February 16 2019

You Won Ads – The blight of the internet

“You Won!” ads may be the greatest blight on the internet ever.

As someone who works in online publishing, nothing saddens me more than when a reader messages me accusing the sites I work for running these awful “You Won!” ads. They complain (rightfully so) about how they can’t read the article, and it’s a horrible experience.

The problem is, however, is that no one really knows where these ads come from and I don’t think enough people talk about that.

These ads are never endorsed or condoned by the sites they appear on. What these people do is they place a normal ad into a network with a tiny piece of script attached. When that script fires, it send in the rogue ad that directs you to these completely useless sites.

To be honest, I’m not even sure how these people make money, but they must be making some to keep doing it.

I feel not enough is done about these ads at a much higher level. We have laws saying how I have to declare anytime someone gives me something to review that I don’t need to return, but no one does a blasted thing about these ads. Readers get angry with us for running such horrible ads, and the sad truth is we have no idea they’re even there until someone says something to us.

What they really like to do? Target weekends, late night U.S. times, and holidays. When they know a site has less staff around and we’ll be slower to react. I love those times. Nothing like spending what little free time I have trying to hunt down these ads.

I can honestly say, if I ever found who runs these ads, I would gladly punch them. They harm my readers, and they harm me, and I just think it’s about time something was done about them.

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General Rants