Thanks, Network Advertising Initiative!

Why you so broken?

I don’t typically have a content- or ad-blocker turned on. But when someone does, it’s easy to see why they’d consume a lot more content and forget about the woeful ads.

Based on a tile from Outbrain I clicked at the bottom of a story I was reading (about DraftKings by David Boies) on the NY Daily News site, I visited the site “buzzlie” to learn about15 Celebrities That You Forgot Committed Horrible Crimes”. Here’s the top of the page (‘above the fold’), and take a look at the odd out of place ad on the right side, number (1) in my bubbles/red outlines added. The irony was impossible for me to avoid, of seeing (3) a random click-to-play video ad, (2)(5) two identical crummy “one trick” car insurance lead generation ads, and a (4) “scandalous cheerleaders” clickbait come-on alongside an unbranded (and thus violating the ad guidelines for most large websites) “industry ad” about having “the right ads” … almost too much!

“The Right Ads Make the Internet Better”(?)

Naturally I clicked this. I’m guessing it’s a behaviorally targeted ad that I got because I’ve visited opt-out pages or industry websites — clearly it’s not an everyday type of ad, but then I thought — of course I could be entirely wrong — perhaps this is reverse psychology(?!!).

Given that this ad takes me to a page run by the ad industry-created and funded Network Advertising Initiative where I can learn about opting-out of interest based ads, and it’s showing to me on a page that’s full of probably-untargeted, schlocky ads, you might consider it to be insidiously very well-targeted actually to get me to beg and plead them for more ecommerce retargeting ads, especially when you look at the bottom of this same page, which was filled with rather risque and objectionable ads, as follows. Eek, our friends at RevContent defiling another webpage (my apologies for having to post this dreck):

Curious what this page would look like with a desktop adblocker enabled, I turned on the Chrome plugin Adblock (from BetaFish), and wow, a much slimmer and less distracting page, albeit obviously still containing some ads:

Of course the real secret that the Network Advertising Initiative doesn’t want to you to know, is how to get the screen at the bottom, instead of the two at the top. And it’s pretty darn easy.

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