I Just Saw A Pop-up Ad On Broadcast Television!!! God Damn Them To Hell!!!

I just saw a goddam POP-UP ad on BROADCAST TELEVISION!!! It was a Simpsons re-run on a local TV station and the ad was for a sports event!!!

I can’t fucking believe it! It’s not enough that the assholes who control broadcasting and cable television have already cut us back to about 45 minutes of programming with 15 minutes of commercials! Now they have to put up motherfucking cocksucking God-damned shit-eating POP-UP ADS underneath the programming!!!

This is motherfucking ridiculous!!! It’s bad enough this shitty nuisance turns up on the Internet! Just how the hell are we supposed to enjoy ANY goddam progam FOR TEN FUCKING MINUTES without these puckered, festering ASSHOLES throwing a God-damned commercial message at us?

They DO understand that most people don’t watch television for the god-damned COMMERICIALS, don’t they??? They DO understand there’s a point where the commercials become so God-damned intrusive THAT THERE’S NO GOD-DAMNED POINT IN WATCHING TELEVISION AT ALL???

My freaking God!!! Just how much will viewers stand for? Am I the ONLY PERSON IN NORTH AMERICA who thinks this is absolutely ridiculous??!?


(Whew. Calming down a bit now. But I STILL fell like killing whatever God-damned advertising executive came up with this idea … )

Those dirty motherfuckers…The nerve of them, broadcasting all that free entertainment, directly into your house! Not charging you a penny for it! And then having the unmitigated GALL to use a form of advertising that you’ll actually see, rather than going to get food and missing it. Those bastards. I’m just fuming at their disrespect to you as a viewer. Savages, every one of them.


Flymaster is right! You MUST watch the commercials very closely, and you MUST buy the products, or you are STEALING!!! Thieving bastard!


How do you put a popup ad on television? Does another TV suddenly materialize in front of the one you were just watching? Do you have punch the monkey to win a prize?

Told ya so.

Revtim, was that :rolleyes: directed at me? If not, I apologize, but when the fuck did I say he HAD to watch the ads? He’s more than welcome to ignore the ads, block the ads with a piece of cardboard, record the shows on his computer and interpolate pixels over them, or do anything else he wants. But that doesn’t change the rights of the broadcaster to show all the goddamned ads they want. If one advertising model isn’t making them money, I fail to see how coming up with a new one that may work better makes them “assholes”, or, more specifically “puckered, festering ASSHOLES.”

They’re not “ASSHOLES.” They’re corporations out to make a buck. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Just because I dislike the flavor of Pepsi compared to coke doesn’t mean that Pepsico produces a “motherfucking cocksucking God-damned shit-eating” soda that they HAVE to improve because I said so. It makes them the purveyors of an inferior beverage, that I don’t buy. Same thing. If people don’t like these ads, they’ll stop using them. And if they don’t work, and nothing else works, they’ll go out of business, just like Crystal Pepsi went out of business.

The TV industry has managed to survive for many decades with standard advertising, and I believe that the additional annoyance of a pop-up ad while trying to watch a show is perfectly pit-worthy.

But that’s not the question I asked. When did I say that he HAD to watch the ads, and support the sponsors, and that to do otherwise was stealing?

For some reason you think these are mutually exclusive.
Most people would agree that there is a point where the crass commercialism of product placements and intrusive ads violates a tacit contract between the consumer and the broadcaster. (If nothing else, the FCC grants licenses to broadcasters with the understanding that they won’t broadcast total crap.) Pop up ads diminish the TV experience in that they, by necessity, either obscure the program or reduce its size. By doing so, they do a disservice to the viewer and to the creator of the program.
BTW, “not charging you a penny for it” is certainly incorrect. The cost is hidden, but it is included in the cost of products we buy. And turning off my TV doesn’t mean that the cost of my Pepsi will go down, so I might as well insist that they at least restrict their product shilling to non-program intervals.

