ads and overall brand reputation for a potential short-term boost in sales from the few customers that do click through on annoying ads. For example, because I hate their ads so much, I would never buy any product from X10.

But I actually find Google's ads useful and click on them frequently because they're so well targeted to whatever I happen to be looking for. Targeted ads work. They show information or a product that's actually useful to me without getting in my way. Why do other advertisers continue to annoy customers with useless and irrelevant popup ads?

Re:Does advertising have to be annoying? (4, Interesting)

mckniglj (233845) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024041)

I agree. Whenever I'm thinking of buying something, I head to google, type it it, and chances are that a nice, non-intrusive text ad will have exactly what I want for a good price. Everyone wins: Me, Google, and the advertiser.

I will never buy anything from X10 or any other major pop-under company (Orbitz, I'm looking in your direction...)

Re:Does advertising have to be annoying? (4, Insightful)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024102)

I agree. I think most geeks agree... however, most people who buy on-line are not geeks.

I see people playing those little Orbitz shockwave ads/games all the time at work.

They may be annoying the hell out of the typical slashdot crew, but I imagine those work really well.

If I can stretch my assumsions a little further, I believe that's why pop-under ads are so successful. Most users are not uber-geeks... most internet users will blindly click the pretty little boxes that pop-up and attract their attention.


Re:Does advertising have to be annoying? (5, Insightful)

Steve Franklin (142698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024042)

Customer satisfaction? I make it a point of never buying from ANYONE who pops ME up! X10? Never! Macys? Never! Get the picture? Some folks just have to get hit over the head with a lead weight to get the message.

See? This is what sucks about Mozilla. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024144)

I have no idea who to boycott because I use Firebird and never even think about pop-ups.

Re:Does advertising have to be annoying? (1)

UrgleHoth (50415) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024043)

Now that I've been running moz [] , I almost forget about pop-ups/unders.

I agree that the flashing and shaking ads are horribly annoying. I work at filtering those too.
One especially bad one last autumn was the jumping-jack woman on []

Re:Does advertising have to be annoying? (2, Insightful)

allism (457899) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024044)

For DoubleClick to compete with the targeted advertising on Google, they would either have to build or buy a fairly robust search engine to put advertising on or provide competing pop-ups when visiting a website - a practice I think recently was deemed illegal (I could be wrong). Google is, in a way, an advertising agency.

Re:Does advertising have to be annoying? (1)

jitenpai (227213) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024184)

This [] might be useful.

Re:Does advertising have to be annoying? (0)

britneys 9th husband (741556) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024054)

Why do other advertisers continue to annoy customers with useless and irrelevant popup ads?

You're expected to be a good little consumer and buy whatever product is offered to you.

Re:Does advertising have to be annoying? (4, Insightful)

Feyr (449684) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024059)

that's because doubleclick and their customers are selling products that wouldn't sell otherwise: it's crap pure and simple, so they have to be maximally annoying so as to deceptively lure customers to buy their products

Re:Does advertising have to be annoying? (1)

SpamJunkie (557825) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024062)

They don't want to use targeted ads because targeted ads generally need to sell something useful - something that has a utility related to the site it is being advertised on.

1,000 free smileys and monkey-punching giveaways don't really relate to anything.

Their products are crap so they have to make up for it with blinky and annoying advertising.

Re:Does advertising have to be annoying? (1)

Picard42 (741924) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024109)

What's truly evil are the ads that follow you as you scroll down the page. The pop-up ads advertising pop-up ad filters are classic too. Maybe next we can get a porn blocker with a big picture of Paris Hilton giving someone a blumpkin as a welcome screen.

Re:Does advertising have to be annoying? (5, Interesting)

duffhuff (688339) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024190)

It doesn't have to be annoying, but it will continue to do so. Ads will increasingly become more in-your-face, until such time as we have a massive consumer backlack (and I mean *massive*, but I think we're starting to see the grassroots movment now), or, in the more ideal situation, spammers and other such low-lifes are catapulted into the sun without any sunblock.

