Online Advertising

            It seems like every website you go to, every video you watch and every article you read an advertisement pops up. An advertising standard needs to be in place to regulate excessive advertising. We tried to take these steps with the CAN-SPAM act of 2003 but it didn’t set about the regulations need to control excessive advertising. Online marketing and Advertisements have negative effects on Internet users. An Advertising Standard needs to be created for Internet Advertisements to regulate the use of advertisements alone, the lack of regulation causes Companies to lose business, deceives users by including subliminal advertising, aggravates Internet users and decreases the productivity of the Internet.


Before we can talk about creating advertising standards we have to look at the history of Internet advertising and marketing. As long as the Internet has been around marketers and spammers have been to. According to Brad Templeton a software architect and the creator of Usenet Newsgroup The term Spam was coined in mass media in 1994 when two lawyers from Phoenix sent out a mass e-mail to advertise their service. Everything after that changed, marketers saw a chance to make a lot of money by putting their ads online; soon after scammers and con artist saw a chance to advertise their business.  Today advertising is a big industry and according to Ginney Marvin, an online marketing Journalist from, the online advertising market is worth 243 billion dollars. Clearly the current strategies marketers use are working. We are actualizing to a point where we need to set a standard for what advertisers can do and say when advertising. We also need to standardize when and how they can advertise.

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 was the first national standard to regulate email advertisements, it was put in place in response to massive amounts of spam building up in people’s emails. It was a great first step but it wasn’t perfect. In some cases it over rides state laws and makes it illegal for Internet users to sue spammers. This was a great start, but it needs to be finished. We need to regulate Internet advertisements and fix major issues such as ads that follow surfers. Miguel Helft is a Journalist for the New York Times who covers Internet companies, he wrote about ads that follow surfers “While the technique, which the ad industry calls personalized retargeting or remarketing, is not new, it is becoming more pervasive as companies like Google and Microsoft have entered the field. And retargeting has reached a level of precision that is leaving consumers with the palpable feeling that they are being watched as they roam the virtual aisles of online stores” (Heft 1). This quote is proof that online advertising is taking a turn in the wrong direction.

CAN-SPAM was a great start, but there are several different types of online advertisements that display a Picture, text or video as a marketing tactic that are getting out of the public’s control, E-mails clearly aren’t the only concern of Internet users. Many people don’t complain about advertisements like Frames and Web Banners because they are incorporated into the website with a spot for them; they don’t disturbs the user’s experience instead they enhance it. Advertisements such as pop-ups, floating ads and trick banners that disturbs the user and bring them to a different website aggravate users.

While ads that don’t disrupt your online user experience seem ok and tolerable think again. In the process of making an advertisement many companies rely on subliminal advertising.  Subliminal Advertising seems dirty and it makes people feel as if they are being taken advantage off. “Stimuli are words or pictures that are presented so as to be unidentifiable to the viewer's conscious perception” According to the It makes since if people don’t get annoyed by ads they see them as ok are more likely to have the message without even knowing it. Subliminal Advertising is one of the many strategies online advertisers use. We leave our selves open on the Internet; ads that seem ok and harmless can be a trick. While this isn’t the case for all ads and marketers it’s used more than its not, there is a big difference in the number of people who have used the Internet and the ones who actually click on ads daily.

Subliminal messaging isn’t the only complaint Internet users have reported.  Online advertisements specifically pop ups have been reported that way too according to Scott McCoy and the authors of “A Study of the Effects of Online Advertising.” It sounds silly, but “Ad intrusiveness has been recognized as a leading cause of annoyance” (Bauer & Greyser, 1968). Internet users feel that they aren’t being productive. As a college student I am a busy person who has to balance school, work, and community service for my social and honor Fraternity. I don’t have time to watch every advertisement that pops up, I frequently feel Violated that ads are being forced on me and I have no way of making them stop. According to “A Study of the Effects of Online Advertising” ads that are less interactive and don’t cause a disturbance in the users experience such as frames and web banners make a better profit and make more money. According to McCoy “An important goal of site design is that users will retain the content, to promote visitors. (McCoy 51). You can see these ads on websites such as and Their ads simply sit on the sides of the website and don’t bother users which creates a better environment for them.

Without regulation, excessive advertising could render the Internet useless.   according to Scott McCoy an Associate Professor at the College of William and Marry, Many Internet Users Reported not using Websites because of the “excessive advertising” (McCoy).  We are going in a direction that allows advertisers to advertise anywhere on the Internet. We have tried to fix this issue with the CAN-SPAM act of 2003; we need to take the next step and create laws that limit the amounts of advertising and their delivery methods. This could result in less users and a decline in the Electronic Business Market.  We have come to know the Internet as intellectual universe that you can find the answer to almost anything in, we don’t want that to end. If we don’t do anything about this issue we may only use the Internet and the World Wide Web to watch Advertisements, which could render them useless and unproductive.

Weather you look at online advertising from a Business or Customer perspective a standard needs to be created to monitor ads and regulate them. Internet Marketing is a Billion dollar business according to Ginney Marvin, which is very appealing to the business world. On the other hand advertising excessive advertising disrupts clients and Internet user’s experience. It’s concerning that ads are so popular, if they get to a point where anyone can advertise whatever they want we could get to a point where the Internet and the World Wide Web could be a useless wasteland of unwanted advertisements and spam. Imagine running or working for a business when you can’t even check your email because of thousands of useless unwanted advertisements. A standard needs to be created to insure the Internet remains a safe and user friendly environment. Historically Web Regulation has failed which is why a stricter standard should be created. The Standard should include limits on ads per page to limit subliminal advertising. It would also outlaw pop-ups, floating and trick ads to make users feel safe and unviolated. However it would allow frames and web banners to be used more frequently to keep the User friendly market alive. Lastly the standard would give Internet users the right to sue Scammers and con artist. This will make users feel safer if they were a victim and would scare scammers and con arts and make them think twice before they go about creating fake unwanted ads. This Regulation will create a user free environment while still leaving room for Business to make a profit and continue to advertise






Work Cited

Asaravala, Amit. "With This Law, You Can Spam." Conde Nast Digital,  Web. 24 Mar. 2014.

Helft, Miguel, and Tanzina Vega. "Seeing That Ad on Every Site? You're Right. It's Tracking You." The New York Times. The New York Times, 29 Aug. 2010. Web. 24 Mar. 2014

Marvin, Ginney. "Online Display Ad Spending Up 32 Percent in 2013, Still Just 4.5 Percent of $243 Billion Market [Nielsen]." Marketing Land. 1.-.1 Web. 21 Mar. 2014.

 Scott McCoy, Dennis Galletta, Andrea Everad, Peter Polak,; A study of the effects of online advertising: A focus on Pop-Up and In-Line Ads. March 14th 2014

 Templeton, Brad. "Origin of the Term "spam" to Mean Net Abuse." Origin of the Term "spam" to Mean Net Abuse. 1. - 1. Web. 21 Mar. 2014.

"Understanding Subliminal Stimuli." Understanding Subliminal Stimuli. Pathbreakers, Nov. 1996. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.