The Channel logo


By | James Sherwood 29th November 2007 15:54

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

Acrobat Reader to display 'message from our sponsor'

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.

comment icon Read 15 comments on this article alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe