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This 55 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 55 ( 1 [2]     
AdSense Showing Political Ads
fredw




msg:3779325
 5:15 pm on Nov 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Today on all of my sites I am seeing political ads targeted to my region, regarding a passionately-fought proposition.

I'm torn, because I normally remove ads (like weight-loss, etc.) from my site that aren't about my fan hobby niches, but these ads are for a position I support.

Besides, these ads are obviously region targeted, as I am in Los Angeles and seeing ads for a California proposition. Would filtering it even do any good, as it only makes sense the rest of the country is seeing other ads I do not, and therefore can't filter?

Anyone else seeing these region-targeted political ads on their non-political sites today?

 

loupiote




msg:3779604
 1:45 am on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

> BTW, my ads did have "Ads by Google" in the ad box, it just doesn't look like their regular graphic, it was in text.

it does not show on image (flash) ads

fredw




msg:3779676
 4:17 am on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

FlyingSolo: This goes back to an old discussion we've had several times here on WW.

Newspaper, TV and Radio advertising is NOT the same as web site advertising. People understand, when they see a newspaper ad or a TV or radio commercial, that the commercial is separate from the media, and the media does not endorse the subject of the ad.

However, the separation between ads and content on a web page is not so clear, and most people who see an ad on a web page do not know the difference between the page's content and the ad.

That's why the publishers who are complaining here are doing so, there's no clear way for our audience to know that these ads are not being endorsed by, or are the opinions of, the web page's publisher.

keyplyr




msg:3779744
 7:45 am on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)


I placed this advertiser in my competitive ad filter because the position advocated is deeply offensive to the readership on one of my sites. But since AdSense takes "several hours' to pull ads in the filter, today I pulled AdSense from all of my sites. Tonight, I'll check again and if the ad is gone, I will restore AS.

Seems the filter is not functioning... hmmm. It's been quite a few hours and the political ads continue. I take offense that my personal human rights beliefs may now be misunderstood by my customers. Good going Google.

Shaddows




msg:3779809
 9:59 am on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm also in the UK, and find it odd that hot-button issues get pushed so heavily. I'm curious to know if elections are fought on the issues that can get the biggest advertising bank-roll, ignoring less wealth-attracting (though possibly more worthy) issues. Mind you, I suppose its just a grasss-roots form of lobbying, which also means too much attemtion is focussed on the agenda of those with money.

Anyhoo, I can just imagine that on certain hot-button issues, charities serving certain groups (victims for e.g.) that would find these adds not just annoying (as an implied endorsement), but actually harmful. Surely there should be filters.

The argument that everyone would opt out does not wash. You could increase the bid level so that some would allow adverts of any type for the revenue. Plenty of people would take the cash- and the reduced advertising space would imply the overall budget may not be higher simply by increasing CPC/CPM.

And anyway, even if everyone DID opt out, that is their moral right, regardless of G's profit.

piatkow




msg:3779814
 10:24 am on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree with the other to UK posters. We need an opt-out before our politicians start on this.

I run a website for a regional arts organisation and also sell ad space for their printed magazine. Policy is to refuse political ads in print and I don't want to get into an arguement with somebody who says "you let us advertise on the website".

DilipShaw




msg:3779852
 11:56 am on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think we should keep our heads cool till the elections are over. Things will get back to normal in a couple of days. And I don’t think the loyal readers will run away seeing the political ads, they know elections are round the corner and their subconscious minds are used to see these ads in TV, Radio, and Internet - they will just ignore. Sit back, relax and let the time pass by.

BTW… I am taking a cup of coffee, are you?

RonPK




msg:3779885
 12:56 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I can't believe what you guys are posting. You all seem to think your visitors are unable to distinguish ads from editorial content. Also, I used think Americans were so fond of free speech: this thread suggests the opposite. (DilipShaw, where's that coffee? ;)

My site always gets lots of religous ads. I definitely do not endorse them, but happily take the money.

fredw




msg:3779909
 1:27 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I know from empirical evidence that many people I have spoken to do not recognize ads on websites as ads, they think its just more content. And the minority of people who do recognize the ads as ads assume you picked the ads yourself, and endorse whatever the ad is promoting.

fredw




msg:3779916
 1:50 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have my ads turned off, so I can't tell... For everyone who was getting political ads yesterday and did not turn them off, are you still seeing them today?

radix




msg:3780003
 4:12 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I wonder how well political ads convert. Hope that those having them won't be smartpriced for non-conversion.

DilipShaw wrote:
minds are used to see these ads in TV, Radio, and Internet - they will just ignore. Sit back, relax and let the time pass by.
(emphasis added by me)

How nice. You display ads on your site and visitors will just ignore them. Where is your money in this business?

netmeg




msg:3780019
 4:26 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I suspect that by the time the next big election rolls around, there will be a way to opt out of political ads. I don't remember this being a huge issue four years ago, and quite possibly Google didn't anticipate it; for one thing, a lot of campaign folks weren't as internet savvy back then either. I can't see Google maintaining a situation where publishers are turning off AdSense entirely to avoid political ads - after all, that doesn't earn anything for Google OR the advertisers either (lose-lose-lose). We learn, we grow. I'm willing to bet next time will be different.

icedowl




msg:3780032
 4:36 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

For everyone who was getting political ads yesterday and did not turn them off, are you still seeing them today?

