Yahoo, Dr. Pepper, and the Annoying Ad

In the 60s and 70s, studies showed that annoying ads were remembered the longest. Notice I said “ads” and not “product.” Advertising agencies raced to create annoying, repetitive ads. Madge the Manicurist tapped her client’s hands back into the Palmolive (“You’re soaking in it!”) to prove it was gentle; Mr. Whipple continued to squeeze The Charmin’ after telling others not to.

Not much has changed. “Apply directly to the forehead” is not only an ad, but in another ad they admit it’s annoying.

Now Yahoo has joined in. When I open my mail, there is a Dr. Pepper(TM) ad at the top of the page. When I close a message and go to click “Back to Messages” the ad automatically gets longer and I wind up clicking the ad instead of the link. Of course, then I get to see a Dr. Pepper(TM) ad.

This kind of “trick the dumb email user” is infuriating. I know Yahoo email is free, but if they are going to punish me by tricking me into clicking on ads, I can move. I’m willing to pay not to be annoyed. Isn’t that what runs XM  and Sirius radio stations? You pay to live commercial free?

The first thing on my mind, of course, is to quit drinking Dr. Pepper(TM) and all the products related to it.Oooops, that’s a big order. Dr. Pepper(TM) is owned by Coca-Cola (TM). They own hundreds of products, including A&W, the root beer chain restaurant, Braq’s, Dannon yogurt, Dasani water, Frutopia, POMS, Sprite, Wink, and yes, the name Winnie-the-Pooh. Tough to boycott them all. (What? Winnie-the-Pooh is owned by Coke(TM)?)

I’ll start with Dr. Pepper (TM). All of it. I’m not drinking one more drop of any version. Won’t make a big dent in their market, but it will make me feel like I’m doing something.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer, artist and certified creativity coach. You can see her work at