Why the annoying weight-loss ads are still up

I just wanted to give folks an update – as you know we’ve been having a problem with really horrific weight loss ads popping up on the site. You all have been incredibly patient, and I know how much it sucks to keep hearing us say that we’re working on it while the ads continue to appear.
So this is what’s going on (for anyone who is interested)…


One of the ad companies we work with has their system basically set up on a chain. So if they don’t have an ad to put up at the moment, it goes to another ad server in the chain and so on. Google was a part of this chain – but because of all the gross weight-loss and anti-choice ads that came up in this process, we asked that company to remove Google. This worked…for a little while. The problem seems to be now that some of the other advertisers in the chain also serve Google ads themselves – that’s why these ads continue to pop up.
The only thing the Feministing editors can do is grab the code of the offending ad, send it to the company and have them ban each URL. But our contact at the ad company tells us that this advertiser is “particularly tenacious” and keeps using new URLs to get in the system. Right now, they’re working to find a different, long term, solution. I hate to continue to ask for your patience – because I know how offensive these ads are and I cringe every time I see one on the site – but I’m going to ask anyway. Please know that we’re doing everything we possible can to remedy the situation, and if we can’t fix this in the next couple of days – we’ll temporarily take the ads down altogether until we can.

and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

30 Comments

  1. cato
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi there, just wanted to offer some help from a different direction in the meantime – I have a add-on for Mozilla Firefox called Ad Block Plus, you can find it here: http://adblockplus.org/en/installation. I highly recommend it, it blocks in fact all annoying ads, not only on this site, and makes pages much faster.

  2. EmilyGrrl
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Why not leave them up? Let the company waste their money!

  3. voluptuouspanic
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Thanks! I just installed that and already I notice a huge difference.

  4. Ms. Kar3n
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    This is exactly what I logged in to say. For those using Firefox, Adblock Plus is a fabulous extension. Right click on any element you don’t want to see, and it’s never served to you again. It even makes MySpace readable. ;)

  5. bifemmefatale
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Because they can be triggery to women with eating disorders, and they promote an anti-feminist message about women’s bodies and their worth that is not appropriate for this site.

  6. bifemmefatale
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Oh wow, thank you! This site loads so much faster now!

  7. katemoore
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    They also promote sham products with stolen and badly Photoshopped pictures. I swear, if people took advertising fraud seriously 99% of Internet marketing would vanish overnight.

  8. w0rdst0ck
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I say just get individual groups and businesses to advertise with you. You still get paid and we get links to other branches and services with the same values in mind. Win-win. Alot more work maybe, but worth it.

  9. Amanda Marcotte
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    With what money do you propose they use to hire a full-time advertising person?

  10. Interior_League
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    No tooth whitening
    ads either, they’re not sexist
    but they’re just plain gross.

  11. Posted July 15, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Google Adsense keeps placing a hige colorful ad for Ann Coulter’s column on my blog. It’s unbelievably annoying. What logic led them to put it on my blog of all places, if I never as much as mentioned her name, is incomprehensible to me. Some of my readers already complained.
    The weight-loss ads are disgusting. Please tell us when you find a way to remove them. It might be helpful to other bloggers who are experiencing similar issues.

  12. katemoore
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    They absolutely are sexist, or at least promote unrealistic beauty standards. And they’re also scams. Check it out:
    http://wafflesatnoon.com/2009/01/24/scam-alert-part-4-teeth-whitening/

  13. Liz B.
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    LOVE AD BLOCK! thank you so much! I had no idea about this!

  14. EvilSlutClique
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Occasionally we accidentally get ads for crisis pregnancy centers and other ‘anti-choice’ stuff on our blog (mainly because we write about reproductive rights a lot). It’s very annoying.

  15. attentat
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Can the advertiser set up a regular expression search on each ad that it serves up in the chain to look for things like “weight loss” or other keywords and not serve them up but serve the next in the chain?

