I can’t speak for management. Straight Dope staff is not usually a decider in the advertising department, though we have advised them on occasion. That’s why you don’t see those “popunder” ads so much.
Since we’re all over the planet we all see different ads. From where I’m sitting in Atlanta right this second I’m seeing ads for Unicef, Stubhub, and what appears to be a clothing company (Rotita) on the Straight Dope main page. I also see a “sponsored ad” by Mazda.
Looking at today’s featured column I see ads for Consumer Cellular, the American Red Cross, and a t-shirt company. At the bottom of the column I find two rows of “sponsored ads” that are tagged as “Brides Blush” and “New Retirement” and the like; these are the “one weird trick” style of ads that you see coming from a long ways away. They’re almost at the very bottom and are quite apparent for what they are.
Calling up the front page of the message board I see … no ads at all. Calling up a thread on the message board I see no adsl.
Of course if I was not logged in to the message board as a member I’d probably see a lot more ads.
Is my experience unique? While I don’t find the double row of ads towards the bottom of the column page to be particularly worthy, they’re not intrusive. I can easily pass them by. All the other ads are mostly companies and organizations I’ve heard of before. Your opinion of the American Red Cross may be dubious but I don’t see anything particularly “sleazy” here.
What am I missing? I’ll go log off now and see what visitors find when they come to the site. But so far … justads. Nothing noteworthy.
your humble TubaDiva
ETA: I also got a full page ad for something called “Instant Checkmate.” I assume this is the same sort of thing as the “don’t use this for stalking” ad I saw earlier. Again, maybe a little annoying but my understanding is that you see this once a day at most. I find their claims unpersuasive but I guess someone clicks on these ads or they wouldn’t be in business. Is it “sleazy?” I dunno. It’s probably not like Unicef, I’ll grant you that.