Home > Internet/Web > I want my ad-free content back

I want my ad-free content back

This post is not brought to you by any sponsors like the ones pictured above.

For some bloggers, their content has evolved into nothing more than stealth advertising. Perhaps bloggers aren’t to blame so much as advertisers and marketers are—they’ve run a very slick marketing campaign. In the age of browser add-ons such as Ad Block and Ad Aware, companies have wizened up and now advertise around ad blockers: if ads can no longer be seen in sidebars, then it’s time to take advantage of the power of “word of mouth” and make it part of the content.

I know a lot of big events would never take place if it weren’t for sponsors, and I also know a lot of people would not be able to attend these big events without some kind of sponsorship. But if every time a blogger posts content I need to read that Southwest Air sponsored his trip to the LA Anti-Animal Cruelty Conference, that Hyatt is putting him up for a comfy three days, and that Kenneth Cole is dressing him from head to toe, I’m going to start feeling like I’m not reading the posts of a person but rather a mastermind behind a viral marketing campaign. Telling me once is enough. Telling me twice is sponsorship. Telling me three times is overkill.

I want my ad-free content back. I want someone to be able to genuinely say she loves Lands End clothing (which I do—no, I haven’t received a gift card from them and won’t be giving one away) without feeling like she was contacted by the marketing department to say it. If a guy wants to talk about how much he loves his Honda Accord or his Toyota Camry because it’s a reliable car and has lasted him 12 years, I don’t want it to appear as forced as a TV commercial. People drop name brands in their content from time to time but when a person starts gushing over how Lexapro is the greatest antidepressant ever because it relieves depression and has given them tons of joy back without any mention of side effects or negative aspects, I’ll know there’s something fishy going on.

If a person likes a brand and wants to tell the world about it, that’s fine. But if that person keeps pushing the brand repeatedly, I’m going to wonder whether he’s being paid and tune him out. The best kind of advertising is done in such a subtle way, a person has no idea he’s being marketed to; the worst kind of advertising is as repulsive as a pushy used car salesman.

I like reading what a lot of bloggers have to say. I don’t mind if ads appear in their sidebars, headers, or footers. But for heaven’s sake, keep the content AD-FREE.

  1. August 10, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    I would probably read a lot more blogs if it wasn’t for the ad content that has somehow snaked their way into their blog. I have stopped reading some, or skipped over a few who I probably would like, just because I don’t care to be subjected to advertising.

  2. Jason
    August 10, 2010 at 9:45 AM


    • Kass
      August 10, 2010 at 12:54 PM

      You know you can actually LIKE it at the bottom of the post, right?

  1. August 10, 2010 at 2:37 PM

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