In "The Diamond Age" by Neal Stephenson, adverstising is ubiquitous. Ads are absolutely everywhere, even on chopsticks! One person in the book has her whole body and the strands of her hair tattooed so that she is a walking advertisement. Other people would just sit in their homes mesmerized by the ads everywhere, never really carrying on a conversation or anything else.

Basically, in that advanced age with nano technology and all, advertisers had basically settled on three things to get people to notice their ads amongst the clutter: tits, cars and explosions. The more in-your-face, gratuituous, outragous, or just plain wierd, the better. They even had ads that played with your peripheral vision, making it look like you were about to be hit by a car, or they'd have to 3d-esque phantom bull-rush you, attempting to get you to flinch.

Also, some people had special optical implants in their eyes, giving them overlays of various screens of data or something. One person in the book had one of those, and some people in India (I think) hacked into his vision system and ran an ad for a roach motel or something in the bottom right corner of his vision 24 hours a day. He couldn't get rid of it, even when he closed his eyes. He killed himself.

Once yuo pop... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8023995)

teh fun never stops1!!!

Seems like the numbers should be higher (1)

allism (457899) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024001)

Earthlink is saying that 1 out of 5 of their customers were using their pop-up blocking 18 months after its release - what about Earthlink customers who use another form of pop-up blocking?

'Blocking' is the wrong word (4, Insightful)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024112)

People seem to be unquestioningly talking about 'blocking' pop-ups as though your computer had to actively take measures to avoid these intrusions. But all it means is using a web browser that does not execute the Javascript code. There are plenty of browsers with no Javascript at all, and it is not part of any HTML standard.

Similarly, using lynx is not 'image blocking'.

There is a grey area when you try to have Javascript support enabled but limit the things a script is allowed to do. But really this is just closing security holes in the original Javascript specs (popups are a form of DoS attack).

Re:Seems like the numbers should be higher (1)

superdan2k (135614) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024152)

I use Earthstink -- the DSL service. I didn't even know that we had pop-up blocking as a service. I just block them @ Safari, and my GF has most of them blocked at her system's firewall.

not a good idea (3, Interesting)

mpost4 (115369) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024003)

Is it not illegal to do circumventing of technology. So would this not be a violation of the DMCA. Ok sorry bad joke, but in reality, this would really hurt double click, think about it, there are people that said "we hate pop ups so much we will disable them" and double click is saying not to us, would that not create bad PR for them, if I was looking to do ads I don't think I would use double click because it would just anger people against my product, I don't see web ads as bad, but if some one disables pop-ups, I don't think I would want to have my ad come up as a pop-up that would just put me on their "do not buy from" list. just my 2c.

Re:not a good idea (0)

adamshelley (441935) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024116)

you don't have to circumvent technology, you just have you use different technology: do w_103.html

I'd like "No shit" for $1000 Alex. (1, Interesting)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024004)

A flaming duh to you NYTimes!

We do not like being inundated with crap.

Those that say well, they must make something off of it or they wouldn't do it:

I say horseshit. I think it's one giant dumbass ring of spammers and scum bouncing
money for lists off each other.


Hmm (1)

Isbiten (597220) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024009)

Too bad, now websites will instead of using pop ups as a revenue use annoying flash ads and pop ins. Which is too bad since atm I get the content for free without having to watch their ads.

Oh and I don't see flash ads or pop ins or anything like that, thanks to pithelmet and safari :D

Re:Hmm (3, Interesting)

grolschie (610666) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024087)

Why don't companies just sell stuff that people really want. A good product or service should be enough in itself to get consumer interest without resorting to nasty tricksy little pop-ups. There are many other forms of advertising are more effective and less annoying.

Re:Hmm (2, Insightful)

xWeston (577162) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024195)

Sales isn't about having a person buy something that they want... If that were the case then salesmen would not exist.

The nature of a salesman is selling something that a person didn't know they need or didn't know they wanted, and making them feel like they need/want it.

Hello kettle, I'm and ass. (1)

JohnLi (85427) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024148)

I clicked on the url attached to your name as was subjected to an onslaught of popups(one even brought up a save file prompt). At least they did stop eventualy. Still pretty greasy.

