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DoubleClick Warns Against Ad-Blocking Browsers 1399

An anonymous reader writes "The end of free Internet content will come when Web browsers start blocking online advertisements by default, a DoubleClick executive has warned. Bennie Smith, the online advertising network's privacy chief, said the popularity of tools like Adblock -- an extension to the Mozilla Firefox browser -- which makes blocking online ads simple was tied to 'a negative vibe against advertising in general'."
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DoubleClick Warns Against Ad-Blocking Browsers

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  • by Cheeze ( 12756 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:28AM (#12889758) Homepage
    So you run a company who's job it is to annoy people, and you are mad because someone wants to run your out of business with their new product. Sounds like capitalism at it's best.
    • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:33AM (#12889846)
      This is the free market at work. Firefox and AdBlock provide a service that is in high demand: the blockery of ads. Thankfully for all of us, the price is so very low enough that most of us can afford it. Indeed, DoubleClick's days are numbered because they have a very small market these days. And you can't create a market by crying in public like this. You need to buy politicians to enact copyright/patent-style legislation on your behalf.
      • by Otter ( 3800 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:42AM (#12890027) Journal
        This is the free market at work.

        Actually, free-rider situations like this are precisely where market forces don't work efficiently. Everyone reading this site while blocking ads is able to do so only because of people like me who do view them (and subscribers). And I free-ride at the expense of people who are willing to view pop-ups.

        Bennie Smith is entirely correct -- if ad blocking becomes standard in popular browsers, that will be the end of free content on the web.

        • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:53AM (#12890183)
          The freerider problem only applies to public goods that are excludable and rival. The Internet is neither excludable nor rival, and therefore is not a public good. And since it is not a public good, the freerider problem does not apply to it.

          Blocking ads won't end free content on the Web. It will lead to innovation and new opportunities.
          • by AviLazar ( 741826 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:06PM (#12890353) Journal
            That mindset plays along with the "It's okay to pirate software because I am not denying anyone of the software, i am just copying it." Someone put effort into this website. Someone is paying for the hosting, bandwidth, etc. If people do not subscribe or view the ads then they are getting the material totally for free. If the people who make this site are losing money (and they are not wealthy enough to keep it going) the site will be lost.

            Blocking ad's will only lead to innovation in terms of people trying to circumvent the pop-ups, and other people trying to figure ways to prevent that. In the end - it is a cat and dog chase and it is a waste of our resources. I would rather see us live in harmony (as far as internet/advertising goes) and working on creating better services.
            • Well it will also lead to innovations in new types of ads. I personally don't block google ads because not only are they lightweight and unobtrusive, but many times I find relivent information. Innovations need to come from comprimises, not from force like charging to view a web page.
              • by badasscat ( 563442 ) <basscadet75@yah o o .com> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @02:00PM (#12891909)
                Innovations need to come from comprimises, not from force like charging to view a web page.

                First of all, let's can the idealism and be a little realistic here. You're a web site publisher with little ad revenue left. What do you do? Your training is not in marketing, it's maybe in business development. Are you going to sit there and try to invent a new form of advertising that isn't patented by Google, or are you just going to say "screw it" and charge for the use of your site?

                You can hope all you want that people will innovate; the reality is most web site owners are only in it for the money. They don't care about compromise and even if they did, they wouldn't know where to even start coming up with new revenue streams.

                I think this is what gets lost in these discussions. You can call it short-sighted, you can call it whatever you want, but the fact is the owners of most web sites are not innovators and never claimed to be. All they want to do is put out a product and make money doing it. If they have exhausted one method, they will simply move on to the next rather than trying to come up with something entirely new. And there's not even anything wrong with this; this is the way small businesses in this country have always worked. It's not up to every guy who runs a bakery or a stationary store or whatever to come up with entirely new business models whenever they hit hard times, and nobody expects them to - yet for some reason, people do expect that when it comes to the web.
                • by Forbman ( 794277 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @02:19PM (#12892119)
                  And there's not even anything wrong with this; this is the way small businesses in this country have always worked. It's not up to every guy who runs a bakery or a stationary store or whatever to come up with entirely new business models whenever they hit hard times, and nobody expects them to - yet for some reason, people do expect that when it comes to the web.

                  Yet, *somebody* in that pool *WILL* innovate, and the ones who want to continue the fight will learn from the innovation(s) and apply them.

                  Think of farmer's markets and other direct marketing efforts for small farmers, because either they cannot get into the commodity market or can't make money doing so. So they innovate.

                  Farmer's markets and other DMA efforts like CSAs (Community-Supported Agrigulture, i.e., customers "subscribe" to the farm to get periodic product from the farmers. Some veggie growers here in PDX are able to supply veggies 10-12 months out of the year. So you're not getting tomatoes and lettuce in December and winter squash and turnips instead, so it requires some flexibility on the customer as well) allow the farmers to work directly with their customers, and sell at a mutually beneficial level - farmer gets more profit, customer gets better product.

                  $3.00/dz for farm eggs might be too much for you. But at least I can unequivocally state what has, and more importantly, has NOT, gone into those eggs.

                  For everyone else, there's a WalMart Supercenter near by.

                  Small business owners, if they're not innovators, they are imitators. There's nothing wrong with that, unless every little small business in an area starts looking a little bit the same.

                • by iminplaya ( 723125 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @02:32PM (#12892281) Journal
                  It's not up to every guy who runs a bakery or a stationary store or whatever to come up with entirely new business models whenever they hit hard times...

                  Yeah, well, if the baker starts to shout about his "special prices" into my ear every time I walk in, I'm going to wear ear plugs.
                • by FLEB ( 312391 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @02:51PM (#12892554) Homepage Journal
                  Bakeries and stationery stores don't have to retool their business models, because their business models aren't broken. (Although, those suffering from WalMartization might be forced to, just as ad companies suffering from blocking are forced to change.) The advert model in its current form is, appearantly, broken.

                  If the content draws enough people, and the owner wants it to persist, it (generally) will. A free/paid mix of content can be set up. The provider can monetize in different ways, such as audience data mining, affiliate plans, or swag sales. They can set up a "tip jar". They can network with other similar sites to make a network and take advantage of numbers. They can minimize costs by taking advantage of things like mirroring or BitTorrent. They can take advantage of their community by putting out a call for mirrorers. They can offload the content to a mailing list to relax web bandwidth needs. The can open-license the content and let it prosper in fansites.

                  Or, there's always failure. Not all ideas are good, and not all should be treated like they are.
                • by HairyCanary ( 688865 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @03:50PM (#12893144)
                  You can hope all you want that people will innovate; the reality is most web site owners are only in it for the money.

