Some advertising executives say that as long as an advertisement is entertaining, people do not necessarily mind the intrusion — and may even welcome it.

A sentiment I cannot agree with. As this New York Times article (from which the quote is taken) points out, it's getting harder and harder to avoid advertising. Even this little computer is no exception (although it is fairly easy to block online ads by modifying your hosts file – see here for an explanation and instructions).

Living in Missouri, one of the 'billboard' states, it is virtually impossible to find any stretch of highway that is free of giant, scenery-ruining, and far-from-entertaining billboards. These dominate skylines and perhaps their only useful purpose is that their frequency triples as you enter the outskirts of a town, thus serving as an imprecise geographical marker.

I know a lot of people like ads – it's amazing how much general conversation is devoted to them – but I find them barely tolerable at best and offensive most of the time. You might counter with the argument that without ads, how am I going to find out about all the new and wonderful consumer products that will enrich my life? To which I would answer – there are very few such items that I do not find out about in some other manner, i.e. a little research. And that research more often than not reveals the essential redundancy of almost every 'new' item.