11 April 2010

The reason why I don't have ads on my food blog (11 April 2010)


But wait there's more!

I've been noticing these google ads on many food blogs at the moment and I wonder how many people have actually watched the entire video presentation. After giving up twice I've finally watched the entire video which goes for over 25 minutes which isn't really '1 trick of a tiny belly' as advertsied. It's quite well marketed and runs through all the usual — this is who we are — we're here to help — this is the problem — this is the solution — you can trust us — this is how much it's worth — this is how much you'll only pay — but wait there's more — and this is our even better limited time offer special price etc.

Overall there seems to be some interesting points made throughout the presentation about what we should and shouldn't eat if you want to lose weight. I actually wonder how successful it is for food blogs to basically have infomercials linked to their website? And whether that means those food blogs are endorsing the product that they are advertising on their food blog? Has it made me want to buy the product — no. Have I learnt something — yes.

What do you think of third party advertising on food blogs?

The ads

The intro

The promise

The solution

The price

The money back guarantee

But wait there's more

The 'special' price


tasteofbeirut said...

Huh? I hate it!

Phuoc'n Delicious said...

Oh geez... Good on you for wasting your time watching this video and sharing it with us. I see that ad on most food blogs and think "what the?" I find it quite funny. There's no such thing as a diet; eat in moderation and do some physical exercise.. (Although I'm lacking the latter :P)

Sarah Vino said...

These ads are Bull sh*t! Unless you're a really good blogger thats getting paid heaps to have an ad, but otherwise this is just rubbish and I don't want to see crap on ppls blogs - I didn't visit the blog to see the crap, unless you visit a "fad diets galore" blog or whatever. Just looks messy and tacky. If u ever see me w an ad on my blog, it will b because I'm getting paid a lot for it, but even then I'd have to consider it.

Sarah Vino said...

By the way I'm a nutritionist too and it's all bull. It's simple, if you want to lose weight, PUT DOWN YA FORK!!! Or ask a professional, or even Me for dietary info/sheets, I specialise in weight loss in corporate environments where it's nearly impossible to lose weight. I've been paid a lot for my weight loss work and I'll give it to you for Free! Not that u need to worry Simon! Anyway, it's sad these ads that also attack our self esteem.

Elaine@Three Wise Pigs said...

Hahaha good post. I always wondered why there is a dieting ad in a food blog. The irony!

I can't believe you wasted 25 minutes of your time watching the video - I dare not touch the link - time is too short!

phonakins said...

I'm in the process of filtering the ads like that out. Took me long enough, but you've given me the push I need

Simon Food Favourites said...

hi tasteofbeirut, i generally ignore any ads i see on blogs myself.

hi phuoc, actually after sitting through the entire presentation they actually didn't even mention anything about exercise. i agree, a healthy diet with exercise is best and try and avoid highly processed foods.

hi sarah, it is a shame that many blogs have crappy ads being added but i guess they're hoping to make money from it. i hate advertising at the best of times anyway. there's just too much of it in this world and it's really hard to avoid in any medium. i like how you say 'put down your fork' hehe if you're willing to share a few good tips and facts about weightloss and what to eat and not eat i'd love for you to email to me. i think my metabolism isn't as good as it used to be so i'm always keen to know what i should be aware of. ads/marketing is always attacking our self esteem, i totally agree.

hi elaine, and if you interrupt the session of watching it it starts again because it's not like a youtube video where you can pause it ahhhhh

hi phonakins, good luck in filtering the ads. i think if it doesn't add anything to your website/blog then it should really be there. i think it sometimes just makes blogs look messy and turns me off wanting to visit them.

billy @ a table for two said...

Simon, I disagree with you by jumping conclusion that serving ads on blogs are inappropriate simply based on one ill executed banner ad. If you want me to use a harsh analogy on your perception, then you are basically make up your mind that all Muslims in Afghanistan are terrorists, because there is a Osama bin Laden.

A misleading diet banner ad has nothing to do with our bloggers' integrity of having banner ads on our blogs. If you have ever work in advertising/media agencies, then you would know the banner ads are usually scheduled in time slots to be published on blogs, websites etc. Bloggers don't choose what banners to be displayed on the blogs, it is the ad publishers, in this instance "GOOGLE", is the one who decides to put that diet ads on our blogs.

I don't see anything wrong by having ads on blogs, we all do have bills to pay after all. In contrary, you are publicly announced on your blog that you will review a restaurant if they simply "feed you" and you will blog about it. If I am not wrong, isn't that a form of payment, perhaps not in monetary, and you are indirectly "advertising" for the restaurants in return favor?

