Saturday, February 8, 2014

Facebook experience cheapened by trashy ads

Facebook turned 10 this week and founder and CEO Mark Zuckerburg celebrated the milestone with an online note.
What struck me most about his note wasn’t what he said, but all the tacky ads that accompanied it.
You’d think a mature Web property like Facebook would have top-name advertisers like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, General Motors, Procter & Gamble and AT&T.
Instead, as the screenshot above shows, it got mostly trashy ads for online dating, a muscle-building product, a gimmicky video about learning French and an “adults only” video game.
Two of the six advertisers I’d classify as mainstream – Intuit’s TurboTax and Kaiser Permanente. But the rest are low-level ads trying to attract clicks with sexy pictures.
I’ve noticed the same issue with Yahoo ads, so Facebook isn’t alone here. I’m just surprised that at this stage of development well-known, high-traffic websites like Facebook aren’t getting the major advertisers you see on broadcast television, in magazines and elsewhere.

More mystery-sourced photos 

On a side note, those Facebook ads included more mystery-sourced photos, as I discussed recently.
The top ad for “Easy Dating on Facebook” by Cupid features a blonde woman with ginormous breasts. A reverse image search on the Google leads to a golfing photo that’s been sort of a minor Internet meme.
Unfortunately I can’t determine who the woman is or when and where the photo was taken.


The ad for Menshealth.com titled “WOW! – Travolta BUFF!” is pure fiction.
The ad says, “John Travolta Buffs Up For Hit Flick – Learn His Secret, Click Here!” The image is Photoshop trickery. It’s John Travolta’s head on the massive body of bodybuilder Jay Cutler. The Cutler photo was taken in February 2007 by Flickr user robbden.

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