Wednesday, November 29, 2006

In-text advertising...what?

I've noticed that I don't tend to blog on very positive things. I suppose I'll keep with tradition and blog about a recent article on the Wall Street Journal Online. "Is It News...or Is It an Ad?" caught my attention immediately. I write press release articles for a few companies in town, and know how much fun it is to try to get them published. I assumed that's probably what the article was about.

I was wrong. New "in-text" advertising is a new addition to many news websites. The ads used to be limited to small niche gaming sites, but more mainstream sites are now featuring the trend including Fox News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Popular Mechanics magazine.
"Journalism ethics counselors decry the trend. 'It's ethically problematic at the least and potentially quite corrosive of journalistic quality and credibility,' says Bob Steele, the senior ethics faculty member at the Poynter Institute, a journalism school in St. Petersburg, Fla."
I am appalled by this new trend. It's another way for the newspapers to compensate for dwindling profit margins, but putting ads within the text of an article, to me, is despicable. I have problem enough with the pop-ups and flashing ads on the sides of the articles already.
"The brokers say the ads aren't intrusive because users see them only if they move their cursors directly over the highlighted words."
Yeah...right. Too often my mouse scans over an ad and I am bombarded with a movie trailer I don't want to see or a "throw the ball at the target and win" game. The last place I wanted this to happen was when I was trying to read the paper. I suppose I'll just have to stick to the print version.


Post a Comment

<< Home