Dictionary.com Now A Giant Web Billboard. Your Ad Here.


There are ads, and the there are ADS. Dictionary.com now features the latter, in what I can only describe as the most in-your-face advertisement I have ever seen on the web. About the only thing that could catch your eye more is if its next ad is for a porn or dead kittens.

Very clearly, the washing detergent Cheer is now sponsoring Dictionary.com’s homepage, but I’ve never seen a site with an ad so big that I’m not sure there’s actually a service being offered at all. Bing features huge pictures on its site too, but they’re tasteful images that provide a nice backdrop, this is just God-awful. And worse, the entire thing is clickable, to take you to Cheer’s page.

This make the huge ads that MySpace and IMDb run (shown below), look tasteful. And it almost makes me forgive ESPN.com for its greedy advertising practices — almost. And yes, it’s kind of like Pandora, but you listen to Pandora, you don’t have to look at it.

I know times are tough, and everyone including us needs to sell ads to make the business work, but come on. At what point do you stop being a service and start being a billboard?

Luckily, if you are actually able to find the text input box to look up a word, the resulting page doesn’t feature the same ad backdrop. Unfortunately to do this initial search, you have to visit the page. Which I probably won’t be doing anymore.