                  Hope is not required -- as a web site owner, you will innovate, or you will be out of business. Just because you are "only in it for the money" does not grant you immunity from this fact. There are more than enough people in this world who will figure out more creative ways to part consumers from their money, we are not in any danger of running out of choice. Dave

                • by 2ms ( 232331 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @04:17PM (#12893394)
                  The ad-blockers rose up because of demand by consumers for relief from incredibly crude and annoying to the point of severely impeding usefulness of internet form of advertising. The market was ripe for system of dealing with a terrible system of advertising.

                  Now market is ripe for someone to come up with better system of advertising. Someone will make a ton of money meeting this need. Who said anything about individual operators of sites needing to come up with new business models or advertising system?

                  Dont try to say that popups were necessary for internet to be what it is - if anything you'll hear the quality of sites was better before the days of popups. Popups are crude abuse of a browser feature that certainly would have been designed differently had the architects anticipated what would happen with them.

                  Obviously anyone would agree that internet advertising serves important purpose but it's absurd to imagine "popups" are The Way to advertise and that blocking them is somehow blocking advertising.
              • by Nogami_Saeko ( 466595 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @02:26PM (#12892189)
                Ah, bingo. You've hit the nail on the head.

                I only block stuff that's obtrusive to me:

                -If it moves, flashes, animates or makes noise, it's gone
                -If they try a popup/popunder, it's gone

                Static ads don't annoy me (much like the newspaper he was mentioning), and I don't block them.

                Oh, and I also block additional ads on any sites I pay to access - if I'm already paying their subscription fee, I deserve an advertising-free environment.

              • by Zphbeeblbrox ( 816582 ) <> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:39PM (#12894429) Homepage
                Exactly, Doubleclick gets blocked because they are so intrusive and annoying. Google is experiencing growth in the ad revenue stream precisely because they found the right niche market. even the slashdot ads aren't as intrusive as some sites. They stay at the top in that banner and there are some text ads on the side. They don't distract from the websites purpose so they fit. Many website advertisements do the exact opposite of this. They make the website unuseable. Thus spawning the market for adblocking software. This may mean the end of Doublclick style ads but it's not the end of internet advertising.
            • by Andrew Cady ( 115471 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:23PM (#12890631)
              If the people who make this site are losing money (and they are not wealthy enough to keep it going) the site will be lost.
              Who do you think makes this site? Is it Or is it you and me?

              I could create a free slashdot in a single day of programming: an rss feed, a thunderbird plugin, and a new Usenet group is all it would take. The only thing missing would be the users. But that's the only important thing.

              • Really? You think that is it?

                How about this:

                Bandwidth (or do you think free geocities account will do it for you). Your site will be /. with a thunderous laugh...actually without paying a high end hosting company your site will be /.'d with a quite chuckle and a "that was cute."

                Then there is want your site to be known right?

                Then there is maintenance. Yea you could probably whip up something similar to /. in a day or two (though I would wager a lot more time then that for something
            • by InvalidError ( 771317 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @01:16PM (#12891396)
              Free-riding spares people's bandwidth... I never purchased anything from banner ads before adopting ad-blockers and am extremely unlikely to ever do. By free-riding, I am sparing the advertiser/host's bandwidth along with my own.

              When advertisers started using Flash animations with SOUND, I snapped and decided to go on a quest for absolute free-loading. The only ads I am willing to tolerate are google-style text-only ads and static images.

              Advertisers are going too far and I see freeloading as one way of protesting... and definitely a necessary thing for dial-ups.
            • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @01:40PM (#12891693)
              Someone is paying for the hosting, bandwidth, etc.
              And most of that bandwidth is consumed by... you guessed it, the ads.

              DoubleClick's pop-up graphical banner ads are like a tanker truck that burns 100 gallons of gas to deliver 50 - inefficient.

              Google's more conservative ads are cheaper to deliver and not coincidentally less often blocked.

              That's doubleclick's problem - they think of the web as advertising, because that's all they do. They don't even offer a real service like google does. Maybe their bloated, annoying ads will go the way of the dinosaur. You know what? The web will survive.

          • by Otter ( 3800 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:12PM (#12890463) Journal
            The freerider problem only applies to public goods that are excludable and rival. The Internet is neither excludable nor rival, and therefore is not a public good. And since it is not a public good, the freerider problem does not apply to it.

            Whether or not "the Internet" is a public good (which may or may not be the case), free web content is most certainly excludable and rival. It's excludable in that access can easily be restricted and rival in that use costs the providers money to keep access available.

            Forget the jargon and use some common sense. If all Slashdot readers stop viewing ads and their ad revenue disappears, Rob will or will not keep offering free access?

            Blocking ads won't end free content on the Web. It will lead to innovation and new opportunities.

            Perhaps, but requiring the creation of completely new forms and models of web content hardly contradicts Smith's point, does it?

            • by IANAAC ( 692242 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:32PM (#12890747)
              If all Slashdot readers stop viewing ads and their ad revenue disappears, Rob will or will not keep offering free access?

              Maybe not this site, but certainly other sites can and do operate at a loss. I worked for a TV station a while back and I can tell you that the web site - as a single entity - NEVER made money and was always operating at a loss. The information provided on the site, however, effected some cost savings on the broadcast side of the business, though, which balanced things out. In other words, if a web site is the sole means of income, yeah, you probably need ads. but if it's a compliment to the overall business, they're not necessary.

          • -5, Wrong. A public good is nonexcludable and nonrival by definition... look it up [] if you don't believe me. Internet sites are essentially nonrival, although the /. effect is one of the best counterexamples to that. Subscription-free sites are also nonexcludable, making them public goods and very much subject to the free rider effect. A great way to combat that would is to convert to a subscription-only model, AKA "the death of the free Internet." DoubleClick is a sleasy, slimy company indeed, but what the
        • If I block ads, it's also true that if I didn't, I still wouldn't buy their lameass products. Me watching their brain-torturous manipulative garbage will never, ever convert to a sale.

          So, let me turn off adblock, so I can watch them still wither into nothingness. I'm no longer a free-rider, they just bought something with their advertising that wasn't ever going to pay off, my eyeballs.

          Some advice, I may one day buy a new car, Ford/Chevy/etc. I may not. Either way, it's totally uninfluenced by your billions of dollars a year in ad money. Keep that money, and buy something with it. More R&D, lower prices, hell, have the biggest hooker and booze party on planet earth, it matters not. This goes for people who sell laundry detergent, fast food, and video games.
          • But at the same time, if you hadn't seen the logos on other cars, or seen at least a couple advertisements, would you even know that the Ford/Chevy exists? You may or not buy a car in the future. But you can't buy something you don't know exists. I know there is word of mouth, but that may not be enough to cover most cases.