  16. pepper
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Gosh, wordstock, how dare you brainstorm a positive solution to the problem.

  17. Aym-bear
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Nice haiku!

  18. Peepers
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for not supporting advertisers in delivering offensive, shaming messages to women.

  19. Cola
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    What really bothers me is the chorus of “you’ve won a five thousand dollar wal-mart gift card” I hear half the time I navigate to the site. Especially because I’m usually watching something or listening to a podcast. If I’m wearing my headphones, it’s particularly bad, since the volume on those ads is always at maximum and there’s no way to shut them off.
    But I hate the other ones, too. I realise you can’t go without ads.

  20. Kat
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    can’t they just devise some sort of tagging system on ads so ads with tags like weight loss or whatever are excluded? that would be a way to have more targeted advertising for the companies too. i know you can’t do anything about that, but still…

  21. blucheezz
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Um… with the money from the ads?

  22. Darkmoon
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    I’ve never seen any weight loss ads on here…or any, for that matter. I use adblock plus on Firefox so I probably never would have known about the ads if they hadn’t been brought up.
    It’s a shame though. Even with adblocking software the principle of the thing remains the same. I know it must be frustrating to have ads that promote a standard of beauty that are more often than not, unhealthy.
    Kudos to you guys for trying to hard to keep that sort of garbage off this site. Those dieting companies are like cockroaches…no matter how many cans of Raid you use they always crawl back in under the cracks.

  23. kandela
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    How about just removing the ads in the middle of the page? No newspaper would put an ad in the middle of their stories, they all go on the edge.

  24. ecobase
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    For me any weight loss ad is annoying! Some of them are really funny too. I almost fell out of my chair while watching TV the other day – the commercial was hilarious. People are dumb – that’s why the ads are dumb too.
    Mira – Teeth Diseases and Teeth Whitening Specialist

  25. kandela
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Please don’t use ableist language. It’s not on to equate not being able to speak with stupidity.

  26. jeana
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I wish I understood what you just said.

  27. Ayame
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Can anyone suggest a way to block the “ads by Pulse 360″ (or maybe it’s Plus 360) ads? So far all but one of them has been a weight-loss ad, and it also seems like they can read your IP address or something — they almost always have some little tagline like “Find Weight Loss Solutions in *name of my town* “. But I can’t for the life of me figure out how to block the damn things. I use Firefox…does AdBlock Plus work on them?

  28. kandela
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    A primary definition of dumb is ‘lacking the power of speech.’
    Using this term to mean stupid is like using the term spastic in the same way.

  29. Menstrual Poetry
    Posted July 18, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I stopped using adsense for that reason. Every time I looked at my site I’d see anti-choice ads and also those damn annoying “Are you pregnant and scared? We can help!” ads. I received a few emails asking me what “type” of feminist I was because I had all of this anti-choice crap going off every time the page reloaded. I haven’t used adsense since, the money just wasn’t worth it to me if it meant jeopardizing the message I was trying to send out.

  30. Katie
    Posted July 20, 2009 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Reductil sibutramine is recommended to patients who do not derive satisfactory weight loss results from regular means such as dieting and exercise. Though proved effective as a weight loss aid, Reductil sibutramine does not guarantee weight loss by its own. Reductil will only help people who are determined to lose weight and who use the drug in conjunction with a reduced calorie diet and exercise.
    Sibutramine – the active ingredient in Reductil works on the neurotransmitters in the brain and dupes your brain to feel ‘full’ even when you have eaten less. Further, Reductil sibutramine also reduces craving in between meals so that you are not tempted to eat those high-calorie snacks. Thus by reducing your appetite, Reductil sibutramine controls the calorie in-take and thereby helps you to gradually loss weight.

Feministing In Your Inbox

Sign up for our Newsletter to stay in touch with Feministing
and receive regular updates and exclusive content.

220 queries. 0.995 seconds