I see it as... I'm "mad" about "X" and they will only talk about "Y"... not exactly respecting my concerns. It's still early (in the game) however at this point I think the lack of PR has had more affect than the ads themselves. I know it currently has more influence (rightfully or wrongfully) on whether I drop TiVo or not. If it was "handled" properly sure it would still raise a stink... however not to this degree.(Personally, I'd love to hear more about TiVo's broader initiative to modernize its consumer business model, but I understand your concern about the whale swallowing the guppy in this thread.
Their "initiative" appears to be make available as many free ad based streaming channels as they can sign-up and hope you watch enough to get a decent cut. What more do you need to know?