These ads destroy performance, leech bandwidth by 10s of megabytes, and are served by major ad networks, including Google's own AdX and AdSense.
Today, these VPAID ads are as popular as ever - and that is just disgusting. They're the real cancer of the advertising industry.
To showcase just how evil they still are, I took a single AdX ad tag and put it on an otherwise empty page. A static image ad loads, but it's secretly a VPAID one. It then randomly switches to a video, then back to a static image, then back again - it's like a never-ending self-reloading cascade of garbage.
Right now after several minutes of just leaving this one single ad open, I'm at 53MB downloaded and 5559 requests. By the time I finished typing this, I was at 6140 requests. A single ad did this. Without reloading the page, just leaving it open.
A single VPAID ad absolutely demolishes site performance on mobile and desktop, and we, the publishers, get the full blame from our readers. And when multiple VPAID ads end up getting served on the same page... you get the idea.
Google and other ad networks, why are you allowing this kind of garbage to continue flowing through your pipes? Don't you see how much damage it's doing to the whole advertising business as people are practically forced to install ad blockers?
If you don't like to be taken advantage of, tell Google. Tweet at them, send them emails, let them know via any means you can that it is not OK to allow our browsers to be hijacked in this manner.
Edit: AdSense actually lets publishers disable VPAID here https://www.google.com/adsense/app#main/allowAndBlockAds http://i.imgur.com/WH1VItG.png. AdX does not - I reached out to them, but so far I got an unhelpful response about disabling everything that says "video" in the OptIn tab (doing so did nothing to filter out VPAID). sovrn is another network I actually dropped entirely because of VPAID. Most ad networks don't give you any control over things like that, so at least kudos to AdSense for adding that toggle. Getting rid of VPAID and similar pest ads altogether though - that's a world I'd want to live in.