Good grief. I really don't have a problem with Flash banner ads at all. In fact, many times they're the best way to showcase a product. What I am greatly annoyed by though, and they're starting to pop up everywhere, are the ones that move down over the active part of the page. Sure, they're real sexy and all — but get off my freakin' links!
Last week, I saw one where the guy looked like he was pushing the Flash ad downward and grabbing something from the other advertisment below. Problem is, he has to “traverse” across the top navigation which, when covered by the transparent Flash movie, isn't clickable. You can't activate the buttons or links while he's doing his cute little thing. Well, let me rephrase that — in IE you can (due to the dangers, errr, beauty of Active X), but not in any other browser.
Today, we have a possible tropical depression off my coast. I quickly went to the Yahoo! weather page to find a satellite pic. I didn't find what I wanted, went up to the navigation to click something else and the stupid Flash movie drops down over the buttons. I had to wait while it did it's thing and got off the navigation so I could get off the page. Now, I understand that usability studies have shown that people ignore the top area of the page where banner ads live. And I understand the advertisers wanting to find a creative way to get users to look at their ads. But don't hijack me. If I want to leave, let me go. I think we need to make a fuss or this will end up being like commercials at the movies. You pay to get into the movie, and then have to watch ads for products. Things like this are just wrong. On so many levels.