About SparkPeople's Ads

Why Does SparkPeople Have Ads?
Our mission at SparkPeople.com is to SPARK millions of PEOPLE to live healthier lives. While other websites charge their members, all of our tools, meal and fitness plans, trackers, resources and community support features are available free of charge. This allows us to help more people reach their goals.

With a small and dedicated team of employees, we try to keep our costs as low as possible, relying on word of mouth instead of spending money on advertising, for example. It still costs millions and millions of dollars per year to run and operate SparkPeople.com. Because we don't charge members to make up for these costs, we rely on advertising to help keep our website free for everyone. Each person who views or clicks on an ad helps generate revenue to keep SparkPeople running so we can serve our mission. So thank you for your understanding about the presence of ads on the site and for your support of our advertisers.

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.

Selling ads is actually a very complex process. Sometimes a company will directly approach us to advertise on our website. Other times, we approach a specific company to offer advertising space. But not every ad that appears on our website was sold by us or approved by us. Often, "bad ads" can slip through one of our ad remnant networks (like Google), even though they are (or should be) on our block list. Sometimes these "bad ads" can be misleading, offensive, or against our advertising standards. However, we do have the ability to remove these ads and block them from ad rotation when we find them or when members like you alert us about them.

With more than 100 million page views per month, it is impossible for our small team to catch all these "bad ads" before they happen. Our members are an important part of the SparkPeople movement and we rely on them to help track down and block these bad ads, so we really appreciate it when members take the time to alert us about them so that we can remove them from the site for good.

What to Do if You Encounter a Bad Ad
Thanks for your interest in helping us improve the quality of our advertising. We review all reports from our members and add all advertisements that do not meet our standards to multiple "block lists" to remove them from our site. (Please keep in mind that it can take several hours to several days for ads to come down once they have been reported and blocked.) Next time you see an ad, there are three things you can do to help us track it down more quickly.
  1. Take a screenshot of the inappropriate ad. For PC users, this is as simple as clicking on the "Print Screen"  (Prnt Scrn) button on your keyboard and then "pasting" (CTRL + V) that image into a word document or graphics program. For instructions on how to take a screenshot, please watch this YouTube video. (Remember that you can also paste this shot directly into Microsoft Word if you don't have graphics software on your computer.) Simply save your screenshot after following those instructions and then email it to us as an attachment (step 3 below).
  2. Click on the ad and copy the web address (URL). Just highlight the web address at the top of your browser and copy and paste that URL into an email to send it to us (step 3 below). For some instructions on how to do this, please watch this YouTube video.
  3. Send an email to adreport@sparkpeople.com. Attach your screenshot (if you took one), and paste the URL of the ad (if you clicked on it) and send it to us in an email. These screenshots and URLs are especially helpful in getting these ads blocked.
Advertising is an important source of revenue that keeps SparkPeople.com free, and we will do our best to block and remove inappropriate ads. We need your help to make that possible, and we really appreciate it when members take the time to report these ads to us. Thanks again for your support and for helping make SparkPeople such a positive and helpful place for so many people!

The SparkPeople Advertising Team