The one last corner of the online world that had yet to be filled with banner advertising has finally succumbed.
Trojan Horses are all over the web. You open a page and up pops a advert, you turn to another and a banner ad scrolls across the top, you enter a search and the results ae presented in Google and are often little more than ads. Now comes the news of a new Trojan Horse from Adobe. They have worked out how to allow adverts to appear down the sides of PDF documents.
The impact could be significant and could have a negative as well as a positive impact on PDF use. After all it was the one document you thought you could trust be what it said it was.
Yahoo will scan a PDF document for keywords and then place a banner advert based on those keywords. The adverts would not appear on PDF documents that were printed out, but could be programmed to appear differently each time the file was opened.Yahoo and Adobe will share revenue from the adverts with the publisher of the document.
Book and magazine companies who extensively use the PDF format could be among the heaviest users of the new service and Elsevier and Pearson, are among the first testing the service. The PDF ad model could also provide the mechanism to offer free ebooks paid for by advertising. How this will stack against authors moral rights remains to be seen and may present much litigation.
The advertising world is moving ever closer and how the book trade will respond is going to be interesting to watch.