Captchas poised to become advertising copy, not just gibberish

By Todd Wasserman on Mon Sep 20 2010


For anyone who thinks advertising is dehumanizing, take note: Captchas, those annoying security measures on Web sites that make you prove you're a human and not a spammer, are being turned into ads by Solve Media, a New York startup. The idea, in beta since late last year but going live today, is to feature ad messages, not gibberish (though there can be a fine distinction between the two), as the Captcha words. So far, Dr Pepper, Toyota, Expedia and Universal Pictures have signed up for Captcha ads on sites from Hearst, Meredith and AOL, says Stu Libby, co-founder and vp of sales for Solve Media. Captchas (an acronym for Completely Automated Public Turning test to tell Computers and Humans Apart), have been used for advertising before, and apparently Microsoft sees a future in the space—which is ironic enough since the company runs ads showing people claiming to be PCs.



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