New Crappy Gmail Ads Right BELOW the Reply Box

Don’t get me wrong. I love Gmail. But Google has implemented a new ad format that is downright crappy. They’ve started putting ads below the message — not in the text of outgoing messages (thankfully), but underneath the Reply box when you’re viewing a message (see the pinkish ad block):

(Image missing because of some crap Blogger pulled–deleting dozens of Crappy Software images when this blog was hosted there.)
This just started today for me and it may have been related to me changing my Gmail theme, but from Googling around I gather that Google has been testing this for months. Comments about it turn up back in December 2010.
I don’t begrudge Google the need to sell ads. They offer a terrific free service and they need to make their money somehow. But the sidebar ads should be enough. They aren’t as intrusive as this crappy new ad block stuck in between the reply box and the buttons for Archive, Report Spam, etc.
I don’t want to resort to an ad blocker, but I’m very tempted now.

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