My 2 cents, food for thoughts.

Simon Food Favourites said...

hi billy, thanks for the 2 cents worth although i think it's more $2 worth ;-). actually glad you think it's an ill executed banner ad anyway. i'm not sure how you got onto the analogy of muslims in Afghanistan are terrorists though, that's a bit of a stretch. please keep in mind i'm not trying to talk about integrity but i guess of awareness and perhaps control of what ads are being shown. a lot of the ads which come through google seem to be quite tacky and look more like spam than ads of substance and something that's perhaps not fully supported by the food blogger allowing them on their blog. i agree we all have bills to pay and i guess that's why we have a day job. for those wanting to make money through their blog then that's their choice and i take my hat off to anyone that can making a living from it but it's such a shame it has to be somewhat achieved by subjecting readers to spam like ads. stating that i'm available to review a restaurant is i guess a form of advertisement but it's one that i'm sure most food blogs would consider if approached. but i wouldn't consider it the same as a google ad which you don't have any control over what's being broadcast and also might not even support, or have reviewed in depth of the product being advertised or know what it's even about. thanks for adding the comment as it's refreshing to have more in depth dialogue about the subject and it's very much appreciated :-)

billy @ a table for two said...

you said, "i wouldn't consider it the same as a google ad which you don't have any control over what's being broadcast and also might not even support"

Then, how do you control by only accepting invite from restaurants that only provide "good food" guaranteed every single time without any prior experience at those restaurants?

billy @ a table for two said...

And also the title of your post, "The reason why I don't have ads on my food blog", you are basically generalised all the ad publishers, all banner ads that served on blogs, but not just the diet ad that served by Google that you are having issues with.

isn't it true?

To Each Their Own said...

Hi Simon,

Can I ask what were your intentions with this? You are entitled to your opinions of course, but were your intentions to put bloggers down or to make yourself sound righteous? Do you think it's fair of you to arrogantly pass judgement and question a blogger's integrity just because they offer ad space on their blog? There's a lot of bloggers out there who offer ads (and a large number of them who use Google Adsense) that you're pointing the finger at btw.

It's ironic that while you're declaring your anti-ads stance, you are inadvertently advertising yourself when you're offering to take photos, review and blog about a place in exchange for an invite, samples or a free meal. A case of 'pot calling the kettle black'.

It's also strange that while you're deriding Diet Solution Program, you are openly displaying their web address with their link up top with your post title. Not to mention that you're including large screenshots of their ads for all to see clearly. Much more effective than trying to prompt readers to notice their little insignificant Google Ad on some blog and actually getting them to click on it. Indirect advertising, an advertorial on Simon Food Favourites (however negative it was), free publicity and the fact that you yourself clicked through and watched all 25 minutes of their ads? A win for Diet Solution Program all round I say.

Simon @ the heart of food said...

Dude, I'm seriously lost for words. I'm not entirely sure how to take this post.

There is the implication by the post title (well, now by comments too) that you're admonishing bloggers that have these spam-like ads within their posts, or seemingly ads in general.

However, when I read through the post itself, I not only come away with an entirely different message, I question whether this has really been thought through.

On the one hand you have your (now, by your comment responses) clear stance on spam ads. However, the whole post consists of a rather large sample of these said ads (at least in image form).

Not only that but you've also, through what I presume you take to be your charitable endeavour for the cause of food bloggers of "taking one for the team", watched the full infomercial video. Surprising to me, rather than being scathing, I sense that you've given it a positive spin by virtue that there was something to be learned from the video.

Then there is the clickable link to the company behind the spam ad at the very top of the post. You know, by placing the link right at the top just below the post title, there is the slim chance that someone may click on it accidently, click on it intentionally out of curiousity but also lend some legitimacy to the site for ranking purposes? Also, being at the top, it's guaranteed to show up in RSS feeds, lending further legitimacy to the site link.

Maybe it's just me (other readers feel free to express your opinion on this one), but you've done a far better job in this post alone of advertising this brand and communicating its message than the very ads that you have issue with. If you were to look at the contents of the post alone without your supplementary comments, I'd swear that this was an advertorial, or at least some requirement to be a part of an affiliate program (they do have a couple of programs for this site; I did my research).

I won't even go into the notion of whether you've obtained permission to use these images.

To answer the questions you've raised in your post.

"...wonder how successful it is for food blogs to basically have infomercials linked to their website?"

