People love to hate ads. Just give them the opportunity and they will tell you all about it. Many companies associated with advertising receive "hate mail," consumer articles about advertising always get nasty comments, and those poor advertisers' customer service teams are subject to a constant stream of complaints. But the untold secret is that most consumers tolerate ads because they understand the value exchange -- they are exposed to ads and in return get access to free content and online experiences.
Publishers and advertisers work hard to get users to pay attention. Publishers try to optimize ad placement and ad units, and advertisers work on the right brand message and creative that will get users to stop what they are doing and engage with their ad. In the early days of the internet, it was easy -- a simple banner ad did the trick, and users happily clicked and engaged with brands. As the novelty wore off, users started to develop "banner blindness," a phenomenon where users consciously or subconsciously ignore banner ads. The advertising community fought back with rich media, skyscrapers, and those awful in-your-face pop ups (thank goodness for pop up blockers!).