Poor Windows XP users... (3, Funny)

shawnce (146129) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024013)

Isn't it nice that they have to wait for a whole XP service pack to be qualified and released before they can get an update to IE so they can block pop-ups, something that most other current browsers provide and some of those for a while.

That is innovation for ya ;-)

Re:Poor Windows XP users... (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024060)

Yea, if only there where a way to run a third party web browser on XP or to edit the hosts file. Ah well, guess we're all "forced" to wait for SP2.

Posted from Opera 7.11 running on Windows XP.

Re:Poor Windows XP users... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024064)

I'm just amused every time Microsoft says that they're incorporating popup blocking in IE, considering that every time I visit MSN from work (where I have no Mozilla) I get popups all over the place.

Left hand, meet right hand.

Re:Poor Windows XP users... (2, Interesting)

DenOfEarth (162699) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024078)

Yeh it makes me laugh too. I've been using mozilla for a pretty long time, and recently I was at my parents house and used their computer to check some of my regular sites...holy goodness I was flooded. I wasn't even expecting it, as I had begun to almost forget that pop-ups happen while I'm surfing.

The most annoying thing is when my parents or grandparents complain about things popping up, and I tell them that I don't have that problem because of my browser. They, of course, don't want to change, simply because they want the browser that everyone uses. sheesh

Re:Poor Windows XP users... (1)

shawnce (146129) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024150)


My better half still likes to use (mostly out of habit) IE on Mac OS X and I am amazed by the number of pop up/under ads that take place whenever I use her laptop temporarily.

I am basically pleasantly ignorant of the magnitude of the issue since I use Safari and OmniWeb on my systems, which block such things.

Re:Poor Windows XP users... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024187)

What's the problem?
I've always used IE. With the Google-addon, no pop-ups. No need to get revolutionary and install some ultra 'leet 3rd-party Gatesfree-bullshitbrowser for this minor disturbance.

Move along folks. Nothing more to see here.

Re:Poor Windows XP users... (2, Interesting)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024159)

If your looking to solve that problem now, make sure you use mozilla. Netscape white lists itself, AOL, and about 20-30 other domains that appear to deal with advertising. Also I had major trouble removing it and going back to mozilla, not sure if it was me, linux, or Netscape trying to lock me in, but it was a pain.

Doubleclick may be trying to bypass blockers... (1)

Oen_Seneg (673357) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024016)

...the programmers who work on popup blocking at AOL/Google/MozillaFirebird'll just work a bit harder and eventually stop their uber-popups from coming through. The era of the pop-up/under/other sort of spawning window is coming to a well-overdue end.

Re:Doubleclick may be trying to bypass blockers... (2, Insightful)

jmays (450770) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024151)

"The era of the pop-up/under/other sort of spawning window is coming to a well-overdue end."

Do you mean like the SPAM era has come to an end? Oh, wait ...

Granted, popup blocking may get better, but this is cyclical ...

Feh (5, Informative)

Tyrdium (670229) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024025)

Doubleclick is developing a way to get past a popup blocker. Too bad for them there's something called a hosts file...

Bye bye Doubleclick ads...

Re:Feh (5, Informative)

Tyrdium (670229) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024163)

Oh, forgot to mention. Take a look at Dan Pollock's hosts file [] if you want a great premade hosts file that blocks tons of ads and other nasties.

Re:Feh (1)

00klaDM0k (620607) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024169) Bye bye Doubleclick ads... Hello, annoying blank pop-up windows Cowboy 0. woo-hoo! COWBOY O!!!

Re:Feh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024179)

"echo "">>hosts"

And next time you run a webserver on your computer, do a double-take at the number of entries in your logfile from your browser trying to download adverts...

Haven't doubleclick been blacklisted yet? I don't think I know anyone whose computer will communicate with their domain...

my bandwidth (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024026)

I paid for it, I can refuse to download images because I paid for the bandwidth.

