Re: @I ain't Spartacus
"The most I've ever seen though are the staff here blaming ad networks for these sorts of things. They appear to take little or even no responsibility for what gets shown here, despite the fact that they run the site."
Not true. We don't use ad networks - unless you include Google under that term. We test all the ads we make ourselves - and we make quite a few. We try to test ads where we can before they go up - but if they misbehave , don't work - we will report them to the supplier. This gets a bit complicated as most ads are supplied by creative ad agencies - whereas our customers are media buyer agencies.
Now, "misbehaving" and "annoying" are not the same thing. We acknowledge that some ads can be annoying - but there again we try harder than most sites here. Typically we run fewer ads per page than our UK competitors, often much fewer, and we never - at least in the UK (don't know about elsewhere) - run those "Welcome" ads - those "skip to site in 21 seconds" full pagers that stop you reading the story.
Finally, we do what we can to prevent so-called remarketing, where behavioural ads follow you around the internet. Our Google ads setting expressly forbids this starting from our site. Unfortunately, this appears to have a limited effect, in practice.