AwardWallet is generally a useful service. Many people like to use it for tracking their award balances, which can be difficult when you have more than a couple. I actually don’t care about my specific balances, but I’m not very good at tracking my account numbers. When I need a number to log into an account and make a booking, it comes in handy for that.
And for a long time I’ve had a link to their site in my sidebar. Free advertising. Not quite, because I get some upgrades if a person uses that link to sign up, but I don’t really value them much and give away all but one or two. So free advertising. I’ve NEVER negotiated ad rates with anyone because that is not the deciding factor about what goes up. It’s about whether it’s good for the reader. If I make some money or get some other freebie, great, but I take what’s offered and it isn’t my primary motivation.
(As for the BoardingArea display ads, I don’t control the content. Some readers who meet me say that they click on these to help me out. Don’t bother. Use an ad blocker for all I care.)
Now AwardWallet’s ad is coming down, and I’ll tell you why because this kind of advertising behavior really annoys me. <rant on>
The other consideration I make regarding ad placement on this blog is whether the ads are annoying. I never liked the old three column format on my blog because it seemed hard to escape the ads. It took me a lot of time to find a two-column format I liked, one where the ads were still there but they were a little less in your face. I made models on paper and on my computer of what it might look like. Megan would come by to provide her feedback and say, “Eww, what are those?” Ads, of course. “Can you use fewer of them? Take them all out?” Not if you want a roof over your head, sweetheart…. So the goal was to keep them, but make them less intrusive. I ended up reading a book on HTML/CSS and designing it myself. Hopefully you agree it’s an improvement.
AwardWallet seems to have gone the other route. I just logged in yesterday evening to research a new piece to promote their service. Instead, I’m writing this. Because the first thing to greet me was a full page ad for an Amex Gold business card. Never mind that most people don’t own small businesses. The ad was so big I couldn’t even see the bottom of it on my screen. When I did scroll down, the “continue” button was in smaller text than their privacy disclaimer and copyright!
Pop-ups and splash screens annoy me. A few travel blogs use them, and they are one reason I avoid reading their blogs. I actually pause while flipping through my RSS feed wondering, is this good enough to be worth opening in a browser window and the hassle of closing a pop-up? Because a pop-up or splash screen is a hassle. That’s the point. It’s to be in your face and make you take an action before continuing, but they hope that action will be to sign-up for something rather than close the window.
This is more a splash screen than a pop-up, but it’s on a gross scale. It’s also bizarre that they claim “the bloggers” say it’s a great card. If so, then maybe we should use the bloggers’ links to sign up. AwardWallet hasn’t told us anything new here. There’s no information other than the officially sanctioned marketing bullets.
If AwardWallet is going to be so darn aggressive with their credit card pimping, I can’t honestly promote their service anymore. My family doesn’t want to see this. You probably don’t want to see this. I promote credit cards, too, but for the most part I just leave the ad up there in the corner (and it’s a good offer for a lot of people) to let you use it if you want. My opinion is that AwardWallet crossed the line, so I’m crossing them off my list. </rant off>