Ad Choices

You have no choice - The Anti-Social MediaOn every other banner ad, I see a tiny logo that says “Ad Choices.”

Like I have any choice but to ignore your crappy banner ad.

Ugh, ok, fine. You have to make money. I get that.

So I click the Ad Choices logo, and it pulls up a window that says, “Hey, we’re stalking you so we can make more money off of you. Click here to read our overly long and obscure privacy policy.”

Well that’s not happening.

So, I’m presented with a list of eleven companies collecting my data. Eleven companies are collecting my data just from one crappy banner ad. And that’s not counting whatever other crap is stalking me that I don’t know about.

What’s even worse? Three of those eleven companies don’t allow me to opt out.


Who decided that you could track my browsing habits just because your crappy banner ad was served on a blog I read? I can see how this went down:

Advertiser 1: We need more information about people who ignore our banner ads. What can we do?

Advertiser 2: What if we put a cookie in the banner ad to track every site a person goes to without their knowledge?

Advertiser 1: Isn’t that a bit creepy?

Advertiser 2: Nah. We’ll just call it “Ad Choices” to give people the illusion that they have a choice. But then we won’t allow them to opt out.


I get it that advertisers need to make money. I get it that they’re probably going to be stalking me anyways. But seriously, what idiot decided to call it Ad Choices? If I don’t have a choice to opt out, there is no choice.

Why don’t you just be honest and call them Targeted Ads or Stalking Ads or whatever that actually makes sense and doesn’t lie to people?


2 Responses to Ad Choices

  1. Jack Martin February 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Yeah that’s some real bull. Probably the creepiest ads to me are retargeting ads that follow me around from site to site. “Still interested in buying the new LMFAO cd?” No! I clicked on that page once on accident and now those talentless freaks follow me around everywhere.


  1. The Marketing Data Creep-Out | Jaggers Communications: Change the Conversation - February 23, 2012

    [...] I’m not sure what’s creepier—that Target (and no doubt many others) collect data in this much detail about someone without their knowledge, or that it’s so powerful and predictive. I have to admit that my first reaction to this article is that I wanted to quit using debit cards forever and seriously dial back my social media use. I felt violated and dirty, and it wasn’t even about me. Jay Dolan wrote a hilarious post about this as well, right here. [...]