The blinking and moving banner ads at the bottom of the pages of the iPad version of the Washington Post are very annoying. Every time I turned the page on an article in the Sunday Post yesterday, the ad at the bottom of the page rebuilt itself with text words that moved or gradually appeared against a background of garish colors. This distracting behavior was in sharp contract with the rest of the elegantly displayed page.
I saw a similar example this morning, a political anti-Obamacare ad blinking at the bottom of the page, again displaying itself each time a page was turned.
This is not what I had in mind when I wrote On Reading the Digital Edition of the Washington Post on the iPad Mini. There I opined that one thing I missed in the electronic version compared to the print version was the display advertising. When you read the print version — which we still subscribe to — you can easily scan the page to move to where you want to go. Some of these electronic version ads are just annoying and seem to jump up and down and yell, “Look at me! Look at me!” every time you turn the page.
I’m certainly not against advertising. When done right it’s beneficial to all parties involved. Good advertising communicates useful information and its sales revenue fuels the media.
But when I read the Washington Post or any other decent editorial source where it’s obvious much effort has gone into designing a reading experience that is clean, positive, and elegant, I want my advertising to be clean, positive, and elegant, too.
Making banner ads act like blinking neon signs is not the way to go. My reaction is like my reaction to seeing annoying advertising on TV — I turn the channel.
Copyright (c) 2013 by Dennis D. McDonald, Ph.D. Dennis is an independent management consultant based in the Washington DC area. He has worked throughout the U.S. and in Europe, Egypt, and China. In addition to consulting company ownership and management his experience includes database publishing and data transformation, integration of large systems, corporate technology strategy, social media adoption, statistical research, and IT cost analysis. His web site is located at www.ddmcd.com and his email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Reach him by phone at 703-402-7382.