From the Duh department (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024027)

And, if you use Mozilla/Firebird, get your handy dandy CSS ad blocking file [] . It makes heavy use of CSS3-ish stuff, so it can't be used by Opera or IE.

Lets just scrap the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024034)

Lets just start all over and scrap the internet.

You're Stealing the Internet! (3, Funny)

Slashdolt (166321) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024037)

You realize that if you block pop-ups, that you're stealing Internet service. In fact, this is even worse than what TIVO users are doing by stealing television. At least in TIVO's case, it can't skip over "live" broadcasting.

You are all just a bunch of sick criminals.

Jamie Kellner
Chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting

Firebird + Adblocker = NO ADS (0, Redundant)

computersareevil (244846) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024038)

Courtesy of Mozilla Firebird and the Adblocker extension, I NEVER EVER see any ads. I love destroying business models.

Re:Firebird + Adblocker = NO ADS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024142)

hmm... this is the wrong way because it still produces a hit at the ad server. You just don't see the ad.

Re:Firebird + Adblocker = NO ADS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024172)

Why is it wrong? If anything, it's better, because they think you're seeing their ad.

Of course, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024045)

none of you blocks ads from our good friends at Slashdot, hrmmm???

Re:Of course, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024073)

I do! And, I have been for years. I love it when the "Advertisement" box pops up on the front page... and it's empty! Good old Firebird and css ad blocking(hiding).

Flashswitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024050)

I've been using flashswitch to stop annoying flash adds. So far so good, I just wish it would be automatic.

I have a crazy idea.. (5, Funny)

Exantrius (43176) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024053)

Why not try and advertise something that someone *WANTS* to purchase-- Maybe *THEN* you won't have to evade a protection I put on my computer because I don't want to deal with your crap.

Why is this so hard? Google's apparently doing a pretty good job of it-- Sure you need a lot more customers, but for the love of frank, I don't need any goddamned spy cameras, I don't have a babysitter or a cheating spouse, or for that matter a misbehaving dog. /Ex

They'll sue MS (2, Interesting)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024056)

yep, next thing you know, those companies who make huge use of pop ups and pop unders will sue MS for lost revenue :) Will it even surprise you?

New front (2, Insightful)

pvt_medic (715692) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024057)

and how long will it be before some one start fighting witht he claim that the otherones software violates the DMCA. it seam this argument is the way everyone fights things today.

Computer misuse (4, Insightful)

nuggz (69912) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024145)

Making software that evades my security measures is wrong.
If I purposely put in place software to protect me from viewing popup ads, and you circumvent it you may be guilty of a "hacking" crime.

I did not authorize you to pop up ads on my computer, I explicitly configured to prevent this.

By enabling your software to evade my blocking software you can't claim that you were authorized.
When I take steps to avoid something, you can't claim implied consent anymore.

Popups (0, Redundant)

SpaceRook (630389) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024058)

I usually use Firebird, so I never see pop-ups. Even when I do use IE, I have the Google toolbar installed, so I don't see popups.

But every once in awhile, I use someone else's computer with an un-modified IE on it. I can't believe there are still so many sites using pop-ups. It is user hostile and gives the visitor a bad impression of your site.

Re:Popups (1)

pvt_medic (715692) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024093)

number of pop-ups blocked on my computer by google toolbar 2538. And I reinstalled the entire system 3 months ago. thats like 800 a month.

Re:Popups (1)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024097)

but it brings the monay :)

Doubleclick to evade popup blocker? (1)

chinard (555270) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024071)

solution: echo " " >> /etc/hosts ^_^

yahoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024075)

funny thing is, yahoo also has included a pop up blocker

didnt yahoo had pop up banners too?

how ironic

LOL popups! (0, Redundant)

xutopia (469129) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024077)

hahahahaha! I've not seen any since I started using Mozilla Firebird! hahahaha

Popups not the most effective online advertising (4, Insightful)

pkaral (104322) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024089)

It's worth noting that pop-ups and pop-unders are the most effective, lucrative and annoying online advertising form.

Incorrect. Search advertising such those offered by Google (AdWords), Overture and numerous other players are better in terms of click-throughs, conversion rates, or any other relevant measure of advertising effectiveness. The same goes for online yellow pages advertising.

