The return of the pop-up ad (when will they ever learn?)

Behold, a rant.

I just “visited” an internal page on the website, the link of which came from the site’s newsletter. After reading the story, I decided to click on the site’s logo to navigate to the home page, rather than return to the newsletter. On its journey from the scroll bar to the logo, my mouse passed over the leaderboard ad for Sony at the top of the page. The ad was one of those time bombs that goes off with a mouseover, because some marketing guru thinks I’ve given it permission to do so by deliberately passing my mouse over the bloody ad.

Sony rollover ad

So the ad expanded like the pop-ups of old, only unlike the “the good old days,” I couldn’t reduce the thing by clicking on the “close” button. Nope. It just sat there yelling at me that I needed to buy Sony broadcast gear. I did what anybody would do. I closed the browser window and growled under my breath that this is not a site I want to visit with regularity.

It’s called the price of interaction, folks, and these kinds of ads fall into the category of “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” The problem here is that the Web isn’t kind to “regular” display ads, and it abhors interruptions, because people like me would rather abandon the search for content than be insulted by technology in the wrong hands.

Now perhaps doesn’t think anybody’s going to move their mouse to their logo (or anything else above the ad), but this is just silly. Can anybody show me the obvious path to get to the logo without crossing the ad, which beckons goodies if I but pass my mouse over it? And why is this ad a rollover, when the other Sony ad on the page requires a click?

I’m sure that got a nice CPM for this ad and that some guy or gal at Sony’s agency is smiling, because, well, it’s just such a cool ad, eh? He or she is looking at metrics that include my mouseover and is passing that data along to another marketing guru at Sony that PROVES people are expanding the ad, because they want to play with it.

Do these people have a clue? I think not.


  1. Rich media ads can be soooooooooo obnoxious. The worst, really. You would think folks would learn that harassing/assaulting potential customers is a BAD idea.

  2. I see this happening more and more on what I consider ‘legitimate’ sites. whatever the advertisor is paying is completely wasted money.


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