I don’t endorse this crap

Please be aware that I do not endorse any of the products being advertised by Proximic at the bottom of the side bar on the right. I am responsible for the content of the side bar on the left and, of course, for all of the written material on this blog, but I have no control over the products that appear in the “Related Ads”, or, for that matter, anything in the column on the right.

If I had my way, the Proximic ads would be removed altogether, because they look very tacky and, more importantly, they advertise rubbish such as the Neurology & Psychology of Masculinity audio cassette, by one Dr. Philip Mango, who is associated with a dubious-sounding organization called the National Forum on the Theology of the Body.


  1. #1 The Ridger
    April 12, 2008

    I don’t go around suggesting software to people (let alone OSs), but Flashblock means I don’t even see those ads…

  2. #2 Mo
    April 12, 2008

    Good point Ridger. I forget to suggest that readers who have not already done so might like to install some ad block software.

  3. #3 dos antos
    April 12, 2008

    Another solution is to use Firefox with the Adblock Plus and NoScript add-ons. As The Ridger, I didn’t even know what you were talking about until I turned them off.

  4. #4 Hank Roberts
    April 12, 2008

    Vonnegut told us that the Tralfamadorians communicate by tapdancing and farting. So does the advertising industry.

  5. #5 Anthony Knox
    April 12, 2008

    Aren’t the ads in the right sidebar how you make money from your blog?

    If you don’t “endorse” the ads, doesn’t principle dictate that you don’t accept the revenue?

  6. #6 Anthony Knox
    April 12, 2008

    One more thing: Is it really ethical to accept ad revenue after suggesting to your readers that they use ad-blocking software?

  7. #7 Eyal Ben David
    April 12, 2008

    I didn’t understand what you’re talking about, and then I remembered… Firefox. yeah. 🙂

  8. #8 pxcampbell
    April 12, 2008

    Funny, but my ads are about solid cherry wrap-around bars (as in for the dispensing of alcohol), sunglasses, and Verizon phones.

    Our cookies tell all about our tastes….. (or whatever the thingy is that Proximic reads to determine what we might be interested in).

  9. #9 Mo
    April 12, 2008

    Anthony: I don’t receive any of the revenue generated by the ads, and I see nothing wrong with telling readers that I don’t endorse them, because I want to dissociate myself as much as I can from the products.

  10. #10 Terence
    April 12, 2008

    Mo: Anthony didn’t challenge you on the ethics of announcing you don’t endorse the products. He specifically was concerned about you suggesting that your readers use ad blocking software.

    And although you receive no revenue from the ads directly, presumably you entered into an agreement with ScienceBlogs in which you a) understood and agreed that they would place ads along the top, right, and bottom of the page; and b) determined that you benefitted sufficiently from the arrangement to allow them to do so.

    So the questions is whether you’re getting the benefit while also seeking to undermine ScieceBlog’s benefit.

  11. #11 Mo
    April 12, 2008

    The way I see it, Anthony’s is a moot point, because my miniscule renumeration hasn’t change since the ads were placed. Plus, I wasn’t the one who brought up ad blocking, and I would not have, had it not been for the first comment.

  12. #12 Raiko
    April 12, 2008

    Personally, I think it’s quite alright to speak up against those ads. Maybe the people who run scienceblogs will at least consider thinking about whether these ads really suit scienceblogs.

  13. #13 David Harmon
    April 12, 2008

    Another user of NoScript and AdBlock here. However, I suspect a polite complaint to the SEED Overlords would get the offenders booted off the Scienceblogs site rotation PDQ.

  14. #14 John Stewart
    April 12, 2008

    It is perfectly correct to speak out against the ads since the reality is that you do not endorse them and nor are you responsble for them. So it is right to say so lest there be any confusion.

    Raiko agreed. If enough sciencebloggers speak out, then perhaps that particular arrangement would be looked at more closely.

  15. #15 Mo
    April 12, 2008

    David: the SEED people insist on keeping the ads, despite many complaints.

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