            The trick is to not annoy people with the advertisements, but still get your name in people's heads.
          • by Syncdata ( 596941 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:30PM (#12890729) Journal
            I may one day buy a new car, Ford/Chevy/etc. I may not. Either way, it's totally uninfluenced by your billions of dollars a year in ad money.

            You say this, but you don't truly know to what extent you've been influenced.

            When McDonalds first started running adds referring to themselves as "Mickey-dees", I was galled at what a blatant and rediculous attempt it was to gain "street cred". Surely this will never work, said I.

            2 months later, and millions in advertising, I start hearing people say "lets go to Mickey-Dees".

            Noone in their right minds thinks that when they pop the top of a Budweiser *ugh*, buxom swimsuit models will randomly show up and start partying. But I'd be willing to bet that somewhere in anheiser busches marketing department there is a graph that shows a direct correlation between the number of buxom lasses in ads, and the ammount of money they get from the 18-25 year old market. Sorry for the off topic rant.
        • by Viceice ( 462967 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:08PM (#12890382)
          Bennie Smith is entirely WRONG.

          2 Facts:

          1) People will always want things free (As in paid for by ad's)

          2) If the people who serve ads as we know it today die off, soemone else will come back and fill the void.

          People do tolorate and to a certain extent, apreciate ads, but the reason why people block ads today is because the people serving ads are crap flooding people with annoying devices like pop-up that serve up lies, half truths and spyware.

          The advertiser who learns the rule of doing it in moderation and not pissing off your audience is the one whose gonna make it, not scum like DoubleClick.

          In essence, this whole mess is the advertising industries own fault, not the fault of the makers of ad blocking software.
        • The viewing of the ads is irrelevant. What matters is that the people maintaining a [website] have enough incoming revenue to continue that activity. It is currently often the case that this revenue comes from commercial enterprises in exchange for putting certain information on the [website]. The reason these enterprices pay to put that information on the [website] is that there is empiracle evidence of correlation between the amount of "exposure" of such information and their revenue.

          What is happening is

        • by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot&keirstead,org> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:28PM (#12890693) Homepage
          Because after all, we all know that before the WWW ad boom of 2000, there was no content on the web.

          Oh wait - I think I have that backwards - there was *better* content on the web *before* the major corperations and their ads came on.

          You -> Foot -> Mouth

        • I don't think so.

          To date, I haven't seen an ad blocker that can block text ads. And you'll notice more and more sites using the Google style ads every day. I could care less what DoubleClick thinks. In fact, the statistics on Adsense demonstrate that less annoying ads do in fact work. They work just as well, or (in most cases) better than flashing banner ads.

          DoubleClick's ads are annoying, and detract from the value that I receive from going to the web page that hosts them. If there's no value for me view
          • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @02:40PM (#12892418) Homepage
            They complain endlessly about the negative "vibes" towards advertising, yet they take no responsibility for creating these "vibes" in the first place. No one had a problem with Internet ads before DoubleClick started tracking people.

            This can't be emphasized enough: Doubleclick is the one at fault. Any problem they perceive with ad blocking is a direct consequence of their own actions. They are the ones that made online advertising annoying, intrusive, and invasive of privacy. They are the ones that made everyone hate internet advertising. How many of us first learned how to use /etc/hosts to block

            It is exactly like them to say it is our fault for not wanting to be annoyed with pop-ups, pop-unders, mouse-dodging javascript widows that pop up fifteen new windows when you manage to close them while simultaneously tracking every single site we ever visit. We all know about Google ads -- ads I've actually clicked on in order to buy product, not just a fake click to throw a website a click-through's worth of revenue. Good behavior gets rewarded. But Doubleclick thinks it is our behavior that needs to change. We should just accept whatever crap they want to foist on us, apparently. Why won't we just bend over?

            And as far as "a negative vibe against advertising in general" -- he's goddamn right! Because most advertisers are just like Doubleclick. Advertising is everywhere, and designed to be as obnoxious as possible. Like with television ads, which can be severely annoying and thus causes people to hit the mute -- or record the show and then skip the ads. Just like with those bastards at Doubleclick, Television advertisers have only come up with two ideas on how to fix this:

            1) Make the ads even -more- obnoxious and hard to avoid.

            2) Chastise us for not wanting to be annoyed.

            If you read the TFA, you'll see that he really believes he has purchased our eyeballs. No, you fool, you payed a website to put your ad on their page. I'm under no obligation to look at the thing. You might think I owe you my eyeballs, but I never agreed to be given a headache by a flashing ad that pops up when I leave that page.

            Bennie is right about one thing, though: His company's behavior is going to kill internet advertising that tries to grab eyeballs through irritation. I doubt the 'free' internet will end, because Google already has shown how you can make money off advertising and not piss people off. But even if he is right and a substantial portion of the internet is incapable of adapting to a world where the people are in control of what they see, I have only one thing to say:

            Good. I hope they die off as quickly as possible. I want some serious Darwin shit to go on here, and I want it to be clear that the ones that will survive are the ones that can make money without pissing me off.

            Doubleclick and every advertiser like them needs to die. We will make them an evolutionary dead end. And despite all their screaming, once they are gone, buried, and slowly turning into some future generation's gas we'll find out that we never needed them at all.
        • by Leif_Bloomquist ( 311286 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:38PM (#12890844) Homepage
          The Web worked perfectly well, with lots of free content available, for the several years before advertising appeared. What would be wrong with going back to that?
        • by spisska ( 796395 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @01:00PM (#12891180)

          Bennie Smith is entirely correct -- if ad blocking becomes standard in popular browsers, that will be the end of free content on the web.

          No. It means that if ad blocking becomes standard, it will pose a threat to bouncing, popping, blinking, annoying graphical ads on the web. Text ads do not get in the way, do not distract, and do not get blocked.

          The fact that Mr Smith sells bouncing, popping, flashing, annoying graphical ads may have something to do with his opinion.

          Note to marketers: It is possible to reach your target audience without annoying everyone else.

          • by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @01:16PM (#12891392) Journal
            It is possible to reach your target audience without annoying everyone else.

            Despite the fact that I am technically savvy, I have not invested time in AdBlock or anything else.

            I have FlashBlock (moderately misnamed, it really makes loading Flash fully voluntary), turned off image animations, and forbid unrequested popups.

            By and large, this makes the web perfectly tolerable, and I do not feel that further time invested in crazy blocking schemes would pay off. The only thing on the horizon that might change the balance is further penetration of interstitials (I don't instantly leave the site, but I don't come back), or on-page adds (that aren't Flash since I block that).

            If they weren't such dicks, they might not have prompted the formation of such sophisticated tech to counter them.
        • by Snowhare ( 263311 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @01:02PM (#12891203)

          Very few ad blocker programs block ads that are not attempting to do something abusive. It is about blocking intrusive and abusive ads. Doubleclick and ilk want huge centralized databases of personal information and push formats like audio/popup/popunder/floating ads that actively interfere with people using the web.

          It is as if you were reading a magazine and everytime you turned the page someone shoved a sign between you and the magazine and wouldn't let you read until you signed something and crumpled the ad up and threw it away.

          The free market is just telling marketers don't be evil. Doubleclick is unhappy because their business model is to be as evil as we want to be.

          It is noticable that only marketers appear to believe that intrusive advertising (whether you are talking telesolictors, door-to-door salesmen or popups) is something people actually want.

      • Adblock (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Morosoph ( 693565 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:42AM (#12890029) Homepage Journal
        I have taken to using Adblock, but I only use it to block advertisers who actively annoy me. Pop-ups always result in me blocking the advertising firm. Otherwise, I tolerate advertisers that do not cross my threshold since I do generally wish to support sites that I visit.
        • threshhold (Score:3, Insightful)


          I don't block:

          • images from the same server as the page
          • images with low distraction
          • images that are visually pleasing
          • images that conform to the content, rather than forcing the content to conform

          A simple, static (per-view) banner doesn't bother me. Advertizing related to the content doesn't bother me. Pretty, but subtle, images that fit the color scheme and page layout of the site are just fine.

          What I will block every time are

          • images hosted by an ad site
          • animated GIFs, fla
      • by niko9 ( 315647 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:56AM (#12890217)
        Firefox and AdBlock provide a service that is in high demand: the blockery of ads.

        I shall build you a shrubbery if you send me a copy of these things you speak of!
    • Re:cry me a river (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Trigun ( 685027 ) <> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:33AM (#12889859)
      Not capitalism, idiocy.

      Doubleclick wants to get rid of the free as in beer internet as well as the free-as-in-Mel Gibson painted blue internet. If they had their way, they would track every single person on the internet and their shopping habits, eating habits, and any other thing that they could figure out how to track, and sell it all to the highest bidder.

      Fuck you double-click! If people weren't trying every single underhanded trick to make money on the Internet, the place would be better. Fuck you, fuck your adware-hocking buddies, and fuck Roland Pipsqueakalli for their desperate attempts to make a buck off of my back.
      • Re:cry me a river (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Winkhorst ( 743546 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:53AM (#12890174)
        I agree. But let me just say that I really didn't mind static ads. After all, the internet was originally a static medium and, like newspapers, one expects some nice little static ads.

        It was when these retardo-bozos began the damned flash ads that winked and blinked until they drove you nuts that I began to get angry. When the damned ads started getting up and marching across the screen like wooden soldiers in a little kid's dreams, I began to get apoplectic. Then you couldn't even click on a link without being redirected to an ad page before being permitted to see what you wanted to see.

        And somewhere along the way these veritable cretinous lunatics decided that they had the right to set malicious cookies that would phone home everytime you turned on your computer thus slowing down your boot time and generally mucking up the innards of YOUR VERY OWN computer paid for with your hard earned dollars. And this character has the nerve to threaten us with the DEATH OF THE INTERNET!!! if we don't stop preventing him from annoying us.

        Yes, I agree. Screw you double-boner and the rest of your silly fannies.
    • Re:cry me a river (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:35AM (#12889897) Journal
      Exactly. Seeing large, flash animations telling me about a service I am completely uninterested in irritates me. Sometimes I click[1] on them on the basis that it will cost someone money and not give them any sales.

      Google ads, on the other hand, I have no problem with. They are small (both in terms of content and download size - particularly important if I am using GPRS and paying per byte), unobtrusive, and - most important - relevant. I have even bought things as a direct result of Google ads, something no other advertising mechanism can claim. I have no problem with well-targetted adverts, but blanket adverts just get ignored. Whether the filtering happens in my browser or my brain makes very little difference.

      [1] Open in background tab, then close without ever actually looking at the tab.

      • Exactly right (Score:4, Interesting)

        by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:05PM (#12890339) Homepage
        I have no problem with Google ads. They don't take over your screen or blink annoyingly and don't turn a 2 second page load into a 30 second bandwidth hog.

        Doubleclick is their own worst enemy. It's not just the trashy ads, but their spyware cookies and other means of tracking internet users. Here's a clue for those bastards: We're not here for your convenience. We pay for our bandwidth and that doesn't mean you're entitled to it. If your customer sites want to find a different way to make money, have at it. Another site will find a less obtrusive way to get their advertising in front of consumers by offering the same content. That's the way the free market works. They win, you lose. And it couldn't happen to a more deserving company.

    • by CdBee ( 742846 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:37AM (#12889935) control what I see on my screen. Advertising to fund content is not a sustainable business model as too many people are willing to provide genuinely free content.

      I do not wish to be advertised at, so I generally refuse to use sites which require me to sign in to use non-commercial services.

      I wouldn't be too sad to see the end of commercial websites funded by advertising.... the internet managed long enough before the days of spam and aggressive advertising.

      I remember surfing the web with IE5 on Windows 98 and finding advretising totally unobtrusive, with just a banner ad on every page. Then in the space of about 6 months, I started seeing pop-ups, ads with sound, javascript tricks, etc

      So now I block all advertising regardless of its nature. Had quite enough of that. And them.
      • AdBlock Filter Here! (Score:4, Informative)

        by node159 ( 636992 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:29PM (#12890713)
        Here's a good adblock filter for those looking to get started. It has been known to be slightly overzelus, but besides the fluke site, it works wonders.

        Welcome to the new old internet, enjoy the peace and quiet =D.

        /\/(ad|commercial|marketing|promo(tion)?|shop|spon sor)s?\//
        /(adsdk|a1\.yimg|akamai|amznxslt|atdmt|atwola|bilb o\.counted|bizrate|bonnint|brides\.ru|edge\.ru|hit box|falkag|maxserving|promote\.pair|realmedia|sant a\.imho|servedby|spinbox|tribalfusion|qksrv|zedo)/
        /(ad|banner|sponsor)s?_?(id|ima?ge?|[0-9]*x[0-9]*) /
        /[\W\d_](top|bottom|left|right|)?banner(s|id=|\d|_ )[\W\d]/
        /[\W\d]click(stream|thrutraffic|thru|xchange)[\W\d ]/
        /[\W\d](onlineads?|ad(banner|click|-?flow|frame|im a?g(es?)?|_id|js|log|serv(er|e)?|stream|_string|s| trix|type|vertisements?|v|vert|xchange)?)[\W\d]/
    • Re:cry me a river (Score:5, Insightful)

      by man_of_mr_e ( 217855 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:48AM (#12890106)
      Advertising will never go away. It will just become more insidious. In a way, I think adblocker and the like are akin to people taking anti-biotics every time they get a sniffle. It just ends up creating new strains of antibiotic resistant germs which, eventually will not be able to be combatted.

