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We Interrupt Your Web Browsing to Bring You TV Commercials?

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If ShortTail Media has its way, your Internet browsing will soon be interrupted by 15- to 30-second video ads. AdWeek reports that the company’s Digital 30 (D30) is a “deliberately intrusive” ad placement that loads as you browse between web pages.

The idea, of course, is for publishers to make more money by shifting ad dollars away from banner and other display ads that are sold in bulk to the more expensive video ads. Reuters has signed up for the service, and and are reportedly interested as well.

If that sounds awful to you (and it should) well, too bad. Earlier this year, ShortTail CEO David Payne gave a speech at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual meeting, saying publishers need to be less sensitive to user experiences (though he does promise frequency capping the ads so users don’t get overwhelmed).

We understand the need for publishers to increase revenue, but the web is built for speed. Throwing up mandatory TV commercial roadblocks will only agitate, frustrate and ultimately impede the ability of workers to get things done. According to a comment over at Silicon Alley Insider apparently left by ShortTail President and co-founder Jason Krebs, the spots will have a skip button that appears after 10 seconds. (Ten seconds is an eternity when you’re on deadline.)

ShortTail is working with Visible Measures and WPP’s Schematic on the D30 video ad platform, and plans to launch the beta program this summer.

11 Responses to “We Interrupt Your Web Browsing to Bring You TV Commercials?”

  1. There was an article on AdAge last week that read “another major reason consumers like watching shows online is that there are fewer and shorter ads.” ( Folks at ShortTail Media, and those signing up for the service, are clearly out of tune with the needs and demands of today’s consumer. There are way too many video sites out there that are more viewer-friendly and offer pretty much the same content. If you interrupt your audience’s viewing experience with a 15- or 30-second ad, people will move on. This means, you’ll lose your audience and advertising dollars.

  2. I rescued from cassette this talk that Marshall McLuhan gave at Johns Hopkins University in the mid 1970s. I have not found an audio file of this talk anywhere online. So far as I know it’s an original contribution to the archive of McLuhan audio. Enjoy. Rare McLuhan Audio

  3. There will be two methods to avoid these “webbomercials” entirely, neither one requiring the user to click anything:
    1. The server providing the intrusive commercials will be added to the hosts file on every computer controlled by a savvy user, with an IP address of
    2. (and every other Web site using the intrusive commercials) will be added to local hosts files with an IP address of
    Since I control the routers at the business where I am employed, both of those methods will be used; Method Nr. 1 on every computer in the company, and Method Nr. 2 on our border routers; the Web sites using intrusive ads will simply cease to exist as far as our employees are concerned. And since most of them come to me for help keeping malware off their personal PCs at home, those sites will vanaihs from their homes, too.

  4. And those that are stupid enough to add this to their websites will go the way of the subscription-required news articles on Google News. People will simply avoid them and go to ones that don’t do this bs.

  5. It amazes me that marketers continue to try to bend the Web to the TV model rather than inventing marketing that aligns with the permission-based ethos of the Web. In my opinion, interruption is not the answer, integration is. Create content that is relevant, useful and appealing and online users will consume it. Savvy marketers understand that the web is all about user experience and will design innovative campaigns (video and otherwise) that align with that, not rail against it.