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Saturday, March 15, 2003

Beware the Ads of March!

I've been noticing something disturbing about the banner ads on Blogger sites. Before, the ads were maybe annoying, but at least they were (semi-)professionally done, and some even looked good. A lot of them were ads for advertising on Blogger.

A few weeks ago, I suddenly began seeing two banner ads on some sites. One would be the normal ad, and then right below it would be these cheap-looking new ads. The new ads were just plain white space with some text in it. Most of those banners were scrollable. There was no scroll bar, but if you put your mouse on the white space and scrolled up and down, you'd see a second ad. They didn't have a URL associated with them, but instead said "go to someurl" (with the actual URL, of course).

Now the original, colorful banners are gone, and as far as I can tell, all replaced with these cheesy ads.

The ads just aren't cheesy in appearance; their content sometimes seems a little dodgy too:

3/13/03: Europundits

Over 500 Police Items -- Apparel from FBI, ATF, LAPD, NYPD, Duty boots, tactical uniforms, more

Now, of course you know these ads rotate, so when you look, those same ads probably won't be there. Also, they don't pay to advertise on this site, so I'm not going to give the URLs.

3/14/03: Again on Europundits.

Antichrist Revealed --- Reveals the identity of Antichrist-666 from the classic Reformed view!

So I went to Blogger's main page and sampled a number of English-language blogs from their "recently updated" list. I don't read these particular blogs normally, they just happened to have ads that I considered particularly...interesting.

These are all today---3/15/03:
Schizo? Maybe. But at least we can accept me.

Stop Your Divorce -- Find out exactly what to say and do to stop your divorce or rejection.

Use your Mind for Success -- All success starts in the mind - what's in yours?

Has that second company asked to be advertised there?

Missing You!

Date Advice for Men --- Learn the "secret psychology" you need to attract any woman you want.

This one isn't particularly objectionable, just odd. They should have advertised on that last blog, considering its URL: more, no less

Penguin Place -- All things penguin. Retail shopping and information

The following blog is particularly not endorsed.
SF Liberal

USA Official Green Cards -- Green Card, Visas, DV Lottery Citizenship, Immigration Forms

Bretz & Coven - Law Firm --- Full service immigration law firm Get help now from a professional

But what really caught my eye are these types of ads:
Bleeding Brain

Survive Terrorism --- Protect yourself now from smallpox, dirty bombs, and martial law.

Terrorism Planning Guide--- Assisting families and businesses to prepare for a crisis.

Entre Nous

Stop the War Machine --- Anti-war lapel pins being sold to raise money for the anti-war movement

"What Liberal Media?" --- By Eric Alterman Buy it at Affiliate.

Thinking Meat
E. Nough's blog had not only the peace pins, but this:

War in Iraq: Is it Just? --- Is it ever appropriate for a nation to strike first? A new Bible study.

I was curious e. nough to click on the link, but I was no wiser as to what the Bible will say about first strikes. Or UN resolutions.

The first several times I saw these new ads, they were all for various anti-war type things. And they were all on pro-war blogs! (Of course, those are pretty much the only ones I read.) So I smelled a conspiracy, but it might just have been the petrochemicals, since the wind is from the south.

These are by no means the only kinds of ads. I saw one for subscriptions to Women's Day, and all day today Prof Bunyip has had Prozac ads up ("get prozar or generic direct from mexico and save"). Perhaps not coincidentally, the good Prof has not posted since Monday. Has he been taking his meds? (Bad professor! Bad!)

All punctuation and spelling are as in originals, by the way.

Blogger's ad-buying page says they're not taking new ads, because they're going to be revamping the way they do it. I hope this is the old vamp, and not the new. What would be the point of having your butt owned by HumonGooglous Corp if you had to sport the kinds of ads found in the back of Famous Knife Murders?