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I create online advertising so I have an understanding of what you have to do some times to get noticed. As a result I don’t make statements about annoying ads and it has been a very long time since I found an ad that was so intrusive that it actually made me mad but today I got one that did just that.

The ad was a surround placement which is a 468×60 style leaderboard and 160×600 style skyscraper ad units that work together as one unit. The top ad unit has a Zippos style lighter and the skyscraper how a candle on a toilet. This is not unusual but what is unusual is that if you simply rollover the ad unit the lighter will bond to the cursor and block you from clicking on any of the site content. You have to click a close button to get it to go away. Whenever I have worked with large portal sites they require that any interaction, special animation or sound can only be initiated by a user click action NOT on rollover. When the ad ends and you click on it you see it is a Statefarm microsite. I guess there was one smart decision since they kept their branding off this mess.

This ad execution brings out my fangs because it gives us all a bad name and makes creating effective online campaigns even harder. There has to be some responsibility on the part of the designers as well as the portals to stop such intrusive content.

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