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BRAVELUTE Posts: 3,966
3/14/13 9:50 A

I find that adds pop up about what appears in my blogs also, it's not just online shopping. Around Halloween, I was talking about the eye candy in the ads appearing on my spark page. I don't remember what the ad was for, but a ripped hunk was staring at me from both sides of my page. Later that afternoon, he disappeared and was replaced with ads for candy/chocolate covered nuts that don't melt; 3 of them. One on each side bar and a banner ad across the top. Now I spell candy ydnac, and I don't get any more ydnac ads.

There's a text ad on the bottom of the page I'm typing on right now that has a phrase: Helps you Stay on Track. This ad could feasibly pop up on just about anyone's page because we tract nutrition, tract exercise and stay on tract.

I know I'm spelling it wrong. Perhaps an ad will pop up now on reading material or buying land in the swamps of Louisianna.

I understand the problem the ads present for those of us who are sent off on uncontrollable binges for just looking at an ad for a trigger food. I could swear I could smell that chocolate candy when the ads appeared.

For those of you who have felt the need to come down on those who have a real problem with this, consider how alcoholics are affected by seeing an alcoholic beverage, by just having a taste.

Some ads are very strong triggers for many people dealing with the problem of weight loss. And they don't seem to fit in a place dealing with weight loss where you think you'd be safe from having to see your triggers. It seems easy for lots of you to say "eat anything in moderation." But I find if i use calories for those calorie dense foods, that I don't get in my recommended daily dose of fruits and veggies, fiber, calcium, iron, etc. Though I don't have ANY problem reaching my calorie maximum goal. So I figure for my health, it is better to stay away from calorie dense foods and focus on nutrient dense foods. I have no problem with chocolate. I include cocoa or cacao nibs daily in my menu planning. But a chocolate candy bar will set me off on a binge.So will a commercial for chocolate candy bars.

I don't know the answer. Staff at Sp must do something to make ends meet. Spark Guy looks like he hasn't had a good meal or a chocolate candy bar in 2 months. ; ) So we get down to the nitty gritty of this free service. How do they PAY for the work that needs to be done, things like buy servers, pay for the connection time, pay for web design and site maintenance, compensate coaches for their expertise, time, and personal coaching; pay for research done to keep current with the huge amount of information bombarding us about nutrition, exercise, health. I think most of us would be very surprised at the SP budget--what DOES get paid and what DOESN't. And how much money DOES come in or DOESNT. You know the old adage?? Money doesn't grow on trees? Well it does grow on the internet web pages.

Consider the Nutrition Tracker and how well it does work. (I know, all of the information is not accurate, but it is as good as we make it.) Creating that system with its ease of use was a phenomenal task.

We have our own website, an e-mail account, a blog, a photo gallery, teams to join, forums to post just about anything we want except sh*ttake mushrooms, a fitness tracker where we can track by activity, mileage; a mapping system where we can map out our walk/run/bike routes; a library of informative articles for many aspects of nutrition and exercise; a health article data base with symptom, diagnosis, treatmen, prevention, and prognosis for hundreds of medical problems; a support system that USUALLY is very supportive; a place to track progress in weight and measurements/ a place to track goals; even a daily private journal; and a fee-based coaching system that keeps us on track daily if we choose.

Personally, I don't know why I'm not being asked to pay for these services. What is all of that worth to you? I started using the site a long time ago for the nutrition tracker. There was nothing like it even in the available software for purchase back then. NOTHING has all of this that works together so well. And don't say shhhhh, they'll hear you. I wonder if any of you have some ideas about how SP could pay to support the site and the staff without allowing the ads?

SP staff know already they have a successful site here. Though perhaps we don't tell them how much we appreciate it.

So, try cleaning up what you write about on your blogs. Spell trigger words backwards. I can't wait to see what pops up as a result of this post.

And you might check with Boss61. He says he has software that blocks ads. I haven't asked him about it because I figure it won't work on my Mac. I don't know if he means just pop-ups or those side bars and banners, too.

The other thing that might help those of us who are ad challenged:

Try to have tunnel vision, focus only on the task at hand and don't look around the edges.
Don't run your mouse or tracker over underlined words.

Play nice, fellow sparkers.

Edited by: BRAVELUTE at: 3/14/2013 (09:51)
CORTNEY-LEE SparkPoints: (67,852)
Fitness Minutes: (69,867)
Posts: 3,526
3/14/13 4:14 A

I never see ads for food...

Mine are mostly for clothing related items, TRX, and drugs.... hmm... I wonder what that says about my search history LOL - especially the ones for Spanx and Corsets :)

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
3/13/13 10:28 A

"Actually, I DESPISE fake, processed "bread," and I have for decades."

Might I guess by that that you also write about it a lot?

That may be why you got that specific ad. Write "bread" enough times and google will start thinking it's something you might want to buy.

Adblocker is nice -- a personal choice as to whether you want to support a site by letting ads play or blocks the ads so you don't have to see them. But it's effective.

Complaining to people in charge about specific ads may or may not be effective, depending on the priorities of the people in charge and the way the ad service works.