The point of these "directional" forms of advertising is that the consumer identifies a need or an area of interest before the ad is displayed. The very reason why this advertising is less annoying - its relevance - is why it is effective.

blocking ads at its source (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024098)

The hosts file on is the best example to begin blocking all those annoying advertisement and popup services.

Besides using browsers which allow popup blocking (like Mozilla) this is one of the best methods to ignore them all.

Install this good example of useful data and be happy :)

hehe (1)

dema (103780) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024106)

I love the fact that the link to the story in the main post not only generates a pop-up ad, but also has an ad on the page that takes up about 50% of the width ( on this low res anyway :P ). *sigh*

Anyone else sick of.... (1)

SpaceRook (630389) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024107)

...these mainstream technology articles that talk about how evil pop-ups are, and don't even mention browsers with built-in popup-blockers like Mozilla or Opera?

If DoubleClick really wants advertising power... (0, Offtopic)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024108)

they should put advertising on this guys head [] .

William Smith doesn't have a forehead, he's got a fivehead!

And programs will find ways to block the new popup (1, Redundant)

NightWulf (672561) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024113)

When will these companies learn that people don't want ads shoved in their faces. It was one thing when they were little banner ads on top of the page. But now they're popups, pupunders, flash ads, those annoying flash over ads intergrated in the page ( comes to mind. Now if that wasn't bad enough now we got video and audio popups. I really don't eed to hear about New Line Cinemas latest craporama blasting through my speakers scaring the crap out of me. Then they do whatever they can to keep you from closing the window. These companies are basically internet versions of mafia goons who would punch you in the stomach on the street then tell you do shop at ABC store.

Yet these companies feel the need to try and block the software, these numbers show, the people are fed up. They think the 5% of morons who buy stuff via popups justify pissing off the majority of people out there. Honestly it's getting to the point that I don't even want to use the WWW anymore. Whatever good there was left in it has been just killed by any attempt possible to make a buck. Start e-mailing web pages telling them you will no longer frequent them because of obtrousive advertising, and don't just idly e-mail them, actually do it! Stop using web sites with popups, no matter how much you may like the content. A little civil disobiedence never hurt anyone. The power is in your hands people.

Microsoft says that it will include... (4, Funny)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024114)

Golly, I'm glad Microsoft is all over this one, because God knows nobody else [] would ever have thought [] to do it.

But they're missing the POINT! (5, Insightful)

The Night Watchman (170430) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024115)

Doubleclick is attempting to evade the pop-up blockers? See, this is something that's always boggled my mind. People are using popup blockers because they don't want to receive popups. As such, they respond in a hostile manner to popup ads, and may more than likely be dissuaded from using any product advertised in such a fashion. The consumer, by using a blocker, is making a statement that they do not want to be advertised to in this way, that they find it intrusive, and that they will not respond to this form of advertising positively.

What makes these companies think that finding means to actively go against consumers' wishes will be an effective way to earn their business? It's like the do-not-call registry. If I opt to be put on the do-not-call list, that means I have no intention of buying anything from a telemarketer. As such, the companies are not losing any of my business because I was never going to give them my business in the first place. If anything, they're saving money by not having to waste the 15 seconds it takes to call me and find out I'm not interested.

Common sense, people...

My View (3, Interesting)

$lingBlade (249591) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024118)

In my opinion the strength of the computer industry lies in it's ability to solve a given problem with many different tools. There are different programming languages, different architectures... etc etc.

That's fine and dandy but it obviously works against us in cases like these where pop-up ad's are able to circumvent and/or bypass our attempts to stop them.

Imagine for a moment that there was only ONE browser to use, one language to program in, one way to view the web (excluding the fights that ensue over who currently controls those types of things). If there were only one way to do things, we'd be able to block these pop-up/under dicks without a problem. Unfortunately with an over abundance of tools available it becomes a (and forgive the analogy) game of push-down/pop-up. We stop them in one area or with one tool and they find a way around it.

