Fighting the new 'kick-through' Internet ads!

Question

Is there any way to fight the new 'kick-through' Internet ads?

- Bruce

Answer

This question was answered on December 23, 2002. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Advertising as a means for paying for content on the Internet is nothing new, but the methods being used by advertisers are becoming more intrusive

One of the most common complaints I hear about 'ad delivery' is on the number of 'pop-up' and 'pop-under' ads that get delivered during an average web surfing session

Dozens of companies are trying to leverage this irritation by selling programs that will help manage pop-up ads, but you can save your money and find one of the many free programs available on the Internet (Type "free pop-up killer" in your favorite search engine.)

Not only is it a nuisance, but it can and does slow down access to the Internet during the delivery of the ads and in some cases causes lock-ups in older systems that are running low on system resources.

And now there is a new menace on the Internet advertising landscape known as ‘kick-through’ ads that can transport you to an advertiser’s web site by simply moving your mouse over a certain portion of their ad.

It begins as a pop-under ad that is delivered by a site that sells ad space to the offending company The biggest proponent of this new technology is an airline subsidized travel site called Orbitz.com that is using ads that appear to be a game to entice users to be 'kicked-through'.

If your mouse happens to move over a certain part of the ad, a new window opens up at the Orbitz home page Some users have complained that they were kicked-through during an attempt to click on the X to close the window.

The pop-under kick-through ads that I have seen from Orbitz use Macromedia's Flash to create the ads, so one way to totally eliminate their ability to transport you is to disable and remove Flash from your browser.

But before you go to that extreme, you need to understand the side effects since so many sites use Flash for various aspects of their site and, by default, the Flash plug-in is automatically installed if you don't have it Even if you do remove it, unless you take specific measures to block future installs, it will come right back at you.

Instead, you may want to take the old-fashioned approach and let the advertiser and the sites that allow them to be displayed know that you don’t like it and won’t do business with them if they continue to use this intrusive method of advertising

According to Cnet.com, some of the more well known sites that are allowing Orbitz to deliver these kick-through ads include the NewYorkTimes, ESPN and various CondeNast sites.

Instead of just sending the remarks to a general e-mail address, you can get the administrative e-mail address for any web site at NetSol.com by clicking on the 'WHOIS' link at the top right corner of the site and putting the web address in the lookup form.

This new battle is just getting started so there is bound to be a host of irritated programmers that will come up with some method of 'kicking' the advertisers back in the near future, so stay tuned!

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on December 23, 2002