Anyway, I've got ads on this site. To some extent, it's because I'm a guy fascinated by algorithms, algorithms by Google determine which ads go here, and it amazes me who decides to bid on the spaces I have here.
Of course, in no way do I endorse "Quantum Jumping," "Maharishi University of Management," or of course, Genpo Roshi. I'll let 'em in though a) because if you want to find out what they are you can always google 'em anyway, and b) if they want to pay me, and I call them bunk, who am I to turn down their ad-click dollars? (I do block Scientology, though, as I think that is beyond the pale when it comes to religious hucksterism. I also wouldn't sponsor crack-dealers on this website.)
And, as Donald Sutherland famously said in "Little Murders," it's all right. Evidently my credibility of criticizing certain groups, Buddhist or not, and the credibility of those groups is only affected insofar as they respond directly to my critiques, and vice-versa. Or at least that's what Campbell's and Progresso might have discovered:
Companies that were once content to fight in grocery-store aisles and on television commercials are now choosing a different route — filing lawsuits and other formal grievances challenging their competitors’ claims. Longtime foes like Pantene and Dove, Science Diet and Iams, AT&T and Verizon Wireless, and Campbell Soup and Progresso have all wrestled over ads recently.
The number of complaints over ads from competitors filed with the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the industry’s main self-regulatory program for national ads, is on track to set a record this year. There have been 82 formal complaints so far in 2009, after last year’s record of 84 challenges, a sharp increase from 62 in 2007 and 52 in 2006.
The number of complaints over ads from competitors filed with the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the industry’s main self-regulatory program for national ads, is on track to set a record this year. There have been 82 formal complaints so far in 2009, after last year’s record of 84 challenges, a sharp increase from 62 in 2007 and 52 in 2006...
Last fall, Campbell Soup started an ad campaign that said its Select Harvest soups were “Made with TLC” while labeling Progresso soups, from its rival General Mills, “Made with MSG.” Progresso responded with its own campaign, and then both companies complained to the advertising review division, which recommended withdrawal of some ads from both sides.
The damage was already done. Unit sales in the General Mills category that includes Progresso (called, unappetizingly, ready-to-serve wet soups) rose in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with the same quarter a year earlier, said Information Resources, a research firm in Chicago.
But since then, unit sales of wet soups at both companies have declined every quarter. A UBS analyst, David Palmer, attributed the drop largely to the advertising battle.
So there you have it.
What fascinates me is how reptilian the Google model is by comparison.
They don't care where they advertise, and most advertisers don't care what the forum that they're using is saying about them.
There's limits, though.
But just in case you see some wild and wacky ads on my site, please don't think I endorse them, but if they endorse me, even though I think they're bunk, who am I to turn down their money? As long as they're not doing what I think is measurable, serious harm to people I don't think I'll ban them.
And feel free to click, click, away at those wacky websites! Every click grants me more money!