Complaining on a message board is very unlikely to do anything since the people in charge won't see it.

Finally, if seeing things that are nutritionally offensive to you at all is truly a problem, then SP is probably not the best place irrespective of the ad service they use, because it's not a nutrition-oriented site at root; it's a calorie-management site, and there's a million different ways to eat a sustainable and reasonable number of calories, most of which are nutritionally offensive to somebody.

DIDS70 Posts: 5,368
3/13/13 9:08 A

For the past couple of weeks, i have been getting ads on exercise equipment. I was searching for a rebounder. i am also getting fitbit ads, nike fuel ads, and bodymedia ads as i am searching for information about the flex from fitbit. I also am getting a lot of make-up ads.
I mainly look at the site at work and they have a huge ad block system so i don't get too many that can go through the filters.

Typically i just ignore the ads.

200POUNDQUEST SparkPoints: (2,468)
Fitness Minutes: (1,201)
Posts: 205
3/12/13 11:06 P

As has been mentioned, those "adchoices" ads are mostly based on your own browsing history, not on the content of the site you are viewing as they once were. For example, when I was searching for information about making beaded necklaces, I started seeing ads for places that sell beads everywhere, regardless of what kind of site I was looking at.

I guess they are going on the theory of the more times you see something, the more likely you are to buy it, but it seems like a weird strategy to me. Nevertheless, it seems to be the going method.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
3/12/13 2:11 P

"Trying to convince me that I should consume such mess is only an amazing display of counter-

I did not see anyone attempting to convince anyone that they should consume any product.

Really, it's just best to scoff at the ads that offend, and skip right over them. They will have some appeal to *someone* out there, and that's fine.

I personally am not in the market for a John Deere tractor (the ad that appeared in my bonus sparkwheel spinner today), nor for a new Mazda (my current sidebar), nor for a glucose monitor (footer section ad) and nor do I have any desire to "learn the surprising truth about what makes men fall deeply in love" (also in footer section). These ads are very definitely NOT geared to ME, but the inappropriateness of their match with my life/interests/needs doesn't offend me. I just... don't even see them.

NILBOGGER SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (34,249)
Posts: 260
3/12/13 1:51 P

Nutritionally offensive?

Dude, it's not that serious.

This site is FREE to use. You are welcome to pay for another site that will not offend your nutritional sensibilities so much.

YANKEEGIRL6 Posts: 1,183
3/12/13 1:29 P

When I see ads for products that don't interest me on this site, I skip over them and remember how thankful I am that this site is free.

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
3/12/13 2:16 A

I love you, Deb. Truly. You said exactly what I wanted to say but with so much more tact!

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
3/12/13 1:10 A

MSBOOTCAMP dial back your aggression.

Nobody has been mean to you or belittled you. A few have tried to educate you as to how advertising works and why you will expect to see ads for this type of product here in future.

I think you need to recognise that you are not the only member of Plenty of us enjoy all foods in moderation and may appreciate knowing about a white bread product we didn't know about before.

If you personally choose to stay away from such highly processed foods entirely, congratulations on your healthy body choice! That's great, truly awesome, and I'm proud of you if you can succeed at that.

But you aren't "everyone", and your opinion that Sparkpeople should not be advertising anything at all other than completely healthy products is simply not shared by the majority. No need to get disgruntled about it when others politely point that out to you.

BTW, you will continue to see such ads, so I highly recommend finding a way to emotionally deal with it, or else as one poster said, use an ad-blocker.

HTARIN Posts: 94
3/11/13 10:17 P

emoticon emoticon you made me laugh, thanks.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,583
3/11/13 10:29 A

That is why I have ad blocking software. Even though the ads keep Spark free.

Google uses the keywords you type to send you ads, believe it or not.

So anyway funny story. I was researching hair products, blow dryers and such. And somehow with the other words I typed. I got pop ads for 'ahem' adult products that were "guaranteed to blow your hair back". To this day I cannot figure out what words I typed to ever get an ad for an adult woman's product that requires batteries. I don't use that type of product and certainly wouldn't Google it.


HTARIN Posts: 94
3/11/13 7:24 A

I have been a member since 2007 but recently an add from KFC on this site reduced my participation because food is an addiction to me and seeing that was no fun. errrrrrrrrrrrr

NIRERIN Posts: 14,333
3/11/13 7:03 A

Just a note that there are very few places on the Internet that don't use this kind of software to match ads to consumers.

3/11/13 7:03 A

So, I do not know if anyone else has addressed this, but SparkPeople do not hand select the ads that appear on their tracker, they are supplied based on your own browsing history (possibly with certain exceptions like diet pills and the like). I am a giant enginerd and when I read spark people I get advertisements for oscilloscopes, tools and electronic components because that is what google says I am most interested in.

if you are getting ads for monkey bread.....its because that is the kind of thing google has determined you are interested in.

-POOKIE- Posts: 22,528
3/11/13 6:58 A

While I'm not going to venture in the argument about appropriateness of these ads, I do have a suggestion...

