Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Advertising, the web and feminism

As recently seen on feministing:

You may have recently noticed some changes to the advertising on Feministing, which is part of our work to more effectively monetize the site. We are still getting used to the new system and set up and as a result, some offensive ads have been getting through recently.[..]That said, since we are truly trying to become a sustainable entity, there is a certain extent to which we will take cash from companies we don’t love (and might even critique on the site). There’s a difference between the written content on Feministing and our advertising – something we are confident, you as readers, are fluent and savvy enough to recognize. [...] We draw the line at anti-choice ads and offensive weight loss ads (if an ad was actually health focused, we might look at it differently, but weight loss ads always seem to be as offensive and unhealthy as possible). These advertisers are tricky – they’re targeting our site because we do write about those issues. And they’re constantly generating new click thru urls, so when we get rid of an ad a new one pops up. Please note this is not intentional on our part and something we are working to fix. That’s where you come in. We need your help to keep the site free of anti-choice and body shaming messages.

Also as one commenter suggested using add block:

Sadly that can keep us from making ad revenue

This above is not a critique of feministing. I understand that having such a site and blogging costs money and that having ads on a site can be tricky / problematic. I have seen this with quite a few MRA boards that have horrible ads. This is merely just a reminder that advertisements is not necessarily a fair game (and also that this could lead to horrible own goals by feministing themselves). I am reminded of a post by the NOW blog (yeah I read a lot of blogs, it is also not a good blog) where one poster complains about the google generated adds on Wikihow:

Love yourself. Sounds simple and complex all at the same time but fear not WikiHow has 10 simple steps for you to love yourself better. While I don't have a problem with Wiki's tips, I do have a problem with the ads on the page. [...] Not only is it offensive that the male-dominated advertising world assumes only women need to love themselves better, but the ads themselves are just plain offensive. I would not be as put off if the ads were for shoes or clothes. Honestly, I probably would not have even noticed. It is, however, hard to ignore these ads. The fact that women need to change or to avoid certain behaviors to keep a man seems contradictory to a page dedicated to loving oneself better. While this may not be as glaring as a problem as other issues, the problem lies in its subtlety. It lies in the fact that no one in the male-dominated advertising world was trying to be offensive, but that they just didn't think about it. Before there can be a change in society there needs to be a change in thinking. That is what is so damaging from these ads.

1 comment:

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