The Star Online changed its layout recently. Like all things new, it took a while for me to get used to the new format. That is not my complaint though. What irked me most were the unrelated links that were generously peppered all over news articles. These links were incorporated into certain terms such as the numerals 1 and 5, and the words win, famliy and friends. A pop-up ad would appear each time the pointer hovered over those links. All the pop-up ads were of Digi’s friends and family plan and a contest offering RM250,000 in prizes and had a link leading to its website.
While I can understand The Star Online’s need to generate income, this is taking it too far. As it is, Google Ads, sponsored links and other advertisements are already placed in most of the news pages. The pesky pop-ups and the differently coloured links which are usually embedded into words with black text disrupt reading rhythm. One of the reasons why I stopped reading certain blogs is because of the indiscreetly placed ads. Likewise, I will keep reading The Star Online to a minimum until such embedded text link advertisements are taken out. I also wonder if Digi realises some of its pop-up advertisements are being placed in news items with negative connotations.