A writer on the satirical news website TheSpoof.com has called for more stringent control on 'invasive internet advertising' after becoming literally mired in ads which have cost him "an arm and a leg".
The writer, Erskin Quint, frequent contributor to the site's forum in his own name, but as a writer of stories in several others, spoke of how he often has his attention shattered by "colorful and captivating ads" that he finds are almost impossible to ignore. Quint:
"I had just logged-on to do an acronym, when I was welcomed by an ad for Slavic Books, a company that deals in Russian literature. I bought a couple of Tolstoys and a Turgenev I was missing, but no more.
This was just the latest in a long line of unplanned and unnecessary purchases, however. EQ again:
One day when I came online, I headed towards the Forum, but clicked upon another ad, this time for Helipad Lighting, and ordered some landing lights for the garden. The fact that I didn't have anything to land, seemed irrelevant at the time.
Others have also said that the advertisements are annoying, and hard to resist. A contributor from Stoke-on-Trent bought a shitload of pottery when offered it in an advert, despite the fact that it is produced on her doorstep, and she already has so much of the stuff, she could open a shop. A writer in Newcastle was duped into buying coal.
The claims are just the tip of the iceberg. Online advertising succeeds where doorstep salesmen fail. Internet sales companies do not only have their 'foot in the door' when you log into your computer, they have their coats off, and are sitting on the sofa in your living room having a nice cup of tea. Or coffee, if they prefer.
They are inescapable, and the temptation to 'click and have a look' is too much for many people like Quint, and cash is soon spent. He said:
"Training courses in accountancy, children's books, ceramic bathrooms, plastic surgery, I'm a sucker for them! I almost bought a correspondence course in Psychoanalysis last week, but the phone rang!"