Granted we do the same thing in other industries and sectors but I wonder sometimes if maybe the technology world has gone overboard with it's developing of choices.

I think choice is fundamentally a good thing, it's necessary and has it's function in the grand scheme of things... but I think it's high-time people organized and started trimming down some of those extranneous choices, not that there has to be *one* way of always doing thing or even *two* or *three*... but for christ's sake, when is it all enough?

Where's the facts? (2, Interesting)

Sean80 (567340) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024122)

I guess the only real way to reason about this problem is look at the facts, which I myself have never seen. For example, how much revnue does the typical pop-up or pop-under ad campaign generate? How many click-throughs? How does this compare to the number of customers which they lose through frustration?

I've always thought of keeping a pad and pencil beside my phone, and write down on it every single company which trys to telemarket to me on a Saturday morning. But do I ever do it? No. I'm too lazy. I figure this is what the pop-under advertisers count on. Divide and conquer us, hope we never talk to each other and rise up as a consumer "union," and hope to god I never get around to writing down company names on that pad.

As people always point out to me, if they actually make more money than they lose doing this, then they'll never, ever stop trying to do it. They'll always find ways to get around the technology, and, knowing, Microsoft, they'll always leave a year-long window open for those advertising mechanisms to work.

But then, I'm preaching to the choir.

Appalling... (2, Insightful)

gordgekko (574109) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024123)

I had no idea how appalling it had gotten with pop-up ads. On my desktop machine I use Proxomitron and I rarely see them but the other day I connected online with my laptop (which has no pop-up blocking software) and I was hit with a barrage of them at almost every mainstream site I went to -- except for my own.

I really feel for people with older machines who surf and don't use a blocker. My laptop is old and the thing practically bogged down with all the bloody pop-ups that kept opening up.

Re:Appalling... (2, Informative)

olorinpc (729849) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024181)

Yea... those older ones really lag under all of those ads. Use google toolbar and spybot and thats been effective in killing just about all of those annoying ads. (no popups at least)

How to pay for the Internet (1, Flamebait)

rueger (210566) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024125)

This escalating war will probably continue for awhile yet, but the fundamental question remains.

How do we, the Internet using population, pay for it?

Pop-ups are very annoying, which is why Mozilla is set to block them. Spam is very annoying, which is why my ISP blocks most of that.

The seemingly endless paid listings at the top of Google are useless AND annoying, which is why I'm looking for other search engines. (Hmmm or maybe a Google plug-in that would block the junk listings and leave the legitimate content??)

Still, at the end of the day, how do all of these websites and services get paid for? You need only look at on-line newspapers to realize that every day more of them are placing the bulk of their content behind a gate that requires at least registration, and often a paid subscription.

Freedom... (1)

superdan2k (135614) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024126)

"Microsoft says that it will include pop-up blocking in IE when it releases WinXP SP2." Innovation at its finest, right Bill?

So if we ... (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024128)

make pop-up and pop-under blocking somehow an "effective digital protection" scheme, doubleclick will be in violation of the DMCA for writing code to evade that protection?

Its getting worse, Television AD's come to the web (4, Informative)

sh0rtie (455432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024129) m.html?ex=1389934800&en=5b1cf221151d8850&ei=5007&p artner=GOOGLE">its gonna get much worse []

Beginning tomorrow, more than a dozen Web sites, including MSN, ESPN, Lycos and iVillage, will run full-motion video commercials from Pepsi, AT&T, Honda, Vonage and Warner Brothers, in a six-week test that some analysts and online executives say could herald the start of a new era of Internet advertising.

The new ad technology, from Unicast, an advertising company based in New York, invisibly loads the commercial while unwitting users read a Web page, then displays the ad across the entire browser area when users click to a new page. The resulting ad is identical to TV, whether the user has a high- or low-speed connection. The company says the technology evades pop-up blockers, but the person can skip the ad by clicking a box.

thanks, no need to remind me to add your servers to the Hostfile Project

But look how FEW people few use it ... (4, Insightful)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024130)

What's really surprising is how few people use these pop-up blocking features and add-ins, even when they are readily available. I spent a long time annoyed by pop-ups so now I use Mozilla Firebird. But I'm a tech support worker, and I regularly run across Mozilla and Netscape users who experience pop-ups all the time. And they do nothing, because they don't know the feature exists in their browser. They endure inconvenence via ignorance.

