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Banner ads and workplace political correctness

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Death and taxes are still king, but there are other things that have also become inevitable in life. Take a look around this very page you are reading. Chances are that you see a number of ads decorating it. Online advertising is just another fact of cyber-life we can't seem to get away from, and we probably never will.

Most of us have come to expect these omnipresent pitches. It is the means some Web sites can continue to fund their work. Banners can be downright annoying at times, but sometimes they could become a liability depending on when and where they are thrown at you.

Take this as an example. One of my main sources of news, besides Public Radio during my morning, is msnbc.com. I don't know when I started reading this site, but I've been getting my news on it for as long as I can remember. Some of my reading is done at work during lunch time and therein lies the issue. The questionable banner ads that pop up on my screen are sometimes inappropriate for workplace.

Now I could almost be a card-carrying liberal, but right or wrong, political correctness dictates that we use a certain amount of discretion at work. Unfortunately some sites seem to forget that a large number of their audience surf on their pages at work and a get-ready-for-summer diet plan banner featuring an attractive female with a two-piece is not exactly politically correct. Another scantily-clad woman pitching a dating site is just as disconcerting.

These types images are probably not cause for dismissal, nevertheless they make some people, myself included, uncomfortable at work, enough to click the browser off when someone approaches the desk. Am I being too paranoid? Maybe, but I'd prefer to play it safe rather than hearing rumors later on about my habit of surfing porn sites at lunch. You know how office rumors have a tendency to grow out of proportion quickly.

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