The NYT business section today has a piece on the inflated page view numbers at Entrepreneur.com, Heavy.com, Forbes.com and elsewhere caused by the nefarious practice of serving pages whether or not a user requested then. It is boggling to imagine that in this day and age of transparency in all things, that a publisher would stoop to an uninvited pop-up to drive pages.
The other practice that marketers need to take into account as they further plan their interactive marketing plans is the ugly practice by publishers of using an ad serving engine like DoubleClick to force a page refresh on a user whether they request it or not. This is a very popular tactic to push at-risk campaigns over the top towards their goals.
Another nail in the coffin of ROS display advertising. From the article:
“The concern over pop-up content goes beyond traffic numbers. Many advertisers pay premium prices to reach readers of certain Web sites. Through pop-ups, these advertisers may find their orders are being fulfilled with low-cost page views that users never requested and may never have seen.”