Increasingly intrusive advertising may well go down in history as one of the greatest blights of the technological age.
Who honestly enjoys telemarketers and robocalls interrupting quality family time? Have you never dropped what you were in the middle of doing and rushed to the phone, no matter how inconvenient it might be because you were expecting an important call, only to be offered a “free” cruise?
Am I the only one to find many websites becoming nigh-on unusable due to pop-ups and overlays and auto-playing videos? It’s no longer enough to have adverts in the banners and sidebars. People have the temerity to ignore them, so they find ever more ingenious ways to force themselves into your vision and hearing, and many no longer have buttons to dismiss or pause them.
And have you ever wondered how much time websites these days spend downloading advertising compared with actual content? I wonder how long it will be before someone takes an advertiser to court for stealing their bandwidth by dumping unsolicited crap on them?
Yes, you may have guessed that I hate advertising in all its forms, which may be why I’m so stunningly bad at marketing.
And as far as I’m concerned, there is such a thing as bad publicity because any advert that makes it past my filters generally triggers a mental note never to do business with that company if I can possibly avoid it.
Which is why what happened on my way to work this morning was quite remarkable.
We are fortunate that highways where I live are mercifully free of commercial hoardings, except for one brief stretch of a few hundred meters that I drive through on my way to work.
Up ahead, a sign caught my eye ... but in a good way.
It was advertising the annual Greek Fest in Victoria, that only last weekend Ali and I had been talking about.
For once, I was ready to pay attention.
For once, and I can’t honestly remember when - if ever - this last happened, I wanted to read the advert. When is it taking place? Are tickets on sale yet? There must be dates up there but it’s still too far off to read properly.
But my curiosity went unfulfilled.
Before I got close enough to read, the electronic billboard switched over ... to advertise the advertising company that owned the sign.
Yes, they had a willing customer approaching and they chose that moment to advertise themselves at the expense of their paying client.
How ironic is that?