Pop-ups on their way out. Or not.

Pop-ups on their way out. Or not.
The complaints from Internet users about the intrusive nature of pop-up ads have long been an obvious signal to the ad community that old media tactics won’t be tolerated in the new. Yet the ads have continued, because they’ve been effective, especially those of Orbitz. Their ads, however, are interactive games, so the intrusion doesn’t seem so in-your-face. (full disclosure: I’m a confessed Orbitz miniature golf nut.)

So software that blocks pop-ups came to the rescue and is now becoming rather widespread. AOL, Yahoo and Google distribute software that blocks pop-up ads, and Microsoft will put a pop-up blocking feature in the next release of Internet Explorer this summer. The New York Times has a good overview of the issue, including the excuse of the ad industry.

“I haven’t spoken to any people who say I love pop-ups, send me more of them,” said David J. Moore, the chief executive of 24/7 Real Media, an online advertising firm. “But they are part of a quid pro quo. If you want to enjoy the content of a Web site that is free, the pop-ups come with it.”
But on the Web, users rule, and these pop-up blockers pose a new challenge for the advertising industry. Or do they?

MediaDailyNews reported yesterday on a California company’s release of new software called “Popstitial” that actually uses pop-up blockers to serve an ad impression to users.

Popstitial doesn’t defeat pop blockers. Instead, a code in the ad determines whether a pop-up or pop-under is being thwarted. Then Popstitial serves up a full-page advertisement that can either be a separate ad — using Flash, video, animation or static images — or the same style as the missed pop-up/pop-under.
Hence, technology overcomes technology that overcomes technology. And so it goes…

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