Agressive Online Ad Grabs Spreading to Canada

The web has been flush with various reports of major online advertising networks getting far more aggressive to prop up their revenues as the current economic crisis causes online ad spends to decline. At the local level we saw ad spend decline for small businesses too.

Some prime examples;

Here in Canada I just noticed a MAJOR publisher, the Globe and Mail, one of Canada’s largest newspapers, if not the largest, using ad display methods that force a click in order to read articles in the Report on Business. And there is no little opt-out X to close the ad.

Agressive Ad display on Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Website

I thought it might have been a cross browser/CSS glitch in FireFox and checked it over in Chrome and Internet Explorer, but I saw it there too. It does appear though that it is only this particular ad for the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC). In surfing around other pages and refreshing pages we see Adsense text ad units appear sometimes and other graphic ads that remain inside the sidebar location where they are supposed to be. Only this ad does it.

These ads are inventory from (yes Google owns them too). For the advertisers sake I sure hope these are not pay per click ads. That can get very expensive very fast as visitors end up clicking the ad just to turn the damn thing off.

On a similar note, over in Europe, popover ads are overlapping as the ads compete with each other on the website of a major German newspaper.

Big newspaper websites are getting desperate. Many are on the verge of bankruptcy and most don’t do the web very well anyways, even though we’ve passed the tipping point where we get most of our news online now.

These ad mixups could just be glitches but if they are signs that the newspaper industry, and maybe even the ad networks are out to grab every little dollar they can, and using overly aggressive means to do so, they may very well be shooting themselves in the foot. These practices will lead to lower quality traffic being funneled to advertisers who in turn see lower conversion rates and then in turn adjust their online ad budgets accordingly.

Online ads will get cheaper. They already are getting that way.

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • BlinkList
  • Furl
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

DoFollow links available for frequent commentors.

Leave a Comment