If you're anything like one hundred percent of the people that use the Internet, ads annoy you from time to time. That's expected, though most of us understand that it is a critical part of maintaining the existing infrastructure. Most of us, however, draw the line at overly intrusive and annoying ads. One of the most annoying of all are the ones which decide to blare audio over your speakers, always unannounced.

That is why I found this recent article on audio ads so intriguing. Not only do many ad companies themselves see these as intrusive, but are finding that audio ads can damage sales. Particularly when a site is opening at the workplace, the last thing someone wants is an unexpected – and unwanted – speech telling them to buy a product. That, it seems, is encouraging them to just as soon close a site moreso than anything else:

"People surf the Web, typically opening up multiple tabs on the Web browser waiting for the sites to load, and suddenly an ad will start blaring through the speakers, and the user won't know where it's coming from," explains Khoueiri. "They have to check all of their open windows to figure it out, and once they do find it, the most likely reaction is to close the window -- not buy the product."
Which is not surprising in the least. What makes it doubly useless is that many audio ads are unrelated to the site in question. When content doesn't match and an advertisement decides to sneak up on you like that, it probably leaves a bad taste in the mouths of those who fall victim.

Some companies are claiming that making it an opt-in scenario, such as a “click here to listen to this ad”, have better success. Overall, it seems pretty much everyone in the industry agrees – automatic audio ads are intrusive, potentially shocking and overall just plain annoying. Wouldn't it be nice if “market research” made those ads disappear?