      Today, it's relatively easy to spot the advertising within the page to block it out. Eventually, advertising will become so integrated with the content that you can't automatically detect and strip it out.

      I agree whole heartedly with blocking truly annoying forms of advertising, such as popups, but to block all advertising, including stuff that goes out of its way to not be annoying (such as Google Ad Sense) is really just shooting ourselves in the foot.

      We want to encourage non-annoying advertising!
      • Re:cry me a river (Score:3, Insightful)

        by geekoid ( 135745 )
        naw, thye'll become less insidous and more helpfull. as many people here have pointed out, google seems to hit the nail on the head with it's advertising model.
        I have found google ads to be the first that are actually usefull and helpfull.
    • Re:cry me a river (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 )
      This might mean the end of a lot of free content, but it won't mean the end of peoples desire to publish. And computers are cheap. And getting cheaper. And bandwidth is cheap. And getting cheaper. So anyone can publish, and peer to peer is getting better. And ISPs like to make money.

      If all the advertising in the world dried up tomorrow, there would be an instant and huge opportunity for ISPs that provided good, seamless and easy P2P publishing, because whichever ISP provided it would be the one provi
  • by jcromartie ( 841990 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:30AM (#12889773)
    In other news, burglars are urging consumers to stop using locks on their doors.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:31AM (#12889797)
    DoubleClick's trademark infringes on the Amazon patent -- twice.
  • by Ubergrendle ( 531719 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:31AM (#12889801) Journal
    If by "free internet content" he means "obnoxious flash based advertisements" he's right.

    Advertising is an important revenue stream, but its not the only revenue available nor the only viable business model. I don't see alot of people blocking Google advertisements since they're non-intrusive and context sensitive... only obnoxious flash based adverts, or banners -- Doubleclick's meal ticket.

    FUD by a company executive to protect his business model. Nothing to see here, move along...
  • by yagu ( 721525 ) < minus cat> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:31AM (#12889809) Journal

    The analogy doesn't hold up. To compare ad-blocking with something that could do the same in newspapers doesn't even make sense. What's really going on (in my opinion) is the natural selection process. Browsers started out simple, naive, and unassuming. Then came the predators... in this case popup ads. Now most browsers offer popup ad blocking or extensions to block popups.

    Popup ads are nothing like newspaper advertising -- the dynamic is quite different. For example, if there were the capability and there really was a newspaper that had advertising that actually jumped up in front of what you had started reading, or some other intrusive behavior, that paper would be likely shunned by most consumers and the paper would fail.

    Popup ads today are just part of the browser experience and its evolution... but, popup ads are annoying to most, and eventually will (okay, at least should) disappear... advertisers don't like paying for something consumers will never see. Meanwhile I see normal sidebar ads as being sufficient as more people use the internet... I can only speak anecdotally, but if sidebar ads are tastefully done, and well-targeted, it is not unusual for me to click and browse/shop and maybe even purchase. It's similar to the newspaper paradigm... simple, unobtrusive, universally accepted, and usually non-offensive.

    I can't imagine an internet incapable of sustaining itself without popup ads... (For the record, there's a certain mortgage/lending institution from which I would never take a loan -- that's how annoying I find their popups.)

    • Although you have a valid point, this dosen't apply to only popups - you are missing the full scope of this argument by Doubleclick.

      I don't think that you quite understand the significance that AdBlock provides for FireFox functionality

      Right now I'm browsing slashdot ad-free (No, i'm not a subscriber) because of this this tool. All you have to do is right click the image and block the entire domain (the server/directory serving the ad-images) and all of the ads on a site magically vanish.

      This is very comprable to newspapers since the ad is inline with the content, not like popups where they're annoying and obtrusive. The fact is, AdBlock makes it possible to read a newspaper with the Ad's just completely gone, only the newspaper is the internet.
  • by macklin01 ( 760841 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:31AM (#12889812) Homepage

    Well, there is some truth to it.

    I try to unblock ads to my favorite small sites (e.g., sourceforge, slashdot, overclockers, ocforums), especially as survival is not so guaranteed for the smaller sites. -- Paul

  • by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:31AM (#12889814) Homepage
    I have nothing against a page putting ads up; if the ads get too voluminous to read the content I'll simply stop going to that page. But pages that pollute my desktop with pop-ups, especially ones that spawn more when I try to close them, can go to hell. If getting rid of pop-ups means the end of the world-wide web, then go 'head, pull the trigger.
  • Geez Louise... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KC7GR ( 473279 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:32AM (#12889831) Homepage Journal
    This is the same industry that wants to put ads on screens above the urinals in restrooms, on electronic screens in shopping carts, and God only knows where else.

    Ad blockers are simply a way for 'net users to say "No! You already have enough places to advertise, and I don't want my computer screen to be one of them."

    What part of "No!" don't advertisers understand?

  • Annoying ads (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Xshare ( 762241 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:32AM (#12889835) Homepage
    Don't know about anyone else, but I can tell you I don't adblock google ads, or any other non-intrusive ads. The ads I block are the ones with the sounds and the moving monkeys telling me to hit them to get a free ipod. I mean jesus christ, you wonder why people want to block your ads?
  • by Bravoc ( 771258 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:32AM (#12889838) Journal
    I pay $39.95/month!
  • Tip (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) <> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:33AM (#12889843) Homepage
    Stop making your ads insulting and ineffcient and people won't block them.

    In the age of dialup a simple 3KB page would have >20KB of stupid banner ads and logos.

    Now we're in the age of flash popup/under/over/sideways ads that have loud "HEY BUY ME" audio samples and etc..

    Yes, an ad has to be noticed. But if it's just too much of a pain in the ass people are going to actively try and ignore them.

    For me it has gotten to the point where I actually mute the TV during station breaks because the commercials are not only repetitive and annoying but insulting to my [and anyone over the age of seven] intelligence.

    And no, RemodelAmerica, I really don't want your fucking cheap wall siding. Stop paying for EVERY AD SPOT ON THE WEEKEND....

  • No sympathy at all (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MynockGuano ( 164259 ) <> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:33AM (#12889847)
    If you advertisers hadn't infested the Internet with pop-up, flashing, animated advertisements that dwarfed the actual content, you'd not be in this position. Newspaper ads are given no priority over the content; that's the difference. You can look at one or the other, just as easily. Not so with the crap you put on the Internet.

