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Political Contextual Advertising

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When a site like this one makes the decision to put up advertising from ad networks such as Google Adsense, it loses some capacity to make a quick first impression.

Years ago when the fears of Indian outsourcing was at its peak and people in the U.S. were terrified of job losses, a company put up a Web site in defense of the American workers. When the company decided to monetize the site via Adsense, it was horrified to find out that most of the ads were touting outsourcing to countries such as India and Philippines. In other words the contextual ads were conveying a message opposite of the site's intended one and some users faced with those ads probably regarded the site as pro-outsourcing.

John McCain Google AdsenseThe image to the right is exactly about the same issue. Here is an ad by John McCain that has been coming up on this site for a few days now. It's quite possible that visitors to this site, upon seeing the ad, infer that this site is about politics or it's even pro-Republican.

Yes, I am interested in politics, no, I'm not pro-Republican (certainly not in its neo-con incarnation), and right now I don't really have a strong opinion about McCain or any other potential candidates. I do consider most politicians as greedy hypocrites and I may indulge in a rare pro-liberal banter in my blog, but this site as a whole is politically neutral. Anyone from any camp is welcome here, yet I wonder how many visitors, seeing this ad, would actually make that distinction.


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