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-   -   Chitika Goes Berserk, Serves Up Worst Ads Ever (http://forums.thoughtsmedia.com/showthread.php?t=88815)

Jason Dunn 04-28-2008 08:45 PM

Chitika Goes Berserk, Serves Up Worst Ads Ever
 
I saw something very strange when I looked at Digital Home Thoughts this morning. Well, to be accurate, I <em>heard </em>something strange; a beeping sound that was coming from something on the Digital Home Thoughts page. I closed a few other tabs in Firefox to isolate the problem, and it was indeed a banner ad that was making the beeping sound. I isolated it and figured out it was coming from Chitika - now what's strange here is that I had only configured Chitika to display their &quot;eMiniMall&quot; ads, which are interactive image and text-based ads that show you low process for certain products, and &quot;RPU&quot; units, which are related product links that appear at the bottom of our archive page.<br /><br />What I'm seeing instead is best described by an email I received a few minutes ago:<br /><br /><em>&quot;Jiggly, beeping &quot;you've won a prize&quot; scams seem out of character for any of Jason's sites...The half naked, in heat (butt in the air) blonde cougar singles ad was quite the addition to your Dragon laptop article, especially given the use of the term &quot;ass-whupping&quot; in the article...Ads with the wrong format for the frame (square jiggly beeping ad in the tower Ads by Google blue box on the right hand side), so it is half hidden. And the square ads by Google area at the top right is serving a skyscraper ad, so one can barely make out what it is for.&quot;</em><br /><br />I couldn't have said it better myself. So, in short, completely irritating and inappropriate ads are being served up across all four Thoughts Media sites. I've seen this on other sites as well today, and the other Web site owners I've talked with are just as frustrated as I am. I noticed that some of the ads were loading with &quot;500 Internal Server Errors&quot;, so I was wondering if this is some larger issue and Chitika has been hacked. This morning when I started seeing this I emailed my contact at Chitika. It's been a few hours and I haven't heard back, so I phoned him - no response yet. I've just phoned the general Chitika publisher support line and left a voicemail - I'm hoping someone will respond to me quickly. If I don't get back a response by tomorrow AM, and this is still continuing, I'm going to pull all Chitika code from my templates. I'd do that now if it was a quick and easy process, but it's not and so I'll ask you to put up with these stupid ads for just a bit longer.<br /><br />Chitika had better have a really good explanation of all this for me!<br /><br /><strong>UPDATE:</strong> Well, I just had a 50 minute phone call with my Chitika representative, and the short version is that this morning they switched on their banner ads for people outside of their &quot;supported countries&quot;, which included Canada. This meant that instead of seeing the Chitika text ads, we saw banners - and Chitika partnered with a banner company that seemingly had the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality ads. So basically it was just us Canucks that saw these silly ads. Consider yourself lucky rest-of-world. ;-) Steps have been taken to ensure that as of tomorrow AM, Chitika will not display any banners to anyone.

karen 04-29-2008 12:35 PM

[quote=Jason Dunn;683321]
[B]UPDATE:[/B] Well, I just had a 50 minute phone call with my Chitika representative, and the short version is that this morning they switched on their banner ads for people outside of their "supported countries", which included Canada. [/quote]

While I support a business wanting to target their ads to any audience they want to, I'm constantly running up against these geographical barriers. When is the marketing world going to wake up to the fact that there is something called the Internet that lets shoppers see and order products across borders?

Sure, the advertisers don't want to pay the same rate to advertise to us lousy Canadians, but why decide to serve up crap to Canadians? We have a stronger dollar than last year, so I'm buying much, much more over the 'net than ever.

Jason, if I were you I'd be all over them for lost ad revenue since those of us who visited your sites immediately shut those tabs due to the huge annoyance factor. Heck, the fact that these terrible ads were sprinkled throughout promotional posts for your vendor partners probably did them some harm, too. I hope you are being compensated for lost goodwill while you are at it.

BTW, I've managed to support your other advertising links by checking out what they were promoting. I figure reputable advertisers and their channels should be supported.

Jason Dunn 04-29-2008 09:26 PM

[quote=karen;683356]While I support a business wanting to target their ads to any audience they want to, I'm constantly running up against these geographical barriers. When is the marketing world going to wake up to the fact that there is something called the Internet that lets shoppers see and order products across borders?[/quote]

I know, it's pretty ridiculous. Unless a company doesn't ship to Canada, I don't see why they'd not want to advertise to us. Although even when companies don't ship to Canada, I'll often find their product on eBay - so it's ridiculous that they don't want us to know about their products. And this goes for the rest of the world as well - Microsoft might not sell the Zune outside the US, but people all around the world are buying Zunes.

[quote=karen;683356]Jason, if I were you I'd be all over them for lost ad revenue since those of us who visited your sites immediately shut those tabs due to the huge annoyance factor...I hope you are being compensated for lost goodwill while you are at it.[/quote]

That would be nice, but they offered me an apology and nothing more.

[quote=karen;683356] BTW, I've managed to support your other advertising links by checking out what they were promoting. I figure reputable advertisers and their channels should be supported.[/quote]

That's great Karen, thank you for your support. I believe really firmly that if every time someone visited a Web site, they clicked on an ad they found interesting, we'd see even more great content from publishers - because more of them would be able to afford to do this full time.

Racer-X 04-30-2008 02:40 AM

[quote=Jason Dunn;683321][I]"Jiggly, beeping "you've won a prize" scams seem out of character for any of Jason's sites...The half naked, in heat (butt in the air) blonde cougar singles ad was quite the addition to your Dragon laptop article, [/I][/quote]

I am afraid I am going to require proof of this. Thanks.

karen 04-30-2008 02:48 AM

Uh, just visit any crappy website and there will be several of these types of ads....Or check out what's stuck in your spam filter on a regular basis.

There was also an ad with a topless woman lying on her stomach with a sheet covering her bum. Who would have thunk that my local part of Toronto had such racy singles over the age of 40.


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