Finally, a Way in Which the Print 'Times' Is Superior to the Web Version

A letter of complaint sent today to NYTimes.com and copied to us:

Dear NYTimes.com,

I was reading your article "Hollywood Casual, Down to Their Toes" in the Thursday Styles section online when suddenly, out of nowhere, I hear a voice say, "Millions of men have had problems getting or keeping an erection...." Working in an open office such as mine, I hope you can imagine the shock and embarrassment I felt as I quickly navigated AWAY from NYTIMES.COM. Upon closer inspection, it appears the offending culprit is a Pfizer ad that is rigged to play video with a simple rollover.

What the reader might not realize is that at the Times office, audible conversations of erections are commonplace. It's when they don't subside after four hours that it's time to start worrying.

The complete email is after the jump.

Dear NYTimes.com,

I was reading your article "Hollywood Casual, Down to Their Toes" in the Thursday Styles section online when suddenly, out of nowhere, I hear a voice say, "Millions of men have had problems getting or keeping an erection...." Working in an open office such as mine, I hope you can imagine the shock and embarrassment I felt as I quickly navigated AWAY from NYTIMES.COM. Upon closer inspection, it appears the offending culprit is a Pfizer ad that is rigged to play video with a simple rollover.

It is not the content of the ad I am bothered by, but rather the technique by which it delivers its message: a simple rollover trigger made it too easy for unwanted online ads to play. Over the years, I have noticed the ads found on the NYtimes.com and elsewhere becoming more sophisticated and aggressive at grabbing a users attention. This Pfizer ad, unfortunately, crosses a line that will now make me think twice about going to NYTimes.com for my online news.