I haven't found any on my sites today after adding the one URL to the filter yesterday. I haven't been anywhere else yet this morning.

jetteroheller




msg:3780077
 5:55 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

How nice. You display ads on your site and visitors will just ignore them. Where is your money in this business?

The bid for such ads is much higher to compensate the lower CTR

eeek




msg:3780081
 5:56 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

The bid for such ads is much higher to compensate the lower CTR

It doesn't matter how high the bid is if the ads don't get clicked. The net result for me was lower income.

Malibucreek




msg:3780157
 8:09 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

The ads disappeared from my test page around 7pm yesterday, about 10 hours after I placed the domain in my filter. I saw the ad disappearing at about the same time from several other sites around the Web where it had been appearing, but I don't know if that indicated the lag time for the filter to work (assuming other publishers blocked it), or if that simply meant the campaign's time had run its course.

fredw




msg:3780255
 11:01 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

As of 3:00 PM Pacific Time, an hour away from when some polls close in the east, I'm still seeing the political Adsense ads on some sites.

tangor




msg:3780274
 11:36 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I guess the question might be how much content the webmaster signed up to display. I don't run Google anything, much less advertising on my sites, so am totally ignorant on the TOS involved.

But if I WERE and politics suddenly appeared on my site I would HOPE Google would add a DISCLAIMER to the offering:

"Paid Political Content Served by Google." or something like that. Else the publisher has one choice if they don't agree with the ads and that's to suspend the service until the objectionable material has disappeared.

farmboy




msg:3780372
 3:26 am on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've just read this entire thread and in a way, this is nothing new. I recall writing posts here years ago about a politically-oriented blog, for example, where the blogger supports candidate X and thus writes about the shortcomings of candidate Y. Google sees the candidate Y text and puts up ads for candidate Y, which is exactly the opposite of what the blogger's readers want to read. The blogger decides to abandon Google AdSense.

And we've all read posts where someone just can't get Google to show good ads on a site and the publisher is advised by posters here to try something else because Google may not be a good fit.

Ballot propositions and political campaigns stir up emotions and this current crop of ads have certainly got the attention of a lot of people. It's like a temporary bad fit.

I think the bottom line here, even though it's obvious a lot of people don't want to read this right now, is that when you publish that Google code on your site, you're surrending that space to Google.

Plus, apparently Google doesn't view publishers as having strong personal attachment to their sites as many publishers obviously do.

With that in mind, we all have to make decisions accordingly.

But, again, I should get to make the definitions within my own website. That's what freedom of the press is all about.

In the U.S., "freedom of the press" comes from the 1st Amendment to the Constitution which prohibits government (Congress) from restricting the freedom of the press. It has nothing to do with a private business relationship such as between Google and a publisher.

Also, I used think Americans were so fond of free speech: this thread suggests the opposite.

Well, a lot of Americans are fond of free speech as long as it's something they agree with or want to hear.

Plus, in this case, some people are afraid others will think they endorse the speech because the ads appear on their site.

FarmBoy

DilipShaw




msg:3780389
 5:33 am on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Radix – you caught me wrong! What I meant was that the political ads may be ignored. Secondly I am sure these ads are costly too – means much revenue for the publisher. So either way the AdSense publisher wins!

eeek




msg:3780411
 6:46 am on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Secondly I am sure these ads are costly too – means much revenue for the publisher. So either way the AdSense publisher wins!

While they did pay something for impressions it wasn't nearly as much as I would have made for clicks on relevant ads. So don't say the publisher won.

jhood




msg:3781713
 4:06 am on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I know the election is already over so the issue is moot for now, but would someone please tell me what is offensive about political ads? We live in a democracy and the price of freedom is awareness. Political ads are a vital part of that.

My primary site attracts a mostly-liberal audience but it was filled with McCain-Palin ads for months, some of them through Google, others through TribalFusion and other CPM networks. There were some, though not as many, Obama ads as well as ads for California propositions and all kinds of local races. We got a total of one reader complaint.

People who are offended by politicking should look into emigrating to North Korea.

iridiax




msg:3781716
 4:21 am on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

would someone please tell me what is offensive about political ads?

Sex, religion, and politics...

piatkow




msg:3781894
 1:10 pm on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)


what is offensive about political ads?

Not offensive but not appropriate for sites owned by charities which are required by UK law to be "non political". I want to see a blanket opt-out before our politicians start following America and advertise in the same way.

sonjay




msg:3781898
 1:16 pm on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's not a question of politics being offensive. It's a question of where politics is appropriate and where it's not.

iridiax




msg:3782360
 1:41 am on Nov 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Google's response on their Inside AdSense blog: Political ads on AdSense sites [adsense.blogspot.com]

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