The ads are placed by a subscription service, not by SparkPeople. They don't get to approve what does and doesn't run. The ads are chosen for each person based on keywords in other sites you've visited, or at random. (Try searching for inexpensive motels, for example, and for the next six months you'll get Red Roof Inn ads. On second thought, don't try it; take my word! That's what made me install AdBlocker!) SparkPeople doesn't control the ads; pretty much all they can do is ban an ad if it's offensive or a scam, and even then people have to report it or they'll never know it ran since the ads are individualized.
I have an ad blocker add-on to my browser. It's free, and I do not see any ads except the ones that a company puts on its own site. In other words, when I'm on SparkPeople I see ads for the SparkPeople books and merchandise, but nothing else. Sometimes I feel a little guilty because I know Spark and a lot of other free sites I enjoy are losing revenue, but until the advertisers quit running obnoxious things that show up in inappropriate sites, I don't feel guilty enough to turn the ads back on.
Another option, though, is to express yourself to the advertiser. If you write to Mars Candy and tell them you're never going to buy M&Ms or Snickers ever again because you're so offended that they advertise on weight loss sites, that might get them to back off.
| current weight: 132.0