You remember when Adland was banned from Google adsense for doing what we do - that is show ads, right? It was written up in Dagens Media in Sweden, as well as a few other adblogs, like Adscam who humorously points out that other ad blogs have 'put millions in his Swiss bank account by featuring tits and arse in every post, even if it’s about deep sea oil rigs'.
A Google representative phoned me up to sort out the issue, "I can un-ban your account, but you will have to follow the Google adsense guidelines in the future, of course". I explained to him that Adland writes about advertising, the business that promoted advertising week with a cleavage shot and resorts to using naked bosoms as attention grabbers for an advertising show in Slovenia. "There will be boobage eventually, it is advertising, in fact there will be just as much sexism and skin as you can find in banner campaigns that run on Google adsense" I said. (for example - see the evolution of Evony ads which actually ran on adland in the google adsense space) Advertising, like many other businesses, is pretty sexist in itself, Neil French is one of the most famous creatives in advertising (he has done great work, mind you). And advertising images are full of stereotypes that will offend men, women, and your little dog too - what one target group finds humorous, another finds offensive. In order to discuss these ads, we need to see them.
The New York Times ran a story saying that Google itself is sexist, when it tells "Cougar" sites to go elsewhere for advertising, god forbid an older woman seeks out the company of a younger man - we can't have that. Meanwhile "Date a millionaire" which matches sugar daddies to younger women was fine. Ho-kay. B|Net has an update on that with a statement from google:
Google spokesperson Diana Adair says that the company has always treated “cougar” and “sugar daddy” dating sites the same way, and that neither are allowed on its content network.
- and therein lies the rub.
Google, by being the easy way to get advertising on your budding website or a large website, has an enormous amount of say in what is allowed on a website, and in ads that run on Google adsense. Since they also own half of the web, with youtube, feedburner and blogger, they have enormous reach. When they can ban sites like us outright for making posts encouraging people to protest sexist Sloggi ads, because we showed the sexist Sloggi ad, the machine is broken. Like I said to Dagens Media, someone somewhere took the time to look at the site and still didn't see what we're writing, they just saw Sloggi's asses. Meanwhile, content scraper sites like the one currently nicking all their content from the Oatmeal live on, without loss of Google Adsense income.
So here I am, with Google ads running on top and the sides, wondering when that nice young lad from Google Dublin might call me again to explain we've gone against Google Adsense rules again. I suggested to him that there should be a way to choose "adult content" site, because apparently, advertising is porn.
For the new readers who just discovered this place, I've often written about sexist ads and scoffed at advertising that uses the lowest common denominator to sell (be it sexy imagery or a swift kick in the balls), and noted that ad sites who rely on advertising income often resort straight to "banned ad" or "sexy ad" in order to keep the traffic up. Which makes the ban on Adland quite ironic, in a way. The sexist search will bring you quite a few articles, while the community generated sexist commercial tag will show you examples of ads that readers find sexist.
I've written Boys, Girls - this is not a competition. Sexist ads are bad for everyone. I've pointed out to french advertisers to wake up and smell the statistics, as sexism sells, but we're not buying it. In the end bad ads (not just sexist ads) pollute the media landscape, the cultural landscape, and doesn't move product. I hate bad ads.
News here often shows the ads that were banned due to being offensive, such as the Booth babe backlash and reports on the Running free ads from DDB, not just sexist but also 'hoax'. We'll collect and archive the work, all the banned ads that were removed from youtube, to the pure spec work (which means it never ran anywhere).
Our content ranges from advertising tourism like: Shanghai Advertising - the rise of consumer culture in a communist country, to easy lists such as PETA's top five most offensive and most sexist ads. Do we deserve to be banned from Google?
Update! That didn't last long, of course as soon as we started making lots of digits we got banned again. This time for writing a critical post on PETA's advertising which contains images of nude and beaten women. Google is Big Brother. Google can tell you who and what and how to criticize. War is peace. Placing all your eggs in one basket is really really dumb, y'all. And by y'all I mean the entire internet.