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October 13, 2007

ads that look like content and even worse…

Filed under: Death — see @ 11:47 pm

Ads that look like actual content but are not are known for quite some time now, the first I personally noticed were ads in FACE (print) magazine (R.I.P.) some years ago which looked like normal articles but actually were ads only noticeable by some small print “Adverticement” hidden in a corner.

Website ads use the same technique of masking ads as content but I never seen one as bold as on http://www.hifi-forum.de (may not be the only site using this kind of “marketing”):

Screenshot

It actually looks like the yellow Internet Explorer warning bar at the top of the window which normally is used by the browser (and not the websites content) to show infos about a missing plugin or problem with a site (I think the Firefox bar coming up if e.g. you try to install a plugin from an unknown site looks similar). To do something like this in print one would have to put in a fake TOC or use the actual page numbering for ads I guess…

IMHO this kind of ad is more like phishing than ad (maybe one can consider any ad a kind of “phishing”). Anyway it does make the website absolutely non-trustworthy. In this case not very important as it is a forum about hifi stuff (probably visited mostly by freaks like me ;) ) but I also guess this will inspire other sites to do something like this…

BTW, is there a word like “inspire” which the here intended negative notion?

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