Ad-block Plus

It adds onto your browser (I have it on both Chrome and Firefox, not sure what else) and it blocks SO many adverts, and you can add more things to block if elements sneak through.

It makes the internet a much better place frankly. I see very few adverts at all.

MSBOOTCAMP SparkPoints: (126,133)
Fitness Minutes: (75,084)
Posts: 2,567
3/11/13 6:22 A

Highly synthetic products made from grains stripped of their nutrition, and then covered in sugar, ARE NOT A "FOOD GROUP."

Just a note to anyone who actually believes otherwise.

MSBOOTCAMP SparkPoints: (126,133)
Fitness Minutes: (75,084)
Posts: 2,567
3/11/13 6:11 A

Actually, I DESPISE fake, processed "bread," and I have for decades.

According to MOST nutritionists, I am totally justified in doing so.

I didn't post this thread expecting people to try to "justify" TO ME why I should "appreciate" ads seeking to PUSH non-nutritious products like this, on a website like this, to people like myself WHO ARE NOT AND NEVER WILL BE "interested."

Didn't realise I would be targetted,through ads on SparkPeople, for consumer products I DON'T use, and find nutritionally offensive.

Trying to convince me that I should consume such mess is only an amazing display of counter-logic.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,333
3/10/13 2:11 P

spark people uses google ads [or a provider similarly based off of google's software]. if you used gmail in beta form, you'll probably remember the fuss about how the ads were going to be targeted based on what you were inputting into the screen. it's the same thing here. companies that want to sell stuff pay a third party [advertisers] to liaise between them and sites that want ad revenue [sparkpeople]. the company that wants to sell their product gives a list of keywords to the advertiser that they want their product to show up for. and so when those keywords pop up, you get those ads.
i have gmail and if i send something about pineapple the ads i will see are from dole and tropical vacation type things. if i send an email about my cats then i will see cat foods, internet pet medicine companies and vets.
sparkpeople does have the option of reporting inappropriate ads and has gotten rid of offending ads, but the issue is that they can't always see the same ads that you get. you have iced bread ads, i have a camry ad, an amazon ad and a dress ad. not everyone sees the same things, thus making it harder for them to control [short of doing their own ads, which they have been trying for for quite some time, but it doesn't seem to be happening] what you actually see.

REDSHOES2011 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (66,181)
Posts: 7,159
3/10/13 1:53 P

Bottom line the ads pay for the site to stay continue to be free- I remember the days people paid to use the site. If a advertisement offends report it.. Everything in moderation- even white bread..

Edited by: REDSHOES2011 at: 3/10/2013 (13:54)
AILEBBELIA SparkPoints: (13,418)
Fitness Minutes: (4,362)
Posts: 3,171
3/10/13 11:10 A

I've been around since 2007. Sparks has always been about "eating all food with moderation."

Back then, I also use to use a similar phrase-- Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels..

Now, that phrase makes me cringe because those days were filled with deprivation.

Living life, being flexible, and taking chances feels even better.

Edited by: AILEBBELIA at: 3/10/2013 (11:14)
MISSRUTH Posts: 4,320
3/10/13 9:37 A

SparkPeople stresses healthy choices and portion control; we can eat anything we want, in moderation. No food is "off limits".

While whole grains and lean meats and plenty of fruits and vegetables, plus low-fat dairy, are the better choices-- there is nothing that says you can't choose monkey bread or a Dunkin Donut or a piece of birthday cake... with ice cream. Probably not a good idea to eat those things every day. But they're not off limits, you are not cheating or anything to choose them. I've managed to fit all those things into my calorie/carbs/etc range for the day, at one time or another-- though not all, on the same day.

STDWYNWEN SparkPoints: (11,748)
Fitness Minutes: (4,601)
Posts: 577
3/10/13 7:46 A

Below are the SP standards regarding advertising.....

Our Advertising Standards
SparkPeople does maintain a high level of standards for ads. Because we oppose diet pills, for example, we turn down revenue and sponsorships from diet pill companies on a regular basis. While we don't necessarily endorse every product that is advertised on our website, we do our best to block ads that are misleading, unsafe, offensive or contradictory to our medically-accepted recommendations for healthy living and weight loss.

Medically-accepted recommendations for healthy living and weight loss.

SparkPeople Does NOT Endorse or Recommend Fad diets of any kind
The use of diet pills and/or weight-loss supplements
Extreme calorie reduction or starvation diets
The elimination of entire food groups
Losing more than 2 pounds per week (However, individuals who are more than 100 pounds overweight may safely lose up to 1% of their body weight per week with our program.)

Edited by: STDWYNWEN at: 3/10/2013 (07:48)
MSBOOTCAMP SparkPoints: (126,133)
Fitness Minutes: (75,084)
Posts: 2,567
3/10/13 5:56 A

I was reading an SP article on measuring body composition, when I noticed this ad for a baked carbohydrate item called "monkey bread."

Isn't this pretty contradictory to what Spark People says it's all about?

This link is on SP, including ads for starchy breads covered in icing.

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