    I have no sympathy at all; you abused your customers, and now they have a "negative vibe." Deal with it.
  • Boo hoo. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ip_fired ( 730445 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:33AM (#12889856) Homepage
    If you want people to stop blocking all of your incredibly annoying ads, make them inobtrusive and useful.

    Google has the right idea, ads based on the content of the page, taking up just a little space, no animation to draw your attention from the real content on the page. With that method, if I want to find someone who is selling what I just read about, I know where to look!
  • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:34AM (#12889865)
    I hardly notice the ads that google puts on the side of their search results, or the few odd ones placed on a page to generate a little extra revenue. Hell, I don't even mind the occasionaly banner ad at the top of some sites.

    However, there are ads that bother the hell out of me and make me want to block them or stop visiting the page that hosts them. These usually include flash banner ads (shoot the monkey, sink a basket, hit the target, etc.) or animated .gifs or anything else that's more bandwidth intensive than my 56k connection at home can handle in a few seconds. Additionally, ads about products that I don't want or ads that look like scams or phishing attempts really bug me.

    It's not the ads that are bad, it's the type, placement, and content of those ads that gets to me.

  • by kevin_conaway ( 585204 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:34AM (#12889867) Homepage
    I don't mind be advertised to. People have to make their money somehow, and if I want to get content for free, the publisher should be able to show me advertisements in order to make money for his/her content.

    This advertising space is limited to the page I am viewing. I consider it unacceptable to:

    - Show popups.
    - Show popunders.
    - Spam me.
    - Install spyware / adware.

    Basically if you advertise in any way that is not confined to the page/window I am viewing, all bets are off when it comes to blocking your advertisements.
  • by TPIRman ( 142895 ) * on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:34AM (#12889872)
    Worst. Analogy. Ever. From TFA:

    "He said if a similar tool could be produced for newspapers, it would not be accepted by consumers. 'You'd go to your local corner shop and buy the daily paper, and you'd have these large holes where the ads were. You'd somehow feel like your 25 cents had not gotten full value,' he said."

    What if you went to a baseball game, and there were only open space -- holes, that is -- where the billboards usually were, and your beer cup had a hole where the "Budweiser" logo goes, and the peanuts were generic (with holes in them), and there were dogs with holes in their mouth and when they bark they shoot holes at you? I say, you'd somehow feel you didn't get a good value!
  • by Allen Varney ( 449382 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:34AM (#12889877) Homepage
    I only wish the 'negative vibe' against advertising would prompt a wider examination of its toxic effects on society. For some inexplicable reason Adbbusters [] and No Logo [] don't get a lot of exposure on commercial TV networks, wonder why?

    We have lost, almost completely, the concept of pandering as harmful. In the Divine Comedy, Dante put the panders in the sixth circle of Hell, lower (and hence worse than) than the murderers. Someday a lot of DoubleClick guys will join them...

  • by Chairboy ( 88841 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:37AM (#12889916) Homepage
    PODUNK, NH - John "The Weasel" Gibbons complained that active policing was putting a cramp on his style.

    "Youz all needs burglars, see?" said Gibbons in an interview from his cell. "We're keeping the economy running, you shoulds be thanking us!"

    Arguing that product theft spurred economic activity by forcing consumers to purchase more, Gibbons estimates that if burglary drops by a mere 15% nationally, the effects could be felt in the form of hundreds of thousands of workers losing their jobs as demand for replacement products wane.

    "It's like this," he said as he preened his whiskers. "Them cops, they're always sniffing around where they ain't welcome, but instead of helping the economy by buying donuts like theys do in the movies, they're out busting honest, hard working economic invigorators like myself!"

    His tail whipping back and forth in a frenzy, Gibbons then launched into a tirade against the specific officers that had arrested him earlier that afternoon for cutting a stereo out of a parked car.

    Finally, he closed the interview with this prediction: "If yous all don't hold in the reins on Magruff over there, industries are gonna topple! Let me and my friends free, for the sake of our country!" He then scampered to his nest at the back of the cell.
  • Idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GreatDrok ( 684119 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:37AM (#12889918) Journal
    These people need to get the message. We don't like advertising. It was reasonably acceptable when it was a little here and there but as it has become more and more in your face it has become some people's mission (mine included) to block it as much as possible.

    This isn't to say that I don't appreciate adverts when they are clever and targetted but this is very rare compared with the huge amount of dross that hits our door mats, or spews from every screen or the pages of magazines and poster boards. TiVO, Pithhelmet/adblock and registering with the likes of the Telephone Preference Service etc do make a big difference. I am generally indifferent to advertising these days as a result except when someone really goes out of their way to get to me and that really doesn't make me particularly inclined to listen to their sales pitch.

    I find it particularly funny when people say that Mozilla/Firefox/Safari/Opera etc do not render web pages properly when compared to IE and yet when I use Safari or Firefox and filter out all the ads the pages look so much better than they do when using IE so frankly I don't care. And with the move to IE7 do we really think that MS will allow anyone to have something like Pithhelmet/Adblock? Doubtful. In which case I don't think the alternative browsers have anything to worry about for some time.

    So, the message for advertisers? Learn the art of subtlety and grow a brain.
  • by helioquake ( 841463 ) * on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:38AM (#12889939) Journal
    The end of free Internet content will come when Web browsers start blocking online advertisements by default

    Then let it end. I'm fed up with the business model of running intrusive advertizing that means nothing but annoying to the viewers.

    I'd pay some extra $$$ for better content and service. I know many slashdot readers (read students) are too used to getting many things for free. But that business model CAN'T work for long, as the providers of information need to make some profit somehow. Either you yield to the advertiser's demand or stand against it.

    Well the choice is yours. I am to choose against annoying flashy ads and pop-ups (not that I'm getting any of these with Firefox).
  • Agreed... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by avalys ( 221114 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:39AM (#12889962)
    Quite frankly, I agree with him.

    Most free content on the web is supported by advertising. The advertiser pays the website publisher to display ads on their site, in the hope that they will catch someone's eye. If enough people run ad-blocking software, this will no longer be a viable business model, and most free content on the web will need to find another method of funding.

    It's the same issue with TV commercials and TiVo.

    You can whine all you want about how evil and annoying the companies are, and say "So what if they're not making any money? Greedy bastards, it serves them right!". But keep in mind, they can always take their toys and go home, and where will that leave you?

    Personally, I don't mind putting up with ads. I tune the majority out mentally, and I even occasionally click on an interesting one.
    • Agreed...??? NOT (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ratboy666 ( 104074 )
      MOST free content on the web is supported by advertising?

      Come on, that's... (charitably) WRONG.

