Slog tipper Maggie points out this bit of atrociousness from the Wall Street Journal:

As e-books proliferate, advertisers are experimenting with ways to pitch to consumers while they read, a trend that could change the publishing business but faces opposition from some traditionalists.

Marketers are exploring a variety of formats, including sponsorships that give readers free books. Videos, graphics or text with an advertiser's message that appear when a person first starts a book or along the border of the digital pages are also in the works. Ads can be targeted based on the book's content and the demographic and profile information of the reader.

Publishers have tried to find ways to embed ads into books for decades now—almost every heavy reader of pulps or genre fiction has encountered an old mass market paperback with a cigarette ad bound into the center of the book—but this could get real messy real fast. E-book publishers need to remember: E-books are wildly popular right now, but too many dumb stunts like a quick cash-in from advertisers will turn people away in droves. If they want to be smart about this, they should keep e-books ad-free.