I think the whole point of the OP was that pop-ups are deliberately designed to intrude themselves into your consciousness in such a way that they can’t be ignored. Since that is the case, then yes, he DOES “have” to watch the ads. He’s given no other option.
The only reason companies are turning to things like pop-ups is because they’ve bombarded us with every other type of advertising for so long we’ve become inured to it. Think about going to a movie. You pay your $8 and have a seat. Most of the time there is a pre-film slide show flashed on the screen that is just one ad after another. Once the projector starts rolling, there is at least one ad run before the picture, sometimes two. Then the previews, which are themselves ads, if not so objectionable. Then the film itself is filled with product placements for cars, cereal, potato chips, pop, you name it.
At what point do you stand up and say “I paid my money to see a fuckin’ MOVIE, not a non-stop string of advertisements”?
Television is a little different, because it’s broadcast for free. But so what? TV is not indispensable. I can think of a lot of really good books I can get at the local library, 100% FREE as well, with nary an ad in the bunch. So television has to strike a balance between the intrusiveness of its advertising and the quality of its content. If it doesn’t people will go elsewhere for their entertainment. It’s no accident commercial-free HBO is doing quite well financially and winning awards for its programs at the same time.
Pop-up ads in TV shows cross the line, in my opinion. But then, so do inserting ads digitally onto the fields in athletic contests. They’re all just more nails in the coffin of regular broadcast TV. I’d pay good money to watch quality programming, (which I do every time I go see a movie) but ads aren’t worth even my free time.

Well, as an official Bleeding Heart Liberal who votes for Ted Kennedy, I assure you, I’m as anti-corporate as the next guy. However, I fail to see how broadcasting an innovative ad that may or may not turn out to be effective makes this particular corporation an asshole. They’re providing you with a service. In order to continue to provide that service, they’re finding alternative means of fund raising, in the hopes that the service may become more profitable to provide. This may be slightly counter to your tastes. That’s too bad, and I certainly sympathize. I don’t particularly like the idea, either.

But it’s not like the ad read “Your Mother’s a whore!” That would make them assholes. Trying to sell you a new car, or alert you to another one of the network’s shows, while CONTINUING to provide the content that they provide, does not, in my mind, make them assholes. It makes them poor marketers.

No other option? I’m sorry, but is he living in some sort of perverse Clockwork Orange world where his local Fox Network affiliate makes it impossible for him to change the channel? Or, barring that, turn off the TV set entirely? I haven’t been in the market for a new TV in recent months, but I’m fairly sure they all come with a power switch, even the most bare-bones models.

Let me use an example to illustrate what I mean. Suppose two teenaged boys are walking down the street and they spot a priest they know walking towards them. Because they know this priest, they know he is a God-fearing man who would never look at something such as pornography, finding it morally offensive. Suppose also that one of these boys has a Penthouse in his back pocket. Pop-up ads are equivalent to the two boys ripping out the centerfold, walking up top the priest, and shoving it in his face. He has no warning, and literally has no choice but to look upon something he would rather not see, if only for a second or two.
Is that okay? Pop-up ads use the same tactic. Regular ads are at specific places in a program, and are signalled by the screen going black for a second or two after the show goes off. A viewer can avoid those breaks as easily as our hypothetical priest can avoid an adult book store. But with pop-ups, all choice has been taken away from him. He does not know where or when he will be forced to look upon what he does not want to see, and cannot avoid.
In a way, pop-up ads are really counter-productive. By forcing a message upon viewers against their will, they build animosity towards the very product they are trying to shill. I can’t see how that would be good for sales.

While I think you’re exaggerating the impact of these ads, as well as the moral obligation of the networks to let viewers avoid seeing ads while still allowing them to watch the program, I understand where you’re coming from. But I just don’t see the equivalence between selling a car and girl on girl porn. It’s apples and oranges.

(notice, however that I’m not calling into question the viewer’s right to not watch the ads. They’re more than welcome to fast forward through commercials, or get up and leave during them, or somehow edit them out…I just don’t think the network has to go out of their way to make this easy on the viewer)

Also, your argument that it’s not good for sales is something that I totally agree with. It’s probably not. But using a failing advertising model doesn’t make a company an asshole. It makes it a company that uses a poor advertising model.

