can we find non sleaze ball ads? (also feel free to share ones youve seen)

just a q to tubadiva…… ive noticed over the last year or so our ads you get before you sign on are very slightly less skeevy than a porn sites

is there anyway you can discuss with who ever owns the joint these days places like this aint gonna convince us to click on them https://www.facebook.com/pdilik

just a thought

I’m sorry you find the ads disturbing.

Ads are an unfortunate part of internet life and part of what a company does to continue to stay in business. This is true for this site as for most other sites in cyberspace.

Advertising was not the first attempt to monetize this site; management tried a paywall “pay to post” approach. That was even less successful than ads and caused a lot of people to just abandon the site. You were around for those difficult days and I’m sure you remember.

The combination of subscribing membership and judicious application of an ad blocker program seems to do the trick for most people. I cannot advise you on ad blockers but I do not doubt there’s people here on this board that could do so.

Ads are a necessary evil here. I’m not fond of them either but I can cope with ads if that’s what it takes to keep this site in business. Like everything and everyone else in this world, The Straight Dope needs to pay its way. We appreciate all assistance people give towards that end. Yes, that means we’re asking you to hold your nose sometimes. We hope you think the Dope is worth it.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator

Can you talk about the different ad servers you’ve considered? Are y’all open to considering a different ad server, if someone can suggest one that pays well and doesn’t serve up odious ads?

As I said elsewhere, before I re-upped my charter membership, this was one of the few sites that I just wouldn’t visit without an ad-blocker: there were too many browser hijacker ads, too much borderline-NSFW stuff, for it to be worth it. I’m not sure if the ads are better now, but boy howdy were they a problem before.

its not the fact we have ads its the ads themselves …… I mean I get one for some new wonder drug" that "trump and the fda will ban in 30 days so get it now " and some that seem like outright fraud …….

if they were like ads for stores or like network tv commercials for things like tide or breyers ice cream that I could live with.

Yeah, I remember a while back ago, I logged in from work. And before I could even type in my screen name and password, ads were popping up everywhere.

Had I been unfamiliar with this site, I would have clicked the close button in fear of infecting my compute

My gut feeling is that a significant number of newcomers are coming here and doing just that.

Pls do your ads through someone else.

Thanks for the excellent example of the fallacy of the excluded middle Tuba. Are there no options other than sleazy ads and no advertising at all?

I still remember when I got malware from ads hosted here, and I’ve never visited here on a device without adblockers enabled ever since. I like this board, and I would be willing to whitelist it on my adblocker to support it, but not when that means putting my PC at risk of malware.

So in my case, this boards sleazy ads are losing the board money. I doubt I am the only one in that boat.

So, pay for a membership then. It’s not ridiculously expensive.

No legitimate company that values its customer base signs up for malware. They are “rogue ads,” slipped into campaigns or sometimes just plain ol’ hijacked from ad suppliers.

STM has been very prompt to stomp out these bad actors when they find them. They also stop doing business with the companies that supply them.

I do not have insight into how the advertising department does their business, but I would assume they book the best that is offered to them.

There is nothing I can do about what gets booked except work to make this site as good as I can and as attractive to traffic as I can possibly make it. I cannot promise you anything where the ads are concerned but that they will continue and that STM will take all the precautions they can. I can’t promise you won’t be offended. I can’t promise a rogue ad won’t get through and briefly give you a bad experience and make you unhappy.

All I can do is continue what I’ve been doing, what I will continue to do. You keep on reporting what you see and maybe even clicking on the occasional ad, and let’s see if we can make better things happen.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator

The thing is, these ads are targeting the wrong demographic. They are more for a TMZ demographic, not the older demographic on this site. We’d be better off with the NY Times ad provider, or something like that.

Everyone who serves ads has had issues with malware, but nothing like this place. And, the ads themselves are awful and mis-targeted. And, popunders? Is this 1999? Those are just unacceptable.

Member or not, you still get popunders and hijackers from the main page, right?

I’ve whitelisted the NY Times and the Washington Post, but I would never whitelist this place until the ad situation changed drastically.

Again SDMB sticks out like a sore thumb compared to other sites. There are a ton of respectable sites out there that have ads less offensive, less intrusive than here.

The horror of the ads here means it is driving off first time visitors.

There are much better options out there. This has to be priority one.

Judging from Tuba’s last post, I don’t think the owners are willing to entertain the idea of switching Ad providers. Which is unfortunate.

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.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator

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.

When logged out on the message board I saw ads for The Big Apple Circus, Home Depot, and some sort of ad for searching information on people that had the line “I promise not to use this information to stalk anyone.” That one gave me pause … but again, I scrolled right past it and nothing untoward happened. Except now if I want to stalk someone I know exactly where to start. :smiley:

I realize different people from other parts of the world see totally different ads. In my case, I have attended the Big Apple Circus, I’ve shopped at Home Depot, Consumer Cellular is my cell phone carrier … the rest are not particularly pleasing but not offensive. Where you’ve been often determines what you see in the ad department, both here and elsewhere on the net.

If your experience is different from this, I’d like to hear about it.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator

I don’t do a whole lot of Internet surfing on my phone. Sites I visit (including ESPN, Sports Illustrated and ABC News) all have ads, none of which block me from accessing features I want to read, or when I hit the “X” to try and get rid of them display the ad anyway.

I can’t say the same for the Straight Dope, which is why I don’t access the Dope on my phone.

The reason I installed ad blockers on my laptop was obnoxious, controlling ads on the Dope - the worst ads on other sites were never bad enough for me to consider that step.

It’s regrettable if the only advertisers the Dope can consistently attract are sleazeballs.

Are you really saying that it’s our fault if we are subjected to sleazy, controlling ads because we’ve been places we shouldn’t?

In my case at least, I can assure you that’s false.

I did not imply and did not say that bad ads are your fault; I said that the ads people see are different experiences based on where they live and where they shop and where they go on the internet. There’s no such thing as “going places we shouldn’t;” I’m not the arbiter of browsing habits and where you go and what you do is totally your business.

Have you accessed the Dope on your phone recently?

While there have been problems in the past it’s a different day now; it’s a different site in a lot of ways and that includes the ads. Or so I have been informed.

(My eyesight is such that reading the Dope on a phone is difficult for me. But the little bit I’ve done – without Tapatalk, btw – was okay; I just had a hard time reading it because it was so small. Didn’t see anything awful, though.)

Again, based on geography and cookies, YMMV.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator

I turned off ad block for a quick browse to see what I got. The overlay ads were McDonald’sX2, NFL streamingX2, and Soccer streamingX2. So nothing sketchy but also no way it had anything to do with my browsing history nor geography. The inline google ads obviously took geography into account as I got a couple "Jobs in the marijuana industry " ads there.

I just tried mine too. It’s not nearly as bad as I remember it being when I tried to log on at work a while back ago.

No sketchy ads seen.

^This.
I suffered through the malware-laden advertisements way back when, to the point of re-imaging my laptop, used an ad blocker, and finally coughed up cold hard cash for membership.

Twenty smack-a-roos more than makes up for it.

So the suggestion, it is the Stockholm syndrome to the sustainability in revenue? That is an interesting economic model for the negative growth.

the add blocker for the not logged in, it is the only route as the gate of reasoning closed long ago.

I know English is not your first language and I’m not sure I exactly follow, but I just want to say that those two lines come across as really poetic. Especially the second one – it reads like a haiku or something.

:slight_smile: