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Hate Web Popup Ads? ITV Plans to Introduce In-Programs TV Adverts To Bring In More Revenues

ITV, UK's biggest commercial broadcaster, is planning to introduce a new kind of advertisement that could make bring the stress-inducing pop up web browser adverts to our TV screens and will be embedded in programmes themselves.

According to the Times (opens in new tab), ITV, which has just announced that it is sacking 700 employees after a steep fall in profits, says the technology will automatically place an overlay advertising (ed: possibly in real time) over clear space like blue sky or blank walls.

The technology, called "automatically placed overlay advertising", is pioneered by a US-based company called Keystream (opens in new tab) which owns 50 patents and has a team of "seasoned industry veterans" who have worked at a number of media companies including Adbrite and the BBC.

This means that proper advert breaks could possibly disappear soon and that advertising could possibly become more targeted (and contextual) in a very near future.

For example, should someone in Coronation Street usher the words "mobile phone", a mobile phone advert could be displayed (ed: Isn't that slightly subliminal in nature?)

Already, ITV is testing the technology in the backgrounds of its ITV local websites, with the likes of uSwitch and Freesat, and hopes that viewers and the industry watchdogs (Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority) will "click" to the idea of having in-programme adverts.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.