Most people don't understand what their computers can do, right now. I regularly amaze the users I support by helping them back up data and so forth, sometimes transferring data - like magic - over the network. People are amazed when they see they can send a document to their friend ... without using e-mail! It's all relatively mundane stuff, but it's beyond the comprehension of people who use computers ... drumroll please ... EVERY DAY OF THEIR LIVES. Think about that. Is there any other industry where regular, daily users of a technology are nevertheless bumbling novices at it?

I think it will take Microsoft's inclusion of this in IE to really shift these numbers. Until technology is forced upon people, most won't even realize they have the option.

No problem... (1)

codezion (564387) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024133)

With Adblock we will simply block * Go ahead doubleclick with your new project that will cost you time and money but will ultimately be a yet another failure.

What amazes me... (5, Insightful)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024137) the public's misconception about pop-up ads. Due to the slick marketing of AOL and Earthlink et al, when their screen becomes full of ads, they call up their internet service provider and give them tons of grief. I see my (less than savvy) friends pay fees to companies like AdsGone (i think it's $50/year to use the software) to get rid of "popups" by automatically closing them when they open.

But the other issue, is that 99% of the time when someone is getting the shit hammered out of them by popup ads it is because they've got about 15 parasites embedded into IE that sits and serves them all day.

True "pop up ads" only occur when you enter a site, or leave a site, and shouldn't just pop up spontaneously whenever the computer is on, regardless of whether or not you are on the inet. I've seen computers so laden with these that they are completely useless- you start the machine up, and it serves so many ads in the first minute that it crashes. But once again, the customers do not understand this, they simply blame their ISP.

Finally, the latest thing that i'm seeing (i work in tech support if you haven't figured this out yet)....
people will call up yelling and screaming and bitching and moaning about all these pop up ads they're getting. So i look at their computer and i start pointing to such things as Precision Time, or WeatherBug, or all these other "adware" programs they've installed as the culprit. They understand it when i tell them, but then i get things like "but i LIKE my Desktop Calender, i don't want you to remove it." or "but i LIKE my Huntbar." or "but i LIKE the MYWAY software, i want to keep it." and stuff. They will bitch about the ads, i tell them why they are getting them, but they don't want to fix it. However, this still doesn't stop them from calling up and bitching about the ads every other week.

It's a no-win situation for all concerned. I hate blanket statements, but the fact is, most of the people on the internet don't deserve to be there and will always be miserable, no matter how much you try to help them.

Re:What amazes me... (1)

The Night Watchman (170430) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024185)

True "pop up ads" only occur when you enter a site, or leave a site, and shouldn't just pop up spontaneously whenever the computer is on, regardless of whether or not you are on the inet.

Not necessarily. Sometimes if you mistype a website name, it'll go to one of those "Domain Hosting 4 Cheep" sites that'll spawn a windowless IE session. That IE process then spurts out a new popup ad every couple minutes or so unless you right-click on it and select "Close".

Personally, I'm a Mozilla Firebird fanboy. Small, fast, slick, everything I need. Well, almost.

very simple (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024143)

The problem is this:
1) Bandwidth is expensive.
2) Content isn't free.
3) Web users refuse to pay for the vast majority of their content.
4) Web users quickly learn to ignore any form of advertising.

Until that knot is unraveled advertising will get increasingly obnoxious. Look at your spam to see how far a distance there is until rock bottom is hit.

expected, but disappointed nevertheless (2, Insightful)

KingJoshi (615691) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024153)

When I read the article last night, I was disappointed that they have no mention of Opera or Mozilla. This is the Technology section isn't it? Shouldn't they have some awareness of the built-in Pop-Up blockers? And isn't it important to know (from my understanding) that Mozilla still downloads the ads but doesn't display them? Is that taken into account in any of the statistics?

