Tuesday, August 02, 2005

University of Pop-ups

I simply despise pop-up advertising. It is invasive, intrusive and patently unacceptable. Let me tell you how I really feel about it: no company that uses pop-up advertising gets my business on a regular basis. It is not an absolute boycott on my part, but pretty close to one.

If you own or run a business that uses pop-up advertising, you are scum, and hopefully someone will pour enough chlorine into your end of the gene pool to ensure that you cannot reproduce.

How dare you hijack my browser to put your advertising on my screen? That screen is mine and mine alone and I am the only one who determines what appears on that screen. Not you. Not your lousy advertising agency. When you put a pop up advertisement on my screen you are stealing from me. You are stealing my bandwidth, you are stealing my CPU cycles, and you are usurping the use of my video memory and computer resources. If you are going to do pop-ups, why not at least be honest and have one that says: I am a thief. Because you are!

I know that I am not alone in these sentiments, even though many would not be quite as vocal as I am. That's what makes me the Curmudgeon.

There is some good news on this front as Claria (no, I won't given them a link) one of the major players in the pop up advertising business, has decided to phase out of using that format in the future. Of course, knowing Claria, they have probably developed something that is even more intrusive, invasive and offensive. To expect otherwise would be to expect Howard Dean to begin promoting meditation and solitude.

Two extensive users of pop-up advertising hit particularly close to home.

I'm seeing a lot of these ads from American Express and frankly I thought better of them. I know they are engaged in a bitter war with Visa for our hearts, minds and credit card business, but is it really necessary for them to stoop so low as to engage in this type of advertising? I'd have expected Visa to do it; I don't expect American Express to do it.

Shame on you.

The University of Phoenix is an ever bigger user of these ads, and this simply astounds me. Here we have a major international learning organization that has extensive coursework in high technology subjects, apparently embracing one of the slimiest forms of advertising around. This is an institution that certainly should know better. It certainly should understand how web surfers revile this form of advertising. How in the world can they purport to provide a state-of-the-art high-technology education, when they abuse my computer with pop-up advertising?

There are plenty of alternatives to pop-up advertising. I strongly encourage both American Express and the University of Phoenix to research those alternatives and embrace them.


Ron said...

I totally agree with here. Pop-ups are the most terrible things ever. I have two differnet programs that block pop-ups on my Pc and I still get them! It is so frustrating, especially when you are a student trying to do internet research at 1 am for a paper due at 8 am, and all you get is crap!

Ron said...

One more thing. American Express rocks! This only because they give cash back for every purchase, 5% on school supplies, which is helpful when you spend $2500 a year on tutition and books.

Gunner said...

$125 bucks is cool. It covers the annual fee.

Anonymous said...

I've had an AmEx since 1984 and just cancelled last month. I probably would have done it anyway, but their using pop-ups was the extra little nudge it took. I mentioned that to the polite lady, too.

Garrett O'Hara said...

I was on active duty last month, so whenever I got a University of Phoenix popup, it identified that my ISP had "navy.mil" in it, so it popped up a Navy-related ad. Rather subversive if you ask me.