View Full Version : Is dishonest internet advertising REALLY effective?

El Chuxter
12-21-2006, 06:07 PM
This may sound like a stupid question, but hear me out.

We all get spam that either is total jibberish, or that masquerades as a legitimate e-mail. Usually they're for Viagra or mortgages. That's one of the types of marketing I'm talking about.

The other occurs when you type in a legitimate URL into your browser, but are one letter off. I know there's one that's very close to a popular CD club, and that unleashes a slew of pop-ups. I've not been there since accidentally mistyping the URL a few years ago, so I don't know how it deals with pop-up blockers, but it actually crashed my system when I went to that site.

I found another today, looking up something for work, when I typed an address hurriedly, and left out one letter. This was a big site advertising Viagra, and it tried to add itself to my favorites as "Cheap Viagra Online!" (Luckily for me, I got a warning that it was trying that stunt.)

So this is really obnoxious advertising that gets onto your computer and in your face in a totally deceitful manner.

But think about this for a second. Domain names and web hosting cost money. So does sending out large quantities of e-mail.

So why spend money on advertising that's far more likely to p*** people off?

Have you ever tried to go to a favorite site, been misdirected somewhere else, and said, "Hey! I do need to buy some cheap Viagra from someone who I know nothing about and who feels the need to dishonestly get my attention"?

Have you ever opened an e-mail and said, "Hey, I didn't apply for a mortgage, but this guy who can't spell a single word right and who felt the need to use the subject 'important message from your father' has approved me already. Shoot, sign me up"?

How about, "Dude, my system just crashed from all the crap that popped up. But their prices on Cialis looked reasonable"?

I can't imagine anyone would say yes to any of those questions. Or that anyone would be anything other than annoyed.

So, uh, since it costs money, why hasn't this garbage dried up over the past few years?

12-21-2006, 06:25 PM
I found it useful because I paid off my mortgage by taking viagra and working as a gigolo.

12-22-2006, 04:02 PM
URLs cost as little as $5 a year, and bulk-mailing is free. Even if your return is 1 in a million, you're still seeing a profit, so sadly even the worst spam and fake URLs are worth it to the unscrupulous jerk who created them - they make a buck and their spamming costs EVERYBODY money by increasing overall costs to deal with spam. The net needs an overhaul, ISPs should be a lot more careful about allowing mass-emails, and one-off URLs shouldn't be allowed without proof of a REAL site behind it. But most importantly, those who pay their affiliates for spam-based income should get in some sort of trouble.