Open Letter to Martin Nisenholtz, CEO of New York Times Digital

I realize that the Times website needs to make money, and that advertising is the way you do it — but your latest method of advertising is so obtrusive and annoying that I’d rather give up reading your website than put up with it.

I refer to your recent practice of trapping my browser when I try to leave the website, forcing me to stay on an advertisment for several seconds (the “Skip this ad” link does nothing, at least for me). I can understand the practice of introducing an ad when I enter your website, or change from page to page within the website (though I don’t like it), but when I’ve clicked on a link outside the website, or when I’ve manually entered a new address in the browser’s navigation bar, I’ve done it because I am finished with your website and want to go elsewhere. Forcing me to stare at an ad at that point is extremely hostile behavior — it does not make me want to return to your site, nor to patronize that advertiser.

I hope to hear that you’ve dropped this scheme; I will be happy to return to the Times website when that happens.

— David Singer

The Times replies:

Thank you for writing to The New York Times on the Web.

We appreciate your feedback and have passed your comments on to our Advertising Department.

Thanks for taking the time to write to us.


Elizabeth Jones

The New York Times on the Web

Customer Service