Don’t prop up pop-ups: keep them down!

I wholeheartedly agree with Robert Dwek’s article crushing pop-up ads as a “bully boy” marketing tactic (MW July 29). Pop-ups are a most irritating form of internet marketing and my only wish is that you had been able to devote more column inches to a rant on this most obnoxious advertising form.

What I hate most about pop-ups is the bad name they have given online. The internet is a vibrant and “sticky” platform for advertising, with a firm place at the heart of the marketing mix, but it must not work to the detriment of brand value. Advertisers need to be constantly innovative and creative in their bid to produce more of the “(very) good” ads Dwek applauds – and pop-ups don’t come under this banner.

In advertising, we have agreed that it’s not a wise move to annoy a target market – and what brand would want to turn away the huge number of potential customers that online can offer? Recent research by Dynamic Logic confirms that 70 per cent of internet users said there were too many over-content ads appearing and 58 per cent were annoyed they had to close them. Media analysts will tell you that it only takes one poor campaign to irreparably ruin a brand, so why risk it with a method that is proven to enrage people? Ultimately, why use pop-ups, when the online medium is proven to be an effective brand-building tool through which advertising creativity can be used to exploit the technology?

Yahoo! UK & Ireland doesn’t sell commercial advertising pop-ups on its network and in March it launched a free, downloadable “pop-up blocker” to rid the online world of these beasts. I urge other journalists, media owners and marketers to join us on this most righteous of bandwagons!

Alison Reay

Director of sales

Yahoo! UK & Ireland

London SW1V

Robert Dwek returns next month

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