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Pop-ups have played a controversial role in the world of online advertising since the dot-com bust, when the ads started coming out in force. At the time, Net publishers of all stripes were starved for ad revenue and willing to let advertisers get in their visitors' faces. Consumers complained loudly, and pop-up blocker internet filter software was written to intercept pop-ups. Publishers slightly acquiesced by introducing the less-intrusive pop-under, which springs up behind a Web page. Eventually, the backlash forced major publishers, such as Yahoo, MSN and America Online, to rethink their pop policies altogether. In the last year, many top-tier publishers have stopped selling pop-ups or pop-unders. Meanwhile, smaller publishers have chosen to limit the frequency with which they show the ads.