Why this is now officially an ad-free blog

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed the long Jubilee weekend.  Apart from the rain it’s been a fantastic affair and one of those times when it makes you glad to be British.  I’ve been through a few towns and cities over the last four days and everywhere I’ve gone there’s been an overwhelming sense of celebration and togetherness.  Let’s hope and pray it doesn’t all fade away too quickly once the bunting comes down and life goes back to normal.

Over the weekend I’ve had to make an adjustment to the site that I wasn’t expecting to.  It’s quite an important one to me and I want to explain why I’ve done it.

Last week Krish Kandiah tweeted me asking how my ads work.  This was a bit of a surprise as I’ve not been aware that I’ve been running adverts.  WordPress who run my site have said that occasionally they may put ads up on blogs to generate income for themselves, but up until now I’ve not seen any.  What I hadn’t realised was that when I’m logged into my site, which is pretty much all the time, I won’t see any ads WordPress put up.  As a result I’m still not sure just how many ads I’ve been displaying.

My stance has always been that I have never wanted to have ads on my blog.  I have no interest in making any money from this site as in order to do my best to maintain my independence and integrity I don’t want to have readers wondering if I associate myself with or endorse products or services that could be advertised on this site if I went down that route and I certainly don’t want to be showing ads I have no control over.  The only exception up until now is the Coalition for Marriage ad that I displayed for a few days last month to make a point in relation to the ASA’s ridiculous investigation into it.

While I was away I thought I’d try out the site without being logged in to see if I could find any ads.  It didn’t take long and what I did find really annoyed me.  At the bottom of my previous post I found an advert for Wonga, whom I have a deep mistrust of.

Wonga are a payday loan company who have come under fire for what amounts to a 4,214% annual interest rate on its customer loans and also questions have been raised about its collection practices.  Only this Sunday the Telegraph published a critical article on Wonga’s expansion plans.  This is a quote from the piece:

‘In a recent report, Which? found that payday loans trapped consumers in a   downward spiral of debt due to the high charges, with a third claiming they   experienced greater financial problems as a result of the loan. Wonga, which   is not regulated as a normal financial company, was recently censured by the   OFT for “aggressive and misleading” debt collection practices.’

This is exactly the sort of scenario I’ve been wanting to avoid.  To make sure this doesn’t happen again, I’ve paid WordPress to stop publishing any more ads (which I admit I should have done right from the start).  Just to highlight the change, I’ve installed an ‘Ad-free blog’ logo on the sidebar at the bottom of all my pages which has come from this great little site

By using this logo on my website I am stating…

1. That I am opposed to the use of corporate advertising on blogs.

2. That I feel the use of corporate advertising on blogs devalues the medium.

3. That I do not accept money in return for advertising space on my blog.

I understand that I’m in a fortunate position where I don’t need to raise funds from this site.  I’ve also seen some Christian sites that advertise valuable Christian products and I’ve not got a problem with that where the blog owner is in control of what they’re advertising and the advertising isn’t compromising their message.  I doubt everyone is going to agree with me on this, but this is what  I believe, so I’m going to stick to it.

I am feeling somewhat ashamed and apologetic that I’m the last person to catch up with what’s been happening on my own site, so if you have been wondering why those little ads have been popping up on here, now you know.

I hope you’ll enjoy the totally ad-free experience from now on.

Categories: Advertising, Banking & capitalism, Blogging

Tags: , , , , , ,

17 replies

  1. Bravo, Gillan! This is something I’ve been considering for the UKCBD blog for a while, having occasionally viewed it when logged out of WP. Limited funds is my problem, however, and I also take the view that in return for a free service, WP (like farcebook & Gurgle) need to make some money somehow…

    • I don’t have a problem with WordPress running ads given how much they offer for free. They do provide an excellent service and at least I’ve got the choice of paying to turn them off. I’m sure there are plenty of bloggers writing about other subjects who are unlikely to be bothered, but given what we’re talking about and what I’m trying to achieve it’s definitely for the best.

