Advertising isn’t a problem. Most people recognize that services are often paid for via advertising, and that’s often preferred over having to pay out of our own pockets.
However, unexpected advertising is a bigger problem.
If I’m watching TV, listening to the radio (or a podcast), or browsing a website, I know ads are likely to be present. They may be annoying, but they’re expected.
However, things like cold emails, cold phone calls and other intrusive ads are unexpected and we see them under much harsher light. In the David Meerman Scott theory of ads, these go from the “buy” category of normal ads to the “bug” category of ads that we all hate.
Earning attention is always your best bet, and buying ads is sometimes a direction that you need to go. However, if you find that surprising people with unexpected ads is your only choice, you may need to revisit your strategy.