IVillage plans to drop pop-ups from network

The US-based women's media and internet company iVillage plans to ban superstitial or "pop-up advertising from its network of websites.

IVillage, which owns sites such as ivillage.com and women.com, makes between 5 per cent and 6 per cent of its ad revenue from pop-up campaigns.

The company said it was responding to a survey of users that indicated 92.5 per cent of female surfers found the ads to be the internet's most frustrating feature.

"We have built iVillage by listening to what women want, and our move to eliminate pop-up advertising is a direct example of this, iVillage's co-founder and editor-in-chief, Nancy Evans, said.

The iVillage network has asked the eight advertisers that now run pop-up ads on its sites, including Gillette and Unilever, to pull pop-up campaigns and replace them with more conventional ads. The advertisers have been given a deadline of 30 September to comply with the changes, but the switch could occur by the end of August.

"Websites have been too keen to embrace this ad format, Carat International's interactive communications director, Dan Watson, said. "In a rush to attract revenue there has been little consideration for the user."

Consumers' frustration with pop-up ads delaying the loading of web pages has long been thought to impair their effectiveness as a medium, and has led to a number of sites turning away campaigns.

"Yahoo! no longer accepts pop-ups and most financial sites never have," Watson added.

However, Yahoo! indicated a thawing in its attitude toward pop-up campaigns earlier this month. The portal and content provider signed a series of technology deals, which seemed designed to pave the way for more experiments with pop-ups.

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