Fark Founder Says Advertisers 'Annoy The Shit Out of the Consumer'


Public relations firm Idea Grove interviewed Fark Founder Drew Curtis who, like us, has a few things to say about the idiocy of most advertising. First, he doesn't understand the counterproductive approach most online advertisers take, saying, "The whole advertising industry confuses me sometimes. Advertisers for some reason really, really want to buy ads that annoy the shit out of the consumer. They want to buy ads that block you from seeing content, that shout at you when you hit the page, that stay on the computer desktop when you leave the site. You know why ads on the right sidebar get better clickthrough rates? Because people are trying to scroll down with their mouse and miss the damn bar, accidentally generating a click. Most popup ad clicks are generated by people missing the X to close the thing out." He may be right. Someone should do a study on the whole frustrated/missed click thing.

He has no kind words to say about advertisers who insist upon using pops and wonders what advertisers hope to acheive by annoying people.. "What value is that kind of click to an advertiser? I can't figure out why they want this. Surely they don't want the added stigma of annoyance tacked onto their brand. Remember X10? Yeah. Assholes. Maybe I'm crazy but I think advertisers should concentrate on enticing the customer with either good product, good ad campaign, or better yet, both. When we have those types of ads on Fark, they go gangbusters." Here that, advertiser? Promote a product that someone would actually want versus something you are trying to unload from inventory and do so in an interesting and respectful manner. Unfortunately, that seems to be easier said than done.

by Steve Hall    Jul-17-06   Click to Comment   
Topic: Online, Opinion   

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Posted by: adgoose on July 17, 2006 10:22 AM

Although hardly a conclusive study, Revolution Magazine reported that 90% of clickthroughs are accidental:


Posted by: Nancy Jeng on July 17, 2006 12:15 PM

I couldn't agree more. To illustrate your point, I found two articles posted within a day of each other. iMedia posted an article that discussed how much users hate on-line advertising and why. The very next day, an eMarketer article stated that on-line advertising budgets will increase 25-33% in the next year. The disconnect is just amazing.


Great post. Thanks.

Posted by: Spectorbrain on July 17, 2006 1:41 PM

Thing is, if you visit Drews site there are ads all over the place.

Nuff said!

Posted by: John Boy on July 17, 2006 1:47 PM

Stupid and annoying advertising is not just online.

Posted by: Anon on July 17, 2006 2:42 PM

Thing is, if you visit Drews site there are ads all over the place. Nuff said!

Uh huh. Read it again. He says he hates pop-up ads. There aren't any on Fark.

Posted by: Vin Diesel on July 17, 2006 4:26 PM

Also, John Boy, he hates what ads look like and how they are used online. It doesn't mean he's not going to accept them. After all, he does run a business that does need to make money.

Posted by: Steve Hall on July 17, 2006 7:43 PM

The whole argument's a straw man. Look, anyone in online marketing with half a brain figured out years ago that you can't just use click through rates to evaluate the performance of online advertising. For most of us, customer acquisition and ROI are the primary metrics - click-thru rates are a peripheral consideration.

Fact is, on a lot of properties pops still work well for customer acquisition. Good advertising tends to be disruptive - we're just much more used to the type of disruption caused by TV commercials, billboards, etc.

Posted by: EJ on July 18, 2006 1:53 PM

Although, I think one of the TV Networks is taking it too far by putting ads on eggs. Isn't it bad enough they have their logo in the corner of my screen all program long and pop up ads for other programs on their Network?

Posted by: Some guy on July 18, 2006 2:41 PM

The only ads on Fark that really annoy me are the repetitive classifieds, sometimes even with rude/assholish advertiser goodness. If you're a Farker, you're familiar with the NoiseBot.com t-shirt classified. The headline is always the same, it always sucked, the product sucks, and despite our pleas, they won't go away.

Posted by: DodgerOfZion on July 21, 2006 9:13 PM