The success of what you're referring to wasn't clear to me, but whether it be the success of the ad or of the blog, in either case, it's all about the content of blog. If the content is good, the blog tends to be successful, regardless of these ads. The ads are likely more successful due to the increased traffic of the blog. I don't believe the ads have any real influence on this.

"whether that means those food blogs are endorsing the product that they are advertising on their food blog?"

You could see it as tacit approval but I don't believe most people would. Advertorials, or just positive comments on a product or service, on the other hand are another matter entirely.

Dude, I want to make one thing clear. The purpose of this comment isn't to attack you personally. However, I serious question whether you've thought through what you're actually communicating versus what you were trying to in this post and with subsequent comments.

People aren't going to applaude your charity and respect your views if you're going to take a backhanded approached, whether it be a post like this on your blog, or comments on other blogs. This sort of thing, from the way I see it, just alientates you from the rest of the blogging community.

Also, with the amount of self marketing that you have on your site, some might see your stance on ads and making money from them to be somewhat hypocritical. I'm not saying that you are. I'm just saying it can be seen that way.

I'd appreciate your view on this matter. However, please be mindful of the direction of where those comments might take you and how readers will likely perceive them.

Phil Lees said...

If you don't want to see that ad on your site, login to Adsense, go to Adsense setup > Competitive Ad Filter and block them.

Then sign up for Ad review centre (https://www.google.com/adsense/arc-signup) and filter out the entire categories of Cosmetic Procedures & Body Modification, Drugs & Supplements, Get Rich Quick, Weight Loss; and any of the other spammy categories. Then none of your audience will ever see it, and you get served higher quality ads.

Simon Food Favourites said...

hi billy, to each their own, and simon, thanks for spending the time to make your comments. you've touched on some valid points. i think i've moved away from the topic a bit and you've helped me think about what i was actually trying to say in the first place which was more asking a question to all readers which is 'What do you think of third party advertising on food blogs?'. personally for me i generally ignore it although the reason i clicked on this particular ad was more due to curiosity and had some spare 'bored' time and wondered why it was appearing nearly everywhere. i like your comment about 'taking one for the team' which was also in the back of my mind. i think i'm the only one who has sat through the entire ad and my screen grabs of it was to break it down to anyone that might have been curious about it — but hopefully will save them time in not clicking on it, unless of course they're actually interested. i was not trying to question any bloggers integrity if they had ads on their blog. perhaps one day i even may have ads myself but for now i choose not too. it seems the only reason why one would have ads on their blog is for money, i can't seem to find any other reason why one would. if blogs didn't get paid for having ads on their blogs then i'm sure they wouldn't be there at all. unfortunately it's a fact of life these days that ads are everywhere we look. it's a fair comment to say 'pot calling the kettle black' but i'd like to think i have ownership over what is seen on my blog. and you are right in saying that now that i've done a blog about The Diet Solution it seems it of benefit for them which is sad but never mind. it's used as a case in point.

hi phil, thanks for the info about the google ads. i'm sure this might be of interest to some bloggers. i don't have google ads but it's interesting to know about this and that there's spammy categories and higher quality ads available. I think ads about food events like Taste of Sydney and SIFF for me would be considered relevant and higher quality ads which would be of interest to most food bloggers and their readers. or even ads about cooking classes from quality suppliers.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else finding this exchange a tad on the humourous side? :)

The Ninja said...

I agree with anonymous.

Then again, I slay targets for fun and profit. Not sure I have any place in a serious discussion about such matters.

Anonymous said...

Hey Simon...just wondering. Do you by any chance still use a 4:3 monitor? As in the square shape ones rather than the TV style rectangular ones. Random question...please forgive me :P


Simon Food Favourites said...

hi anonymous, i'm glad you see the humor in it ;-) it's a bit all over the top isn't it.

hi The Ninja, i guess we all have a particular view, it's just whether we are willing to share it or not.

hi anonymous (same one?), it is a random question but happy to answer. my monitor is an imac so i guess that's a normal screen these days. if you're referring to possibly the shape of the screen grabs i took then that's actually the size of the ad presentation which isn't the shape of my actual monitor. hope this answers your query :-) i think they might have created it in powerpoint or something similar.

The Ninja said...


Any writer of any worth knows that sometimes it's what you don't say which counts the most.

Make of that what you will.

Cordial regards,

The Ninja.

Simon Food Favourites said...

Mr Ninja, you are a wise soul indeed :-)

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