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Flash Ads - Windows 7 - Firefox - Does this bug you?
The Adobe Flash Plugin has Crashed!

 3:51 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

OK, this has bugged me for well over a year and no search of the Internet or this site has rendered a solution. The only reason I even care is that Adsense serves flash ads so if I want to use display ads, I have to accept the fact that at least on my computer's configuration (a pretty common one actually), broken flash ads are a fact of life.

Scenario is as described in the title. Firefox on Windows 7 just can't play flash ads, YouTube videos or anything flash and neither Adobe or Firefox seem to care enough to fix the problem. Update after update, the problem persists. The only known solution I can find is to roll back to a previous (less secure) version of Flash Player which (even if I did, wouldn't mean that the rest of my audience would do the same).

So, do I just bite the bullet and let a substantial portion of my audience see broken flash ads or do I do as I have done and nix display ads altogether? Does anyone else factor this into their thinking on this subject and are there any ways around this? Google offers flash as an option to advertisers and advertisers still use it, even though it continues to blight pages all over the Internet.

Am I making a mountain out of a molehill or is this really as bad as it looks with no solution in sight?



 4:15 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Normally, Adsense serves animated gifs if it detects the user does not have flash. I use iPhone all the time, and it does not play flash but I've never encountered broken ads in 8 years -- well I've only had iPhone for 4 years. Anyway... I would not advice you blocking image ads as not all users use window 7 and Firefox. The only thing you can do is inform Firefox about the bug.


 4:21 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Both Firefox and Adobe are aware of the bug. Problem is I have the Flash Plugin for Firefox installed so I get served Flash ads (broken or not). Hmmmm. Since it doesn't work anyway, why not delete the plugin. What a concept. Then maybe I'll get gifs. Let's find out. Thanks for the left turn in my thinking jbayabas.


 4:29 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oh not again, that's a nightmare.

Adobe is aware of that. There have been a few chapters where flash plugin just crashes. There are even some tutorials on how to downgrade to a "safer" version. If I recall correctly, the worst chapter was FFX + Flash. It forced me to use other browsers for a while and then downgrade, I'm not currently having that problem now on my W7box with FFX.

I've been staying away from upgrading the flash plugin, in some rare cases I do after that nightmare. Too bad Adobe pushes users to upgrade and upgrade. Not funny, less funny when upgrading takes so many mbytes to download.

I suggest you look around the web for a downgrade fix, you just have to take a deep look at software versions. Been there, it worked, I'm happy this is not happening to me again.


 4:55 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I suggest you look around the web for a downgrade fix

The real problem isn't that it's happening to me. It's all the people who see broken ads on my site and aren't about to do the research you suggest or downgrade to a less secure version. Heck, I've got browsers up the ying-yang and if I want to see something in flash, I just open a different browser. Very few people are going to do that to come back and see a broken ad. I've known about the downgrade (so-called) solution for a long time and haven't done it and I'm a developer so why would just about anyone else?

I guess my question should be. How much do you think this effects revenue overall? Anyone have any indications? It's a widely-known issue and I'm wondering whether the impact is so significant as to noticeably reduce revenue. My approach has been to stay with text ads (which I generally feel do better on my site anyway). It also brings up the question as to whether ad impressions are being recorded in Adsense when the ad is broken in the browser.


 5:14 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Update: Well, disabling Flash in Firefox doesn't make it any more possible to view flash but it does cause Google to stop serving flash ads and, as a panacea, that works pretty well for me. I haven't been able to view flash in FF for a long time so now I can live without flash and not be constantly reminded what a pain in the butt Adobe has become in recent years.


Hope that last statement doesn't violate the rules here because it was fun to get it off my chest.


 5:15 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Advertisers usually avoid Flash ads nowadays as they want their ads viewed by all users. Those that do are usually one that deal with animation or games.

Adwords is quite clear in their instructions to advertisers that they currently supports only Adobe Flash Player versions 4 through 10.1. If the flash ad uses any other version (such as 10.2 in the case of the new version of firefox flash plugin), it cannot be uploaded. The ones at fault here is the advertisers if they dont follow instructions, not Google.

This does not make a dent in revenue as the majority of advertisers follow instructions.


 5:49 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I get your concern, some of us are aware of it but there is little we can do except making a list of the fault versions (or combinations) detect them via JS and then perhaps:

- Showing a warning to encourage the user to upgrade
- Selectively show diff ad slots (text or image ads only)

In fact avoiding rich media ads would be easier (doesn't mean is the best approach).


 7:24 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

This does not make a dent in revenue as the majority of advertisers follow instructions.

I have looked for comments from Google before on this subject but never really though to check from the AdWords side i.e. instructions to advertisers. If most are following instructions though, then the version of Flash Player on my system isn't capable of playing any Flash movie 'cuz every flash movie is broken, no exceptions. Anyway, I've removed the constant reminder of this mess from my browser and will probably just let myself slip into a state of unawareness and start using at least some display ads and see what happens to CPC as a result. I know CTR goes down whenever I use display ads and I just wasn't sure how much this issue played into it. If I get a substantial bump in CPC, then it could be worth the lower CTR. We'll see. Testing 123...again.

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