Desperate advertisers to slow down your email, web browsing

The price we pay for "free" internet sites is the tacit agreement that we will buy some of the products advertised. So If you sense that you're being bombarded with more ads than ever, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

We haven't been holding up our end of the deal recently, so retailers are looking for new ways to reach our eyeballs. Two we can expect in the near future are videos in our email and full-screen video ads inserted between web page-turns.

Target (TGT) is among the companies that have started using the new CertifiedVideo system from Goodmail that allows it to embed video into emails, video that begins to run the moment the email is opened. No need for the recipient to download a file or follow a link.

According to Online Media Daily, Turner Broadcasting is also using the system to advertise the NBA playoffs, and a major concert promoter plans to use it to drive traffic to its shows. While the concept is not new, internet service providers have heretofore refused such traffic for fear of viruses and such. Goodmail has solved this problem. (Disclosure: CertifiedVideo is currently available only at AOL, although the company claims it will soon have agreements with many other ISPs. While DailyFinance.com is an AOL site, I don't have anything to do with the ad part of the business.)

Another new pitch to expect is the insertion of video clips between internet pages. If you click on a "read more" button or other link within a domain, for example, a 15-second ad for Wolverine or Cialis might play before the next page would load. ShortTail Media is planning to test this concept soon. Reuters is the first web presence to sign up for the test.

We've been down this road before, most recently with television. As we became more and more inured to advertising, the quantity of it increased to compensate, until the limits to our patience were exceeded. At that point the budget to produce the entertainments diminished. Thus, fewer dramas, more reality shows.

As long as our internet access is advertising-driven, expect more ads, more types of ads and more bandwidth dedicated to selling us stuff. Remember the old adage, "There's no such thing as a free lunch."


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