      MOST of the content on the web is on the edge; supplied by individuals. And that's where the growth is, too.

      Just look at how much BitTorrent traffic is carried.


    • Re:Agreed... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jdavidb ( 449077 )

      But keep in mind, they can always take their toys and go home, and where will that leave you?

      Playing with the better toys that never used this model, in a cleaner room.

    • Re:Agreed... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by LionKimbro ( 200000 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @01:00PM (#12891181) Homepage
      When they pack up their toys and go home, I will still be reading Wikipedia.

      Greedy bastards, it serves them right!
  • Yeah, a lot of AdBlock users aggressively block all ads, period. But a good many of us don't. I block iFrame ads, I block blinky, seizure inducing ads, I block anything that interferes with my ability to *read* the content I'm seeking out. Other than that, I leave 'em in (although I don't load ads from any domain containing the string 'doubleclick,' but I don't think I'm alone there).

    What am I getting at here, other than wasting time that could better be spent tweaking queries? Darwinism, selective adaptation, survival of the fittest (or at least the least obnoxious), call it what you will. But if *more* people used AdBlock, and used it selectively, advertisers would quickly learn that people go out of their way to avoid seeing things bouncing around and strobing at 15hz while trying to read the news.

    And Flash-based ads... I do a lot of browsing on a laptop. A CPU intensive ad is not only demanding screen real estate, but it is directly limiting my browsing time by using an obscene amount of battery power. I feel *no* guilt at all in using Flash Click To Play to filter *all* those ads, no matter how obnoxious they are or aren't, and no matter how much I may wanna support the site they're on.

    Adapt or die. Those advertisers that grep their server logs properly will improve and therefor prosper. The rest? Fuck 'em.
  • by qbzzt ( 11136 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:40AM (#12889989)
    It's very easy to make a Web page and just display advertising. However, this makes for useless advertising that people will naturally want to block. Given the flexibility of general purpose computers, somebody will figure out a way to do it.

    If you want advertising that people won't block, you need to use one of two options:

    1. Make it unobtrusive. I really don't mind that above the comment posting form I'm currently using I see the icons for Google and Intel. It's part of the editorial content, but it could have been an ad - as long as it wasn't animated and annoying. Of course, I consciously tune this content out, but it probably helps reinforce the relevant brands.

    2. Integrate the advertising into the content. If it's part of the useful content I'm reading, then it won't be a problem for me - as long as it doesn't render the content useless. Of course, we come to the problem of editorial integrity here - but that's always a problem, because writers always have agendas.

    Of course, doing #2 is genuinely hard and would make DoubleClick's business a lot less profitable. Tough for them.
  • by Schezar ( 249629 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:41AM (#12890011) Homepage Journal
    These ad companies seem to think that, by not viewing their advertisement, you're somehow stealing from them.

    What if I don't block them, but I conciously refuse to ever click on one? Is that any different? How about if I make a point of never buying any product I see an ad for online? How about if I just ignore ads?

    How is blocking them any different?

    I'm not going to get a mortgage from some online bank. I'm not going to buy a car just because I saw an ad for one. No amount of advertising will change that.

    I block ads because it's convenient to do so. Were this somehow impossible, no one would get any more revenue out of me than they do currently.

    So basically, I don't see what the issue here is. (And don't give my any bullshit about "branding." That's a load of crap.)
  • by Xugumad ( 39311 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:42AM (#12890031)
    I only installed AdBlock after the Crazy Frog advert. I'm sitting there, surfing away, and suddenly there's this ABOMINATION coming through my speakers.

    It may be the most popular ringtone in the world, but it makes me WANT TO KILL PEOPLE.


    So, how about this; if you make the ads just a little less ANNOYING, not only will I stop blocking them so much, I will not come after the advertising executives WITH A BLUNT, RUSTY SPOON!
  • by diamondsw ( 685967 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:42AM (#12890032)
    Doubleclick and other advertisers need to learn that "grabbing your attention" generally equates to "annoying as hell". People hate animated ads, flash ads, and their ilk. However, Google has done a very good job with its simple text-based ads, and I've supported those by clicking them. They're unobtrusive and more relevant to the topic I'm reading about (well, usually).

    People don't block ads. People block annoyances. Witness the "click to play" Flash plugins as well.
  • by mshiltonj ( 220311 ) <(mshiltonj) (at) (> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:45AM (#12890073) Homepage Journal
    The end of my company's revenue stream will come when Web browsers start blocking online advertisements by default, a DoubleClick executive has warned.
  • by micromuncher ( 171881 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:53AM (#12890172) Homepage
    From TFA
    "In an offline world, what would happen in that case is that the 25c newspaper would cost $5," he said.

    Apples and Oranges bud. In a paper, the ad doesn't redirect you to a [potentially rogue] site. How many users get linked to a Flash or JavaScript heavy ad with pop-ups? These ads are the bane of users everywhere, in particular those with slow connections.

    I absolutely HATE a js or flash ad that I can't get rid of, that prevents me from seeing page content, or slows/hangs my machine.

    Besides, click-through ads do NOT work as a form of advertising. 90% of internet users do not click through intentionally. Read: dot-crash, not a revenue model.

    Given the opportunity to NOT download that 500k jpg... I'd take the opportunity.

  • Smith is oblivious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:54AM (#12890188) Homepage

    Smith is obviously oblivious. He's talking as if the kind of intrusive, evasive ads his company does are the only kinds out there. To counter that, I'd point to Google. Google runs plenty of ads. They make lots of money off their ads. And nobody's up in arms about their ads, nor do you see anything being added to browsers to block them. That's because Google's ads are, as in a newspaper, clearly distinct from the content and don't interfere with the user getting at the actual content they're there for. And the ads are, gods help me, actually useful. More often than not, if I'm looking to buy what I'm searching for I find myself clicking through Google's ad links because I've found I'm likely to be able to buy what I was looking for. Smith simply isn't getting the hint, and if he doesn't he and the marketers like him will naturally go the way of the dinosaurs.

    As for free content disappearing, I doubt it. Content supported soley by intrusive ads will disappear, but there's a lot of content out there that won't be affected:

    • Search-engine results where the advertising on the pages follows the Google model.
    • Content that's actually worth paying for access to. Yes, it actually exists.
    • Content where profit isn't the principal motivation of the person putting it up. I hate to tell Smith this, but most of the good content isn't put up by his precious corporate patrons, it's put up by hobbyists and amateurs simply because they want it up.
  • by Teckla ( 630646 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @11:56AM (#12890226)

    I use Mozilla and Firefox and regularly block ads, but I only block ads that prance, dance, blink, flash, bounce, jiggle, and otherwise annoy the crap out of me.

