By KEITH LUCAS, the European marketing com, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 14 November 1997 12:00AM
Do you really want ads on your desktop? Is there not a danger that
push technology could prove too intrusive?
t all depends on what type of ad gets pushed. If I am looking to go on
holiday in the next couple of weeks, I might tell an online service to
look out for late availability deals to the destination of my
Should an appropriate package come up, a message would be pushed to my
desktop, perhaps with other relevant promotions such as travel insurance
or suntan oil.
Equally, if a music merchant knew that I was a big Oasis fan, it would
be doing me a disservice if it did not let me know that concert tickets
or merchandise were now available.
If the ads are targeted and provide useful information, they cannot be
considered intrusive. Push technology and, in particular, personalised
push technology, will benefit advertisers and consumers alike by
matching buyer and seller without a great deal of unnecessary noise and
Push technology always risks censure, so such material must be handled
with extra sensitivity. In the foreseeable future, Electronic Telegraph
will not carry any interstitial ads which appear unsolicited, pushed
between editorial pages, since, in my opinion, these would have a
detrimental effect on our product.
However, Web users are media-aware and hungry for high-quality
Our regular research clearly shows that if advertising is relevant and
well-presented, it is welcome (even expected) on-screen. If, for
example, I am reading in ET about a new exhibition in Paris, links to
Eurostar timetables, online booking of budget hotels plus other event
information and payment would all be useful.
We have recently launched a channel on Microsoft’s new desktop, with
news and links to full stories on ET. This push publishing will be an
important driver of new traffic to our site. As for potential
advertising, it will work - and be acceptable - if it sticks to the same
rules as for any other medium: be relevant, concise, witty, appealing
and clear. So, no problem there for the creatives then!
Sounds great. I’ll subscribe immediately. This continuous flow of
selling messages, the weather in Oregon, share prices, late holidays
etc, driven to desktops by endless consumer demand for such information,
is the direct marketer’s supertargeted dream mechanic. So is it invasive
or is it persuasive?
I’d argue it’s both. If I want information, I’m happy when I get it. If
running an extra window in my browser takes an extra bandwidth and slows
my machine down, then I get annoyed and will want to shut it down.
On the advertising issue, it’s churlish to argue against desktop ads
when nearly every desktop is an ad for Microsoft. Our computer
environments and their information channels are not sacred or different
from other consumer products, but are entirely dependent on business
models of consumer demand and the revenue that brings them to life.
Head of design
Ammirati Puris Lintas
Speed, environment and personalisation - these are the three factors
that will determine the future of advertising on the desktop via push
technology. Consumer savvy is a reality - advertising imposed on
audiences in a content environment that lacks any context has the
potential to alienate.
However, relevant advertising that is delivered to a desktop within
content that has been specifically requested and personalised by a
consumer - often with no charge attached - has great potential in terms
of accurately targeting consumers with products that are likely to match
their demographic or psychographic profile.
Speed is a critical issue. Push technology can severely affect the
performance of your desktop and an entire network. At a time when online
consumers are demanding faster Internet access, advertisers should be
aware of the time it could take for an ad to be pushed out on to a
The onus is on the advertiser to take responsibility for its message and
how it is delivered to the consumer.
Conde Nast Online
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This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk