Every now and again I will notice a post on FaceBook by somebody complaining about “all the adverts” that are appearing on FB walls. I always have to revisit my computer screen at such points in order to look at how many adverts really are there. When doing so I reassure myself that I must have some form of inbuilt ‘advert filter’. Under normal use I am fairly certain that I automatically ‘blank out’ adverts. With regard to search engine results I am definitely a bit more pro-active; when the results list first appears, I first of all scroll down past any obvious ‘promoted’ and ‘sponsored’ results, before beginning to select options to click through on. The next consideration is what happens on sites such as YouTube, often my chosen video is loaded and preceded by an advert – without paying any attention to what is being advertised I immediately look to see if there is an option to ‘skip the advert’ and as soon as possible do exactly that. If I can’t ‘skip’ then I usually find myself checking back to other open windows to see if there might be anythin g useful I could be doing whilst waiting for the ad to finish. I tend to treat adverts that intrude too overtly on web pages in much the same way as I deal with pushy sales staff in shops, should a salesperson become too forceful it doesn’t take very long for me to decide to do an about turn and walk out.
I occasionally find myself thinking that the retail world would rapidly have to change drastically if most people were like me. I can appreciate that subliminal advertising might reap some success but it does seem clear to me that advertising on web-pages is proving to be a less certain investment than those published via non-electronic based media. I can only imagine that with millions of potential customers out there, there must be some financial return to be gained by succeeding in catching the interest of a fractional percentage of web-site visitors.
Given that I seem to be able to ignore most intrusive advertising, and cannot really think of anything significant that I might have paid out as a result of advertising, I am quite relaxed about advertising being used to allow me to continue to be able to use services such as FaceBook without having to pay any regular subscription . I generally feel that I get a very good service from something that appears effectively free to me. Regarding the people who felt moved to invest in FaceBook in the hope of reaping major financial returns – if you can’t afford to lose it, don’t invest it!