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Cyber 'junkbusters' target Internet ads

internet user
Most Internet users cruise past ads that pop up on their screen  

June 22, 1999
Web posted at: 10:12 p.m. EDT (0212 GMT)

SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- A team of ad makers may spend weeks trying to create an Internet advertising banner so clever that busy Web surfers can't resist the urge to click.

Even with all their efforts, most Internet users just cruise past the ads that pop up on their screens. Fewer than 2 percent pause long enough to click and expose themselves to an advertiser's pitch.

Instead of feeling discouraged, the ad makers are trying harder than ever to grab the attention of those speeding by on the information superhighway.

"Ads are getting bigger and noisier and more intrusive in order to get the click. And that kind of race for the consumer attention is making the whole experience unpleasant and really spoiling the medium for everybody," says Jason Catlett of Internet Junkbusters Proxy.

Catlett's company makes a program designed to block Internet ads. Users of the program can turn the ad blocker on and transform the ads into blank spaces. If they want to see what they are missing, they can turn off the ad blocker and reload.

Companies involved in the $2 billion a year online advertising industry say they are not worried about ad blockers denting their business. They say that Americans have grown up in a world of commercials and have learned to live with them.

Correspondent Don Knapp contributed to this report.

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