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Yahoo! and! Adobe! sign! ad-packed! PDF! pact!

Acrobat Reader to display 'message from our sponsor'

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Despite my ma always saying ‘if you knew your times tables as well as your adverts’, people today still can’t escape advertising and the problem’s set to get even worse. Yahoo! has signed up with Adobe to incorporate targeted adverts into PDF documents.

The scheme is optional, but unfortunately only for the advertiser. Advertisers just upload their PDF files to Yahoo! so they can be “ad-enabled”, meaning the adverts linked to the document’s contents are slotted in.

The Advs are shown in a side panel that appears in Acrobat Reader whenever the document’s opened, though Yahoo! hasn’t said if this panel can be hidden by users. We suspect not. It’s expected that the ads will be charged on a pay-per-click basis.

Unfortunately, it’s questionable how much the advertising will add to the ‘user experience’. Unless you actually want your monthly departmental financial analysis review PDF content linked to adverts for 30 per cent off stationery and offers to slash the cost of your medical bills.

Yahoo!’s advertising scheme is similar to one unveiled by IBM earlier this week for DVDs. Big Blue currently has an outline for the scheme lodged with the US Patent Office, which could allow it to slip adverts onto your films. Meaning they’d crop up just when you get to the good bit, with attempts to fast forward locked out.

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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