Having just introduced text-link ads to this website, some people might think it’s hypocritical of me to criticise obtrusive website advertising, but that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll explain the text-link ads shortly.
The fact is I find website video ads extremely annoying, especially the ones that start automatically.
I am being dissuaded from visiting my favorite news website (The Age) by this practice.
It has become even more insidious, with the option to stop the video from playing either unavailable or concealed.
Until today, if I clicked on a story and went to the article page, and a video began loading, I was able to prevent it from playing once the spinning thing stopped.
Today, it was not possible to stop the video until after an advertisement had run through.
I was viewing a story about the hostile reaction to a new road safety advertisement, which disparages redheads and emos.
In relation to the ad itself, I think it’s incredibly stupid. It’s offensive to redheads and the “dickhead” reference is in bad taste. I don’t get it either.
I actually find myself agreeing with Senator Steve Fielding, which is a little disturbing, when he says: “What happened to the State Government’s Respect Agenda portfolio? Surely using this kind of language doesn’t do much for respect in our society. There is no doubt this latest campaign is a low-class act at best and is only one step away from using even more coarse language.”
Redheads are up in arms, feeling they are a persecuted minority, and commenters have targeted the advertising agency as being full of dickheads.
Not to mention the government being caned for contradicting its own anti-bullying policies.
However, back to the website video …
I suspect a cunning ploy to force the viewing of an advertisement before the reader has a chance to turn off the video. Upon further study I noticed the following:
When you click on the home page link to the article, the link includes ?autostart=1 at the tail. Deleting ?autostart=1 or changing the 1 to 0 stops the video from playing.
Also, while the spinning thing twhirls around you have a small window of opportunity to select Don’t play before it automatically starts.
Even with a fast broadband connection, the loading process is very slow and you will probably have scrolled halfway down the story before the advertisement starts playing, if you are caught unawares.
I don’t think anyone objects to content providers carrying ads on their websites. I’ve got used to Flash ads and find them effective in getting my attention, whereas popups and automatic videos turn me off.
Increasingly, there will be browser-based solutions to block this type of advertising, indeed they may already exist.
Finally, to explain the text-link ads on this site: I am using Infolinks for pay-per-click advertising. The green links on this site are for advertising, the blue links are normal. Visit here for more information about Infolinks and how to avoid seeing ads, if you wish.
But I’ll be grateful if you sometimes click on a green link to support me in offsetting costs.