Granted Mozilla doesn't have large userbase, but if the Technology section of one of the biggest papers in the world isn't going to report on it, then mozilla will increase user base slower because people won't know about it (since it's reported less in mainstream media) and it reduces the reputation of the paper. I know lack of reporting on this is common, but it still galls me. People continue not to realize that better solutions than MSIE. And the developers continue to develop only for MSIE. and you know the whole routine. it's just sickening...

Evasion? (1)

Ignatius_VI (587517) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024157)

Can those morons at doubleclick really think it's a good idea to make ads evade ad blocking software? If people don't want to see the ads, why show them?

They're like the guest that won't leave. Take a hint.

There oughta be a law (2, Interesting)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024161)

Legislation sucks. Can't we just make it illegal to advertise to people who have taken steps to prevent that particular method of advertising from reaching them?

Adblock (Mozilla plugin) (1)

Shadowspawn (24914) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024165)

Adblock is your friend. Unfortunately, it appears to be /.-ed already:

It blocks anything you want via a wildcard. For example, you can block http://ad.* or http://www.realmedia* .

pop-up bullshit (4, Interesting)

swimfastom (216375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024171)

"I don't want to see pop-ups blocked," said Matthew R. Coffin, the chief executive of, a site that sells long distance and other services. Pop-up and pop-under ads, he said, attract more people than any other ad format. "People wouldn't click if they weren't interested."

The toolbar on each pop-up window is often disabled and the window itself just displays a large image which doesn't allow the average web surfer to easily close it. I think most people just click on it by accident or because they don't know what else to do. I am curious to know what the percentage is of people who click on the ads and actually purchase something. I suspect it is less than 1%.

This is bullshit.

Text-based links (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024174)

Its funny now any time in front of a Windows based computer with MSIE and to see all the pop-ups. I use Safari and Mozilla on Mac and forget about the pop-ups. I've been using the technology for over two years now and the web has become a better place to visit.

When our company or clients want to do online advertising, we Google Ad Words and on a couple hobby sites I run, I use exclusively Ad Words and I've the best Click Thru rates and ROI on both ends. And I have used every form including pop ups before. I found most clicks from pop-ups are acidental. People go to close them and click on them.

Kudos to Google for figuring out an excellent method of delivering non-intrusive targeted keywords.

Unfortunately.... (2, Interesting)

DarkBlackFox (643814) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024176)

DoubleClick says that it is 'developing technology that will enable pop-up ads to evade the blocking software.' Why isn't that surprising?"

How long did it take the government to act "against" spam? More importantly, how effective has it been? Apparently, not very.

How much longer will it be until they take notice of popups?

Certainly something is being violated if users intentionally install software to intentionally block popups, yet these companies persist in developing circumventing measures to bypass the will of the users. At least with television you can change to another channel without getting flooded with ads. With some of these websites, closing one popup results in 3 more, which subsequently results in 3 times 3, and so forth.

The result is a dramatic decline in quality and content as the ratio of usable information to advertisements online shift, and it's moves like this (developing methods around popup blocking software) which tip the scales towards the ads, and a less usable medium to transfer valid information.

hosts file (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8024177)

In addition to popup blockers, using a hosts file [] is a great way to block ads.

Just add

to your hosts file, and never see ads from them again.

It is to laugh (1)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024180)

I used to use Netscape 4.7x as my main browser. Turning off Javascript solved (at the time anyway, dunno about now) all intrusive ads.

I have yet to encounter a web site where JS is required, though I have no doubt they exist.

How to remove Flash from Mozilla? (1)

Kombat (93720) | more than 10 years ago | (#8024191)

Hey all, quick question. Speaking of annoying ads, a co-worker used my computer once and installed Flash 6. Consequently, now I see those flashy, annoying ads that you can't stop. I preferred the calm, big white box with the puzzle piece in it instead. How can I remove Flash from my Mozilla install? I've scoured all the directories where Mozilla is installed, and I can't find anything remotely resembling mflash6.dll or anything like that. Suggestions?
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