Clicked on a link in a BusinessWeek.com e-mail newsletter this morning, and landed in the publication's video center. Was pleased to see a message telling me the content was free, and brought to me by the sponsor. A pre-roll ad for Microsoft ran. So far, so good.
But then, right when I was getting all geared up for my content, I got a blue screen that said "The story you've selected is unavailable in this format. Please use Internet Explorer on Windows to view the clip." Now, I know Microsoft was the sponsor, but this is ridiculous. Publishers, if you've got technical limitations like this, tell the user up front. Don't wait until after the advertising to disappoint. There's always the risk of it reflecting badly on your sponsor.
UPDATE: Later in my experience on the site, I clicked to go to a story and started reading. Then, suddenly, the page refreshed and I was watching an interstitial ad (for FedEx). Needless to say, I took advantage of the "skip this ad" link. It's one thing to be served an ad before you start reading the content, but to be interrupted? That's just not cool.
The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!