CallTheShots threatens online advertising

Internet users can cut ads from web pages with the help of a new service that enables them to pick and mix elements from different sites to create their own pages.

Internet users can cut ads from web pages with the help of a new

service that enables them to pick and mix elements from different sites

to create their own pages.



CallTheShots.com allows users to create customised pages by dividing

existing sites into blocks, and then combining those blocks to create a

new page.



Peter Wilson, sales manager at TSMSi, the online sales house, said

CallTheShots did not represent a significant threat to web advertisers.

’This sort of program has been around for as long as I can remember.

Every few months there seems to be a new one,’ he said.



According to Wilson, there is little demand for ad-blocking

technology.



’There’s a preconceived idea that everyone hates ads,’ he said. ’People

don’t buy a magazine on the basis of how many ads it’s carrying, they

buy it because of the content.



’As long as web ads are relevant, they can enhance a site. A recent

study showed that between 60 and 70 per cent of sites are discovered by

people clicking on advertisements,’ he added.



Reza Moazzami, the chief executive of CallTheShots, denied the service

was designed to block ads, and claimed instead that it was a good way

for sites to provide users with personalised features without having to

install those features themselves.



Last autumn, the high-tech company AdScience unveiled a product which,

it claimed, could filter out 99 per cent of online advertisements. Using

artificial intelligence, it purports to block banners, promotional ads

and ’pretty much everything else you can throw at it’ (Media Business,

11 October ).



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