A rant about the pollution which is advertising

If you don’t want a rant, for this is assuredly just that, look away now…

I hate adverts, and advertising.

Not people promoting their own businesses in social media posts or on their own websites or shop windows, to be clear, but the kind of advertising that pollutes our lives, online and offline.

I hate spammers, who pollute my inbox with nonsense.

I hate cold callers, for whom I reserve particular hatred. (I have zero sympathy for “it’s my job” when it is my time, my concentration, my personal space, that they are polluting.)

I hate adverts polluting every web page, slowing down load time, and needlessly wasting bandwidth and processing power.

I hate adverts, and advertisers, which spy on me and track me.

I hate searching for a local tradesperson via a search engine, to be greeted with screen after screen of generic websites, all SEO’d to the hilt, none of which actually have a local tradesperson.

I hate the mega-rich company which polluted their already paid-for videos with adverts, just to enable them to ask people for more money to turn them off.

It’s the same offline.

I hate adverts polluting every conceivable spare space on my local station platform.

I hate bright, distracting adverts polluting the side of a sodding road when people should be paying attention to what is going on around them.

I hate glaring screens polluting public spaces.

For some, advertising is a cost. A price to be paid. A “well, I can’t make money without it, and I’ve got a right to make money, so it must be okay” mindset.

I don’t buy into that.

Advertising is pollution.

It’s something to be discouraged, despised, and denied.

Just as I hate water companies polluting oceans and rivers with sewage, I hate companies polluting my life.

It should, IMHO, be stopped at source.

But until then, I will - comfortably, contentedly, creatively - do what I can to block it.

On my computers.

On my network.

(This isn’t a how-to; I’m sure each of you reading this has your own preferred way of dealing with this pollution.)

Of course, it shouldn’t be up to us, as individuals, to clear the advertising effluence from our spaces. It shouldn’t be there in the first place.

And sure, I’m not going to consider for a moment criminal damage to stop offline advertising, but I can choose where I spend my money - and, critically, where I do not - based on advertising.

I would love to go about my life without being a product, a target, a patsy.

Again, I love to hear about people talking about their own small businesses, their new products, their new software, whatever it might be.

Perhaps, maybe, one day…?