      At least I can afford to be able to turn the ads off, so i’m not going to be hard on anyone who shows them as long as it dosn’t make me question their motives. Christianity is not about making money off God’s back.

  2. Good choice. In a complicated world, some things are astonishingly simple- the current spate of pay day loan adverts on telly is evil. Hoping that my blogging effort is unworthy of notice…

  3. I feel exactly the same re ads on blogs….

  4. Ta muchly for this tip Gillan, and glad you had an enjoyable and blessed weekend

  5. I’m delighted you are ensuring yours is an advert-free blog. When I find a lot of adverts on a blog I tend not to hang around long. My blog is also advert free but I am aware that I’m able to blog for free because the platform provider makes money through adverts on other people’s blogs. I understand the embarrassment of not being aware how your blog looks to others. For a long time my background colour was pink but I thought it was white as that is how it appeared on my browser.

  6. I just back-linked this to “Please Do Not BUY” on my ADD-focused WordPress Blog. Since I am already spending well over half my time every week to deliver information to those who need but cannot afford coaching services (my “product”), I run pretty lean.

    I cannot *also* afford to PAY to opt out of ads.

    As I say in that article, I have no problem with sensitively placed, targeted, well-behaved, QUIET ads as a way for WordPress to recoup the cost of providing their services for free.

    HOWEVER, ads that attenpt to PULL FOCUS from those who are already struggling to read the content *I* provide without fee — caring only that that THEY feed the corporate pig — are infuriatingly self-absorbed and must be stopped. Clearly, they will never be reasonable by choice.

    If ENOUGH of us stop clicking — and boycott their products or services — perhaps they will settle down, grow up, and behave themselves,

    Glad to see another who is offended by the “cash is king” mindset.

    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CMC, SCAC, MCC
    – cofounder of the ADD Coaching field –
    (blogging at ADDandSoMuchMore and ADDerWorld – dot com!)
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    • Thanks for your comment in reminding me about this, Madelyn.
      Like Gillan, I didn’t realise adverts existed until checking blog via my wife’s Win7 user account just now. Those at the close of my last post seriously detracted from its closing sentiments. So they’ve been banished!

      • Lucky you – I’d LOVE to banish the buggers! I, too, didn’t realize there were ads on my site until I saw it from a friend’s computer (thus the DO NOT BUY post) – and the first one I saw was BEYOND obnoxious.

        Even the adverts that don’t “detract from [our] closing sentiments” are inappropriate – there’s a reason we don’t allow “vendors” in our classrooms and churches, right?

        Neurologically, they interfere with LTP (consolidating what we were recently exposed to into long-term memories by distracting the brain to recall something ELSE instead) – which is exactly what they want, the creeps!

        Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CMC, SCAC, MCC
        – cofounder of the ADD Coaching field –
        (blogging at ADDandSoMuchMore and ADDerWorld – dot com!)
        “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    • Thank you Madelyn for linking to this site and adding yur comments. It’s a difficult call as WordPress need to make their moeny somehow to provide the service that they do. Most people do not want to see ads on their sites, so at least they give us the option of paying for them to be removed. As you say, if you can’t afford it you’re stuck. Other than contacting wrodpress and making your views known, I’m not sure what else to suggest. If there’s enough people willing to make a fuss, hopefully they’ll take some notice.

      • Thanks for your suggestion – it’s that “enough” word that is the hitch in the gitalong, as they say in the south.

        We all have to keep food on our tables, of course, but until CASH is dethroned, I doubt that any number of “enough” can be expected to make much of a difference until it is close enough to “all” to hit the wallet. Alas.

        In any case, since I posted my article, I have found few bloggers complaining. I’ll work it out eventually, it just BUGS me!

  7. I’ve come up with my own little solution to this annoying problem – the bottom of every new post now carries a disclaimer: “Any advertisements appearing below this point have been autogenerated by WordPress and are not part of this post.”


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