Nearly 20 years ago, a web designer and programmer by the name of Ethan Zuckerman was contacted by a car sales website when they discovered that they had purchased some ad space on a website that “celebrated anal sex”, and had left them with something of a mess on their hands.
Having a bit of an eureka moment, Zuckerman came up with the idea of the advert launching within its own window, and thus the pop-up ad was born. In the interim, they became commonplace, and then overbearingly intrusive, before the advent of pop-up blockers has kept most of them at bay unless you wound up in some of the seedier corners of the internet where they can still be found here and there.
Zuckerman, recently writing an article in The Atlantic about the future of web advertising, commented on his inception moment of one of the most annoying things about trawling the web: “I’m sorry. Our intentions were good.”
Do we forgive him? No. No we sure don’t.