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Questionable advertisements? Answered

Given the apparent demographics of Instructables users, do you think perhaps inline advertisements that read "Don't click unless you're 18" (with no other indication of content type, and in flash so you can't even see the destination URL) MIGHT be a bit ... inappropriate? This particular ad linked to some sort of "love compatibility horoscope" service (bites tongue), so it could have been worse; I'm mostly complaining about the STYLE of ad.


I just saw one its says,"Want to see something scary click this must be over 18" i hat these ads.

The idea of the ad IS to attract people under 18, as they are the demographic who will be most interested in such service. The ad’s approach exploits the adventurous/curious nature of the age group. Such tactic works well in the Internet because people know they are (somewhat) anonymous and can get away with being a little naughty.

If the ad goes Do not click if you are above 18 chances are more folks above the age of 18 will be tempted to click it.. :)

In this particular case, I am in fact objecting more to the style of ad than the content provided by the advertiser. Pretty much in the same way that I object to most MSDS info; the net result is to encourage people to ignore warnings, and to believe that people don't mean what they say.

What's wrong with MSDS info? L (I dislike the style of most ads)

They tend to be filled with "boiler plate" standard safety precautions for industrial handling of ... ANYTHING that make "safe" chemicals sound dangerous, and disguise the true dangers of more dangerous chemicals. The MSDS for salt, for instance, insists you wear lab coat, goggles, and proper gloves, dispose of excess in an approved manner according to local regulations, and wants you to wear pretty fancy fire fighting gear in the event of a fire. It warns against possible residue in "empty" containers, and boldly says causes eye irritation."
And this particular instance is a reasonably GOOD MSDS. The fine print mentions the normal salty state of eye fluids, there's quantitative info on just how poisonous it is, and the respirator recommendations mention "where exposure to dust or mist is apparent." MSDS are supposed to be readable by non-technical workers, but in fact you need above average education to make any real sense of the information there.

It's a LOT like labeling your 90% innocuous content as "over 18 only" as a marketing gimik, and then wonder why "kids today" wouldn't hesitate to click on the occasional link that says "over 18 only" that really does lead to things the law might rate as "contributing to the delenquincy of a minor."

All my kids are already well acquainted with the idea that they have to claim to be a certain age when registering at most sites if they want to be able to access major parts of the site content. We're talking places like "neopets.com" Sigh.

MSDS is a standardaised format, you'r bound to find a black & white methodology giving odd advice. Imagine consumer products advertising themselves in this way: "Cleans hair and skin" "fragrances" "may cause eye irritation" "anti-aging properites 0.01%" "social status quotient 5.6 %" etc... L

> What's wrong with MSDS info? . If you don't know how to read them, they will scare the bejeezus out of ya.

Ya i saw that seems a little weird.

I don't think ads should say "Don't click if you aren't 18" they should say "Don't click if you have common sense."


10 years ago

I too use AdBlock Plus, sorry Instructables.

I have seen it, but if you log in you don't see the adds, I don't click them anyway

the hippies stick together

I think the format is intended to grab attention, and the site itself seems pretty tame. It's not a great fit with Instructables, so I suspect the ad won't generate many positive leads and will eventually stop running. However, if there's a strong feeling that that specific ad is making the experience here poor, I'll ban that company from advertising on Instructables.

. I don't think the comment was as much about that particular ad as it was about "mature" ads on a site that encourages and attracts mostly teens. . It's your site, but I also don't think "adult" ads fit the Instructables "image". They won't scare me off (not much I haven't seen after 51 yrs, so I just ignore/block them), but might concern the parents of someone the age of your average visitor.

I agree with that. I have Firefox with AdBlock Plus, so I never see advertisements unless I'm on a different computer. However, I was showing one of my Instructables to my mother, who is of course always right, and on the side there were two or three "18+" ads that she saw. I didn't even know they were there, but since a large percentage of the Instructables community seems to be in high school, the ads don't seem quite site-appropriate.


10 years ago

True, why does it say "Don't click unless you are 18!"? I guess the ad-maker just figured that would attract people, even those under 18. And it's true, a large portion of this site is made up of people like me, young teens. The ads don't really bother me, but why? Love horoscopes don't have to do with much here.