The best type of advertising is simple sponsorship. Ordinarily, I hate most ads. If someone insults my intelligence, I’m disinclined to give my money to them. I like to think that advertising doesn’t influence my purchasing habits, except in a negative way, but for the last year I’ve been buying Lux bar-soap. For years I used nothing but Pears, but I’m an radio-nostalgia nut, and a coupla years ago I got the entire run of the Lux Radio Theatre, which was sponsored by Lux, of course. Apart from the name of the program, they advertised at the beginning of the program and at the half-way point, emphasizing that the show was being “brought to you by the Lever company-- makers of Lux brand soap.”* I was surprised the first time I saw a bar and just bought it because of the association with many hours of enjoyment. Whaddya know, I liked it. A good advertising method, since it’s still working for them nearly seventy years later. I’ve never tried their LEVER2000, though-- mainly because I HATE THEIR FUCKING OBNOXIOUS AND INSULTING ADS!

Public perception of pop-up advertisers isn’t going to be, “those people who make the show possible,” it’s going to be “those people who spoil the show for me.” How clueless can marketers be?

This is a matter of opinion.    In my opinion, if you propose a mechanism that you know is going to irritate the living bejesus out of millions of people and diminish the already low quality of broadcast television and you do this for no better purpose than to attempt to sell soft drinks or sporting events, then yes, you are an asshole.      

Flymaster’s argument (which in my opinion stretches laissez-faire a bit further than it should be stretched) is that broadcasters and advertiser’s are providing a service and therefore can do anything they like. The extension of this argument is that we as consumers are providing an equivalent service and can demand programming unencumbered by intrusive advertising.

The argument that we can change channels is not particularly cogent as this mechanism is likely to be pervasive once it is introduced (like those damned logos that appear in the lower righthand of the screen on most stations). Further, because the link between advertising and people buying product isn’t very strong and very few people are actually included in the Nielson ratings, “voting with your remote” is not particularly effective – there is too great a disconnect between the act of watching a TV show and buying a product. What might actually be effective is rants such as the OP which will potentially stir people to protest before the mechanism becomes entrenched.

(BTW, I’d be astonished if Flymaster actually thought popup TV ads were acceptable. I suspect he’s either playing Devil’s Advocate or he’s one of those smug people who never watches TV and thinks this somehow makes them superior to us mere mortals.) If I’m wrong in these suppositions then I hope the next time he’s watching Cinemax and some hot chick slips out of her party dress, a popup ad for Tampax assaults his eyeballs.)

And let’s not overlook the fact that these pop-up ads are interfering with the way a show is meant to look.

I doubt that any television show to date has been formatted on the screen to accomodate pop-up ads. So the image is squashed, so that the images on the screen are out of proportion or, alternately, the bottom edge of the picture is obscured. Doing this is an affront to the producers of the show, who formatted what you saw in a specific way to produce a specific effect.

Now The Simpsons isn’t exactly a show one watches for the breathtaking cinematography, but the same fuckafacation of the show stands whether it’s “only a cartoon” or Saving Private Ryan.

Yeah, it’s within the networks’ rights to do so, but that doesn’t make them any less inconsiderate for doing it.

Ok, it seems public opinion is against me. Maybe these people are assholes…I’m just going to step back now and examine my thoughts on the matter.

Let us not forget that with HDTV, Tivo, and other digital means of recording/time shifting television programs, the broadcasters are trying to actually render it impossible to skip, fast forward, or otherwise edit out the advertisements, similar to the DVDs with the advertisements you are not allowed to fast forward through at the beginning of the disk. (I think they abandoned that concept rather quickly after a bit of “consumer” backlash/complaints, but I’m not 100% certain.) In that event, the only way you could not watch an ad would be to either change the channel or literally walk away from the television set.

I’m sure if enough people register complaints about the TV pop-ups, they will go away, but that would require you actually registering the complaint with the network, instead of simply posting about it here.

What I did in my post is called “exaggeration”. In my example, I took your point, and stretched it to an extreme, to point out the flaws in the original statement.