Creator apologizes for pop-up ads

Who hasn’t had a few choice words when those annoying pop-up ads interfere with web browsing?

Well, the creator of those reviled online advertisements now has one word for everyone.


According to CNN Money, Ethan Zuckerman was responsible for the creation of pop-up ads while working at in the 1990s. The pop-up ad was born as a way to fix a problem with suggestive banner ads. A company client was displeased that a sexually suggestive ad was running on their automobile site, so Zuckerman sought to distance the company’s website from the advertisement content by forcing the ad to open in a separate window.

And so the pop-up ad was born.

It sounded like a good idea at the time, but Zuckerman has regrets.

Now Zuckerman works at MIT and hopes websites can move away from ad-supported models, and instead adopt more user-friendly subscription or micropayment models.

Thankfully, there are many ways to turn off those annoying ads now, via browser extensions and software.

Just don’t count on those pop-up ads disappearing anytime soon.  

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