    Those kinds of ads are not acceptable, because they're really distracting when you're trying to read and comprehend the real content of the web page.

    I never bother to block normal ads, because they don't annoy me. Sometimes, they even look interesting, and I click on them.

    Perhaps if advertisers would stop making obnoxious ads, there wouldn't be as much demand for ad blockers. But they've already shown themselves to have incredibly poor taste in ad design. Recall the living hell the web was before pop-up blockers became popular?

    I suspect this is one of those areas where advertisers will just plain never get it, doing their best to make their ads stand out as much as possible...which is synonymous with making them obnoxious.

  • by Saeger ( 456549 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {jllerraf}> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:02PM (#12890308) Homepage
    People are mostly blocking the obtrusive in-your-face ads, not the Google-style text-ads, and that's our right (and always will be as long "Trusted Computing" doesn't lock us out). Filtering the annoying ads saves time, aggravation, and bandwidth.

    Even *if* EVERYONE was automatically filtering out the traditional (BIG-annoying-BLINKBLINK-CLICKMENOW!) ads by default, it wouldn't be the "end of free internet content". For one thing, the cost of hosting has dropped dramatically since the Adfree-early-90's, but more importantly, money isn't the incentive that gets the best content online.

    And about the complaint against Firefox:
    1) Firefox's Adblock extension isn't installed by default, and very few people install extensions.
    2) The Adblock extension doesn't come with a prepopulated blocklist - you have to create your own as you go or download one. 3) Far more adblocking is probably done by corporate proxies to pinch pennies.

  • Free to Improve (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:05PM (#12890352) Homepage Journal
    No, it's an end to easy money for DoubleClick. Now they'll have to reinvest some of their annoyingly-gotten gain into producing ads that people don't go to lengths to block. Like ads for products people want to know about, without destroying their multimedia experience. Otherwise, DoubleClick will just keep reinvesting in whining about losing their right to annoy you.
  • You know what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by maynard ( 3337 ) <j.maynard.gelina ... m ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:07PM (#12890374) Journal
    If I get to choose between paying for content or having advertising shoved down my throat, I'll just pay for the content. Unfortunately, the last time we were offered this choice - the emergence of cable TV - we got the shaft and wound up both paying for the content and having advertising shoved into our faces to boot. Guess what. It's my computer; it's my TV; it's my magazine; they're my eyes. I don't have view these ads if I choose not to. That simple. JMO. --M
  • AdBlock and similar products exist because advertising has become so obtrusive that it prevents the software installed on your computer as well as the content on websites from being useful.

    The worst offender I've seen lately was a new "punch the monkey" style add. It was flash based of course. Normally these ads are just animated banners, but the designer of this one got the clever idea of putting sound into the ad. The chosen sound was quite possibly the most obnoxious sound possible. It sounded like my speakers were pumping out radio static.

    Now this is a flash ad right, so you should be able to right click on it and stop it from playing, and stop the flash from looping. Nope. The creator of the flash disabled all controls. The location of this advertising wasn't bad, it wasn't obtrusive, it wasn't in the way, but it was still noticeable. The problem was, I was jamming to my iTunes library at the time, something totally unrelated to web browsing.

    Advertisers: This is your problem. You removed all control. My only options were to not read the content at all or block your ad. Seeing as the content was important to me, the only option left to me was to install AdBlock. And as you had just royally pissed me off, I didn't just block the one ad that was annoying me, I blocked all the advertising from your domain(s). If you've let one obnoxious ad get out to the internet, I'm sure it's not the only one.

    Go out there and learn some principles of user interface design. One of them is that the user should feel in control. As soon as you remove control, the user is going to take action to regain control. Pop-Ups and Pop-Unders are other good examples. You're creating new windows that I didn't ask for! Not only are they getting in the way of my web browsing, they are getting in the way of other things I'm doing on my computer. Again, my options are to block advertising or close my web browser. Both are options you don't want, so don't force me to take these actions in the first place.

    I do not mind ads on web pages myself. I don't even mind transition advertising where you click a link, and instead of getting the next page of an article you are reading you get a full page advertisement, and another link to continue to your article. Where web pages use these "transition" ads I've felt they were relevant to the content was viewing, and felt no need to block them.

    Any time I'm not in control of what my computer is up to, you've gone too far and you have left me with no choice but to install ad blocking software. If you had left the user in control of their computer, you would have had much less to worry about. Now though, your practices have spawned countless pieces of ad blocking software. The software was made to block the obnoxious ads that should never have existed, but now that it's out there, there is no stopping it from blocking everything your industry does. You left us users with no other choice, and now you will feel the consequences of your actions.
  • userContent.css (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:33PM (#12890770)
    Some excerpts from my userContent.css ad filters:

    a[href*=""] img { display: none ! important }

    *[width="729"][height="90"] { display: none ! important }
    *[width="728"][height="90"] { display: none ! important }
    *[width="550"][height="150"] { display: none ! important }
    *[width="468"][height="60"] { display: none ! important }
    *[width="336"][height="90"] { display: none ! important }
    *[width="336"][height="280"] { display: none ! important }
    *[width="300"][height="250"] { display: none ! important }
    *[width="220"][height="120"] { display: none ! important }
    *[width="180"][height="150"] { display: none ! important }
    *[width="160"][height="600"] { display: none ! important }
    *[width="150"][height="60"] { display: none ! important }
    *[width="125"][height="125"] { display: none ! important }
    *[width="120"][height="600"] { display: none ! important }
    *[width="125"][height="300"] { display: none ! important }

    a img[src*="468x60"] { display: none ! important }

    img[onload] { display: none ! important; }

    iframe[src] { display: none ! important; }

    body script { display: none ! important; } // If only this one would work!

    div.contextclick a[name^="ra"] {
    text-decoration: none ! important;
    border-bottom: 0px ! important;
    color: inherit ! important;

    #DCol { display: none ! important }
    #CCol { display: none ! important }
    div.showcases { display: none ! important }
    div.showcase { display: none ! important }
    div.scSpon { display: none ! important }

    div[style="border: 2px solid rgb(51, 102, 153); padding: 6px; margin-bottom: 10px;"] { display: none ! important; }

    span.artText P.ArticleBody + P[align="right"] + table[width="180"][align="left"] {
    display: none ! important;

    object[codebase*=flash] { display: none ! important; }
    object[code-base*=flash] { display: none ! important; }
    embed[type*=flash] { display: none ! important; }

    And that's just what slashcode only slightly mangles.
  • woops (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rayde ( 738949 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @03:54PM (#12893186) Homepage
    well, i didn't really know about the adblocking extension for firefox until reading this. now i will definitely use it. i don't think that's what they had in mind by complaining, but it brought more attention to the capability.

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.