Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fake and Deceptive Advertising is Growing

A friend of mine once referred to Ben Edelman as the Ralph Nader of the internet.  That really is an understatement. Ben has a long history of exposing malicious advertising and his research has saved millions from potential adware/spyware infiltration. Ben has been an expert witness and has helped many bring legal action against evil companies.  Yesterday, Ben published a new paper taking aim at Yahoo’s Right Media for their fake and deceptive ad practices.

Unfortunately, many of us have come to accept these deceptive ads as normal. The truth is, many are sucked into costly situations because they believe these ads.  Each time they’re clicked someone makes money.  This not only hurts the consumer but it makes advertising on the internet more costly. Companies like Yahoo really need to take steps to police their advertisers and affiliates but they have no incentive to do so.  It’s up to crusaders like Ben to expose these practices and shame companies into playing fair.

Take a look at the ads below. They’re from Yahoo’s Right Media. I’m sure you’ve seen them or something similar.

Would you be tempted to click on this ad?
Is this an ad?  Aren’t advertisements suppose to say so?

This is evil
Is this a fair way to get a users attention?

This is just plain wrong
This just wrong but someone makes money anytime it’s clicked.

Free?  No so much.
Just click and get a free dinner.  Yea, right!

If you go to a web page where you see deceptive ads, let the owner of the web site know.  Many web sites just accept plug-in code and don’t know what ads are being served. We all need to stand up and let our voices be heard.  We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!

See more examples and learn more about this topic at

Thanks to Ben for allowing me to use the images above.


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