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A Little AdBrite Irony

13 Aug

I was looking through publisher sites tonight to help approve and disapprove in FAN and came across a movie download site. Other than it being in a different language, I disapproved it because it had sexual content on it. It’s quite tacky to quote what it says, so I think I’d rather show you the enter ad itself:

I know it’s not that big, but I’m sure you can tell where that ad is coming from – AdBrite.

It might not be a surprise to some of you, but I was baffled. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know AdBrite was ever even in the porn business. Why? Because if you look at their Publisher Acceptable Use Policy, you will see that Publishers are not allowed to display ads on their site if their site contains “Any pornographic, adult, or mature content including animation.”

I’m not quite seeing how that makes sense. It’s like saying, you’ll be banned for having pornographic/adult content on your site but since you don’t, I’ll put those pornographic and adult content there for you even if you didn’t opted in for it. Yeah, you’re welcome.

Well, I’m disgusted, I don’t know about you.

Kevin Lam

Kevin Lam is a self-taught internet marketer, web developer and traffic conversion expert that started since he was 17 in 2000. Even throughout his 5 years in the Navy, Kevin continued to hone his skills. Kevin now owns multiple digital companies including a Strategic, Digital Marketing Firm, a Sales Funnel Concierge Service, General Support Company and other digital products.


  1. Thomas | August 13, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Brother Kev, Prayerwarrior here, unfortunetly sex does sale and it sales big time, as an online marketer like we, it hurts us sure but we must learn to out manouver outrun and outcast the compition by any means, looking for a qiuck way of making money online you will run into those problems, there are far more better alternatives than using these affiliates to get what you want. Its always good to know what your involved in and search for the right information for them, whatever your involved in and then take it from there, your’ll find yourself in the money in no time! We have 2 ways to look at this, #1 is to go ahead with advertising for them? or #2 find a better way to market what you want. We have no choice in making policys obied by what we want but we can surely avoid the mistakes in having a court order policy upon our desk for trying to ban every x-rated freeworld out there, you know what i mean? I would take the number #2 road wouldnt you?

  2. Mitch Powell | August 13, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Can you imagine if you took the whole family to Disneyland for a day of wholesome fun, and all along Main Street, and Frontierland, and New Orleans Square, they were selling sex toys and male enhancement pills?

    What if Mickey Mouse was trying to teach your children how to download World of Warcraft cheatz?

    Suppose Snow White had a “wardrobe malfunction?”

    I don’t know about you, but I liked Disneyland the way it used to be.

    The whole world isn’t Disneyland, of course, but it would be nice if we had “admission gates” to keep the wonder and magic of The Magic Kingdom in our children’s (our) experience, and not subject them to the filth in the gutter.

  3. Jason Farmer | August 13, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Adbrite split about a year ago and created BlackLabelads.com they are adult only, the ads you saw were coming through from blacklabel.

    I advertise with Blacklabel and have traced my own ad clicks to sites that were 100% clean, not what I wanted when marketing an adult site.

    I hope that you keep Fair Ads 100% family friendly let the adult guys market on yookaroo.com and other adult search engines.

  4. BinkyM | August 13, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    The disreputable AdBrite runs 3rd-party ads (which is why people pick up malware from sites with Adbrite ads, because AdBrite seems to have no control over what the 3rd-party stuff is), so perhaps these are 3rd-party ads? (scratching head) That’s the only thing that makes sense to me.

    (BTW, I hope you’re careful with movie download sites. So many of them look professional and for real, when all they are is torrent sites, and folks are paying for the “privilege” of stealing copyrighted movies. (Torrent software is free, if they wanna steal movies.) If I were you, I’m not sure I’d want my company’s name stuck on ads on a site breaking the law lest the RIAA and the FBI some day show up at my door telling me I’m a party to the crime (“We want $250K per downloaded movie, pal!”).)

    But back to the topic at hand: this one’s a toughie, because even if you approve a site because the content looks good, the owner can change the content tomorrow anyway. I guess you could regularly spider sites you’ve approved, make sure they haven’t got objectionable content, and that’s about the best you can do. AdBrite, though, has a bad reputation, so maybe you just oughtta stay away from sites with AdBrite ads on ’em.

  5. John Collins | August 14, 2008 at 12:51 am

    Hi Kevin –

    I really don’t want that on my site. I also have another problem with adbrite. About 2 month ago I was cleaning my computer of files that should have been removed but where still there. I came across some adbrite stuff scattered in different files. When I tried to delete them I kept getting can’t delete in use by another program type message. I had to shutdown my computer and switch modes and change permissions just to delete that junk. Needless to stay I’m not a going to have anything to do with adbrite any way.

    Think I’ll do a search and see if they got in now that I’m thing about it.

    Thanks – John

  6. Cameron | August 14, 2008 at 5:59 am

    Google is the same and it’s been like that for years. They run adult advertising in the sidebar of their SERPs and I’ve seen similar ads on other sites and blogs.

