Two-Way Street

Ads. Hate 'em, love 'em ... gotta have them.

Some of you write in complaining about various ads from time to time, be they on the Web or on TV. Other folks make fun of them in blogs along with other TV foibles. (... and in defense of our TV folks, it's not that easy to be "on" and smart all the time with a camera pointing at you. Try it sometime).

Mostly the ad-related complaints and jibes are about raciness and cheesiness. And in most cases I couldn't agree more. The really outrageous ones get pulled. Honest.

Trouble is, a lot of times in this business, TV or Internet, you don't know what ad is coming until it is there. Sure, there are ads bought directly with us. We certainly know about those ahead of time.

But on TV some of the ad time is dedicated to the local carrier. So while you are watching CNBC, your local cable outfit is the one actually delivering the ad at certain times.

On the Internet, we're getting more and more network deals, where ad impressions are sold to an outfit that represents a lot of smaller advertisers. (Those smaller advertisers are essentially banding together to make one big honkin' ad buy ... the kind that commands a cheaper price. Get it?) That means a lot of little ads from various places squirting into the system.

In a perfect world you could do journalism without ads. But the world isn't perfect and I like to get paid. Hence, ads.

If you see one that really bugs you, drop me a note. If nothing else, it lets you vent. (Like I wish I could at the TV network that ran a KY jelly ad in the middle of a weekend afternoon showing of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" that I was watching with my young daughters. Sheesh).