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Sleazy ads are disappointing. Answered

I'm disappointed by your sleazy American Apparel ads featuring half-naked women. It is gratuitous and uncalled for. As a father I am doubly disappointed because I know that my children have frequented your site as well. The thing is, I really like your site and have told people about it. Now I find myself considering blocking your site at my home and at my children's schools.

Look, I'm not a prude--far from it. But your site seems to be migrating from classy to trashy, and that really disappoints me. I would expect this behavior from mens magazine sites, but I thought you folks had a little more class than that.



7 years ago

We block sleazy ads as we find them, but new ones sneak through. Thanks for the update, we'll keep an eye out.

Thanks, that's awesome. I'm sorry if I misjudged Instructables. I have upgraded to a PRO membership.

You probably don't realize (unless you watch the rapidly changing URLs which appear at the bottom of your browser window) that Instructables has nothing to do with any of the ads which appear on the site.

Instructables is paid by third-party "brokers" like Google, AdSense, and others to provide empty space on the Web pages. Those third party companies then randomly select and display ads in those empty spaces.

The ad content itself is often adjusted according to the end user's IP address, so that I'bles viewers in the UK see British ads, for example.

Instructables itself has nothing to do with any of this, except for a very small number of specific "sponsorship" ads (like the Craftsman ads during the Craftsman tools contests).

Not entirely true, most ad companies allow the site to taylor ads by category, meaning turn off some categories.

Yeah I use Adsense and it lets you choose which ad providers to allow. There's also a setting that prompts you to approve any new ads. This takes a lot of constant supervision to maintain, though.

Yeah, I thought they responded well to my concerns, so I upgraded to Pro. Small gesture, but I appreciate that they are trying to do the right thing.

> Instructables itself has nothing to do with any of this
. One can delegate authority, but not responsibility. Maybe Robot should find another ad broker(s).

He better! We have our own brand of smut peddling to do, competition out!

Thanks, kelseymh, for your helpful remarks. Yeah, I'm aware that ads are selected at runtime, but instructables has ultimate control over what appears on their site and they are fully capable of denying salacious ads. I respect their right to display things I don't like on their site as well--I can "vote with my feet," and I will.

You're right, but that process isn't instantaneous. It requires members (like yourself) to notify staff directly with as much information as possible so they know what to block and whom to contact. There is an e-mail address at the bottom of every page which gets the direct attention of senior staff (unlike "random" forum topics).

If you can tell them where in the U.S. (or world) you're located, exactly which ads are involved, where on the page they appear (the size and position can help narrow down the source), and how frequently you're getting them, all of that will assist.

You're right. I assumed they approved of all of the ads because the ads are so ubiquitous, but I should give them the benefit of the doubt. I couldn't find such a link when I made my original post (in fact, I didn't even realize I was posting on a forum--color me stupid. I just drilled down until I saw "feedback," posted and moved on to other things.) I'll give what you said a try.

Thanks for your well-considered, rational comments. Such things are exceedingly rare in the free-for-all that we call the Internet.


I see you got a reply from Christy; I'm glad you were able to get your concerns resolved!

I'm disappointed my PRO membership does not allow those ads to pass through so they are displayed. Then some members would complain that they are not nekkid enough.

Really, yes you have a right to protect what your kids run into on the site. But as discussed elsewhere in many forum topics, the site has to pay the bills, sometimes the ad service puts through some questionable ads, the audience is for age 13 and above, younger with parental permission and some content will be objectionable, call it art. If those American Apparel ads are just like the ones in print and signs in public places, kids are already exposed to it. There are more offensive or questionable ads out there. Just surf responsibly as you see fit.

The DIY community operates on the fringe. I would expect no less.

. I agree, it is quite obvious that you are an obvious troll.

I don't only object to the ads for my children. I object to them myself. They exploit and objectify women to make a buck. Sleazy is the word.

Sex sells. Marketing 101. Cancel your internet now.

Sex may sell, but I didn't come to instructables for sex and I shouldn't have to be subjected to sleaze because I enjoy making things. I also object to sleazy billboard ads and I make an effort to avoid the products of companies that employ inappropriate advertising. Will those companies notice my boycott? Probably not, but at least I'm not encouraging sleaze. For the same reason I won't buy a pro membership here while they are running that type of ad.

But if you had a pro membership, you wouldn't be seeing the ads! Contributing to your own problem here ;)

Well now I can't, as that would be rewarding the behavior that offends me. But a deliberate decision was made by someone that making money is more important than being socially responsible. I'm as offended by their ads as a PETA member might be offended if they ran ads for mink coats or sirloin steak. Ironically, I would defend their right to run either type of ad. However, now they have lost a potential customer, me. It's a simple business decision: you can't please everyone and they don't care about me. I can live with that. However, I used to tell people about this website; I will never do that again. In fact, quite the opposite. Will they notice? No, probably not. But if everyone voted with their feet, businesses would eventually get the message.

The ads come from a third party so it's hard to filter them as they are constantly changing.

I have to say that I have never seen a sleazy ad. on this site.

Apparently it was just my bad luck. I assumed because I saw several ads that it was widespread, but apparrntly I was wrong. As penance, I bought a pro membership. :)

Good on Ya. That's an Aussie approval.

I tend to agree with you and thank you for mentioning it. I would suggest you look into selective ad blocking the images at the router level. That way you can allow the majority of ads and block the objectionable ones. The other option is to upgrade to a pro account and disable ads altogether.

I like the idea of selective ad blocking. I'll check it out. Thanks.

Just install an ad-blocker/script in your browser.

As commented elsewhere on this topic, the adverts are placed by Google etc, and not under the direct control of the site.

However, if you find a particular advert objectionable, make a note of the url to which it directs (hover over the ad and look to the bottom-left of the screen, or right-click on the ad and copy the address).

Then, contact the site (email address to bottom-right of page) with the details of your concerns, and they can instruct the ad-placement company not to place it again.


hey kiteman, i was wondering if you got my pm?

You'll have to wait until Big Brother approves it. :P

Another option: never look at ads on the web again! http://adblockplus.org/en/ Try it out, it's great!

While that is possible, it will eventually lead to Instructables shutdown or conversion to full pay, it is better to simply tailor ads, that way the site makes money to stay open AND maintains the highest number of users/ contributors.

I would love the ability to tailor ads to my preferences. That would be a great compromise position for instructables.