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I had a particularly annoying experience on cnn.com the other day. A video caught my eye, so I launched it – even though I knew I’d likely have to sit through an ad before the site would show me the video.

No big deal, I thought. It’s just 30 seconds out of my life. And the ad – for a new Dell Ultrabook – was painless enough.

After I’d watched that first news clip, I noticed another one of interest. So I clicked on it… and what starts playing but that same Dell ad again! Don’t they know they just showed it to me 90 seconds ago?

The same thing kept happening. For every video I clicked on, I was first subjected to that same Dell ad. My first line of defense was to mute it, but that still left me waiting. So on the next occasion, I passed the time by checking my email on another tab.

You know, it gets tedious having to find things to do for multiple 30-second intervals. So the 4th time – in a row – they attempted to show me that same Dell ad, I bailed on cnn and went to another news site.

I realize news sites need to show ads to make money and I can tolerate that. What makes it intolerable is that so often, they keep showing me the same ad.

Please, ccn.com, don’t show us the same ad twice in any session. And certainly don’t show the same ad two or more times in a row. Doing so is worse than pointless. Not only are we not likely to watch it, we’re very likely to bail.

Your site has but one business purpose: to get visitors to stick around and absorb content. But your current implementation – at times – provides such an annoying user experience that it actually chases visitors away.
 

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