THE INTERACTIVE QUESTIONNAIRE IN ASSOCIATION WITH ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH: Invasive or persuasive: is push technology the most effective way to publicise your message on the Net?

Do you really want ads on your desktop? Is there not a danger that push technology could prove too intrusive?

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


Alex Dale



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!

Hugo Drayton

Marketing director

Telegraph group

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.

Alasdair Duncan

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

consumer’s desktop.

The onus is on the advertiser to take responsibility for its message and

how it is delivered to the consumer.

Nancy Cruickshank

Commercial director

Conde Nast Online

Join in the debate online on Campaign’s pages on Electronic


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