Ads on homepage?!


I logged in to my pro membership account this morning and saw that there was not one, but several ads being displayed on the Instructables homepage.  The worst of them is a giant video ad promoting a new show at the top of the page!  Can anyone explain to me why I'm suddenly seeing ads even though I'm a pro member??  I know that the organization needs revenue, but they got it in the form of membership money from me, so I should't have to see these ugly ads. This disappoints me tremendously...  

Picture of Ads on homepage?!
sort by: active | newest | oldest
ewilhelm6 years ago
Hi He11uvaCook,

Thanks for writing.

A pro membership specifically has fewer ads, not no ads. However, I can appreciate that your expectation after paying might be no ads. A pro membership reduces the number of ads by giving you all steps on one page and by not showing you any ads from ad networks, such as Google Adsense. That represents somewhere greater than 95% of the ads you might see. The ads that we allow to be shown to pro users are those sold by our in-house sales team. These are the campaigns that we think are the best fit with the Instructables community, and while free basic members see the creative from these campaigns throughout the site, pro members typically only see them on the homepage.

There are several reasons why we do this. 1) The creative of these campaigns tends to be pretty good, and we honestly think you are likely to be interested in what they are advertising. For example, I thought the Flying Car ads that were part of the Dean of Invention campaign, which you reference in your image, were fun -- I can respect that you have a differing opinion. 2) Some of the campaigns involve skins or other structural changes to the homepage, which do not run through our ad server. Since the ad server does most of the work regarding the ads themselves and who sees them, when something doesn't go through that server, it's currently difficult to separate it out for pro users. These campaigns tend to last only a few days, so we haven't put resources into changing that system. 3) Many of the advertising agencies who buy ad space on our site, also buy pro memberships to be a part of the community or get a deeper understanding of it. If they don't see their ads running when they check the homepage, we tend to get phone calls. Yes, this might sound a little crazy.

The language around pro memberships has always been fewer, not no, ads. If you feel we've been deceptive, please accept my apology, and I'll happily give you a refund.

If you think I make bad choices in the advertising campaigns I think you'll find interesting, I want to hear about it. Hopefully, knowing that there is someone behind the wheel, and that the campaigns themselves are of limited duration will give you some perspective.
He11uvaCook (author)  ewilhelm6 years ago
Hello Mr. Wilhelm!

Thank you very much for the well-written, thorough response to my post. I fully understand the position that Instructables is in and I can appreciate the fact that revenue needs to be generated. The limited amount of advertising displayed to pro members do seem relevant to the current contests and typically are scientific, inventor-oriented, or craft-related. I had just been surprised by the placement and the size of the Dean of Invention ad. It was a bit over-the-top on the obnoxious meter, but hey, I guess they can't all be winners. I will be checking out the show though, so I guess it was effective. :D

I want to reiterate what a terrific site Instructables is! This site is a priceless resource for DIY-ers & those of us that like to figure out and make things on our own! Thank you and your staff for all the hard work that you put into making this such a great website! I look forward to submitting my own instructables and building things that others have shared with the community!

Best regards,

Steve


He11uvaCook (author) 6 years ago
Apparently, I've spoken too soon. I am well aware that the site withholds the right to post ads if they are relevant to things like sponsored contests, but these ads have nothing to do with any of the current contests. They've since reappeared on my Instructables homepage and I'm not at all happy about it. They are big, gaudy, and obnoxious. I don't need distractions like these, particularly on a site where I've paid for a membership that is supposed to eliminate them.

I would greatly appreciate a response from an Instructables staff member.

Thank you,

Steve
Looks like you got your response, right from the top :-) Hopefully it was good enough.
He11uvaCook (author) 6 years ago


Hmm.... Strangely enough, the ads seemed to have disappeared since having posted this comment. Makes me wonder if this was a glitch related to an update to the site, or if this was something that was fixed because I had pointed it out. Either way, I've got no ads again and I'm a happy camper. :) Hopefully it remains this way!
Not a glitch, and hopefully Staff or Eric will post a forum topic about this. The "fine print" in the paid accounts is that ads are "limited", not eliminated. In particular, ads from specific contest sponsors or for products or items that are specifically related to Instructables' mission may be (and have been!) shown to paid members.

I do think the TV ads are a bit large and overbearing, but that's not always something which Instructables has control over.