Commercial advertising: I hate ads. I hate them. Lipstick commercials, infomercials, placards, Greenpeace booths, Spam. I hate them from the bottom of my heart. They are distracting, stupid, ugly brainwashers, lies and propaganda which reduce my ability to consume information or do work through any media. They are the reason I stopped listening to FM radio. They are turning my mailbox (the real one and the virtual ones) into a wastepaper bin. They make me angry. Like cigarette smoke.
The main reason I switched from TV, magazines, and radio to the computer is, apart from interactivity, that you can actually live pretty ad-free in there. I rarely see ads on my MacBook (mostly MSNBC ones that I simply mute). I installed anti-ad plugins on every browser I use (except one, see below). I uninstall every application that tries to ad me.
Today, the most annoying internet advertising is in Flash. Mike Davidson writes about the post-Flash future of web ads:
When Flash is gone, this overly aggressive marketing will simply be foisted upon you using more “open” technologies like HTML5. And guess what? It’ll be harder to block because it looks more like content than Flash does.
Exactly. And Mobile Safari doesn’t even allow me to install an ad-blocking plugin. Instead, Apple is contributing to the creation of a new HTML5 advertisement ecosystem (software, developers, providers, clients) with their iAd platform:
For advertisers, it creates a new media outlet that offers consumers highly targeted information.
“Information”, yeah. Fuck you! The technique behind iAds is, as Steve Jobs explained, HTML5. They are designed to be only shown in apps, but there’s more to it. You can expect that there will be hundreds of ad developers in two years that can create these ads (using Adobe software, I guess…whatever), and they will use their skills to make web ads, too. There will be over 100,000,000 mobile devices to display them.
Good for developers? Maybe. Good for the users? Absolutely not. If you want to make money, create a good product and wait for the blogosphere to promote it. Don’t bug people with unsolicited “information”. And don’t create new platforms for this shit!
But what was I thinking. This is capitalism. I can’t run away from ads. But I can try to reduce the smoke I breathe by selecting the places I visit.
Please, Apple. Don’t turn iPhone OS into a smoky pub.