I felt like I was reading a college term paper

The Ad War: A Look Into the Multi-Billion Dollar Advertising Industry and How They Waged War Against Their Own Consumers - Matt Hrushka

Bullet Review:

Ads suck. But they are a necessary evil. But companies don't know how to use them so they don't suck. So we get endless pop-ups and "native ads". And ads continue to suck

Oddly enough, the author never brings up the biggest reason I never click: malware, spyware, and viruses. I was always told never to click on ads for that reason. Didn't matter if I was on a suspicious site - if it was an ad, don't click!

(Seriously...don't. It leads to pesky popups.)

Interesting content, but I felt it was more like a college research paper than a proper nonfiction book (the design of the cover and the layout of the inside text corroborates this according to my personal graphic design expert). Grammar/spelling issues also were very prevalent; editor needed to make a second pass.

Full Review:

Is there a person on the planet that likes ads, other than ad companies and businesses? (Other than people who watch the Superbowl that is.) Ads are that "necessary evil" - without them, we'd be paying for everything. With them, well, an hour long TV show becomes 40 minutes, our skylines are rimmed with billboards, and let's not even get started about the biggest collection of ads, the Internet.

NOTE: I won this through Goodreads Giveaway. This does not influence my rating whatsoever.

Whatever I thought this book was, it wasn't what I got. No offense to the author, but this reads like my English semester paper that I prettied up a cover I made in Word, double-spaced and set to 14 point font (making sure to take any opportunity to skip pages) and shoved a bunch of clipart into. An editor should have made a first or second pass through this. And I am a bit unsure about the sheer number of online resources. When I was in college (grrr, now I sound old!), my teachers insisted I use more than just the Internet for my sources.

The book does have some interesting factoids. I liked reading about the progression of Internet ads and reminiscing about the "Good Old Days" of endless popup ads. (Goddess, things were awful back in the early 2000's, weren't they?) And I appreciate that many innovations we have are because of ads.

But...what's the solution? Interactive ads? Okay...how does this get implemented? That's the only solution? Hmmm, sounds pretty...one size fits no one. And I don't know that that will actually help. There are far too many people who want absolutely no ads, not even ads they may be interested in, that are actually targets and customized to them.

And the author never addresses the biggest reason I never click ads: malware, spyware, and viruses. Internet 101: don't click ads, they lead to things getting on your computer and messing up your system! Has this changed in recent years? If so, I haven't heard.

Interesting thing to note: this book includes a "3 hour read time" symbol on the back along with the notation that you can read this on a flight between LAX and ORD. I have never seen this before, though I must admit, it's useful. I certainly got through this book remarkably fast.

Initially I gave this 4 stars, but looking back and thinking of my experience, 3 stars is more like it. I don't feel that it really gives a solution to the problem, it doesn't have the polished feel of a real journalistic book (grammar, spelling, text design, etc.), and it just felt too basic, too top-level. A good start, but by no means comprehensive - just like your average college student's English paper.