    Sex sells, but we’re not allowed to advertise it on our own sites.

  7. Kevin Lam | August 14, 2008 at 6:13 am

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the positive responses. I’ll respond to each one as best I can:

    Thomas<<< I understand we need to outmaneuver our opponent, but this is a matter of having pornographic on sites that never opted in for it and not having the choice. There could be many family-oriented publisher sites and yet they get hammered with such filth. I can't stand by and allow that if I were a publisher. #2 for me is to make a better ad network. Mitch<<< Great figure of speech and imagery. It gave me a good laugh. Jason<<< Yeah, I know about their split with VNA back in November of last year and that the ads are coming from the BlackLabelAds network, however, it still puzzles me about the findings I just pointed out. You have my word that FAN will be 100% family oriented. Binky<<< 3rd party ads or not, AdBrite should have a little more control. Regardless, they RUN pornographic ads, so there isn't much to defend on that part. Yeah, I know about movie download sites and their torrent software. I haven't seen any go through. Well, we're working on completing the integration and then go through a whole 'nother process that will clean out our database. We also have another program in place for cases like these (where content could be changed at any time). By the way... that's a good point. I'm going to have to make a quick announcement to all members that I will be removing websites that have AdBrite on them. I might not get them this week, but when we have the flush, they're definitely going. John<<< Needless to say, no one should have that much trouble cleaning out their junk. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  8. Kevin Lam | August 14, 2008 at 6:25 am

    Hey Cameron,

    Didn’t mean to not respond to you, but it looks you responded while I was writing out my response. I know they display adult advertising as well, but I can only assume that the publishers can opt out. I don’t know. Perhaps a current adsense publisher can tell me.

    I agree on your comment about sex sells, but I’m not going to make it part of my business. With AdBrite, it’s just a bit of irony that makes no sense to me.

  9. Trina Sonnenberg | August 14, 2008 at 10:41 am

    I’ve had a problem with AdBrite for a long time. They don’t respond to customer service emails, and for some reason my login information doesn’t work. When they refused to reply to my support request, I told them to close my account. What’s the point of having an account that I can’t log into, or dealing with a company that doesn’t respond to support tickets?

    I am in the process of replacing all of my AdBrite codes with FAN code.

  10. Sapphire | August 14, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Just FYI, I run AdBrite BECAUSE I can opt out of adult ads completely. I can also screen every single ad and reject those third party mystery ads that could be anything.

    It’s a pity to punish publishers who are making a point of using AdBrite because it’s one of the few that allows such granular control.

  11. Kevin Lam | August 14, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing your insights Sapphire, but what about AdBrite publishers who are reporting that they had no idea they were displaying adult content? Some of them were quite outraged when they did find out from their friends and families.

    I know it’s a pity to reject all sites using AdBrite, but I simply cannot say one site is accepted and another is not even though they both have AdBrite. The only fair thing to do is not accept it across the board.

  12. Lee | August 14, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    In the end it all comes down to how much you know about the tools you use. I’d always recommend thoroughly testing any marketing tool, be it an ad network or new server, finding out all its coys & tweaks, figuring out the BEST way of utilising to your advantage, BEFORE subjecting your audience to it. That way not only can you make a better first impression, but there will be less chance of c*ck-ups (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun :-D).

    As for the control aspect, with most businesses/organizations the bigger it becomes the less control the owner/CEO can have. It’s the “too far away to reach” principle, with most of the power being deligated to any number of people, both control & consistency become much more transparent.

  13. easyliving | August 14, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Thanks for being our eyes. I would have been blown away if I opened my page and saw something like that. That is just plain disgusting.
    Thanks again

  14. J. R. Reece | August 14, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Thanks, Kevin. I know I would be hoppin’ mad if those ads showed up my site. It just goes to show that we all gotta be on our toes to keep our family-oriented sites family-oriented.

  15. jonathan | August 14, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    thanks o lot kevin for your concern, i hope you will help to vanish the disgusting things, once again thank you.

  16. Kevin Lam | August 15, 2008 at 6:43 am

    Lee<<< Funny usage of pun, buddy. I can't believe you said that though. Yeah, I know what you mean, but hopefully I never get too far. Ken, J.R. & Jonathan<<< You're welcome. It's actually stuff that's been happening to people and you can do a search and see what they say. Stuff about them receiving adult ads on their site even though they never opted in for it. Although some members say that they have to actually opt in for it before adult ads actually show... but I can't understand why so many people are saying they still are. Ashok<<< Wow, your extended version of my actions sound so harsh. It's not like I don't like AdBrite. I think they're doing great... I just can't take the chance of displaying FAN ads next to theirs when there could be adult content there. I've found other networks and I will include them in the TOS later this month.

  17. Kevin Lam | August 16, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    An update has been made. If you haven’t read it, please go here:


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