Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

This Ass Cheek Follows You Around the Internet to Harvest Data

Kate Dries, Vice:

On Friday, I was reading… something… on my phone, and the above advertisement greeted me in the middle of it.

As you’ll see it, it’s for a company called IVROSE, and depicts a woman wearing long johns with the buttflap slightly open in a way that can most certainly be described as “cheeky.”

I posted about it on Instagram, and over the next couple days, others started tagging me because they were getting the ad too. Then, on Sunday night, a whole slew of people reading a new article on Elle.com about Martin Shkreli started reporting the same thing, though the woman is wearing a different pattern of long john than the one I had seen.

Zach Edwards of Victory Medium, an analytics and marketing firm, on Twitter [sic]:

When ppl say, “these butt PJ ads are following me all over the internet!” – translation @

1) A product w/ low margin ROI is burning cash across ad networks

2) The product likely owned by chinese astroturfing group

3) Ad networks ~share ~data for $$

4) Is the product really PJ’s?

Shoshana Wodinsky, Gizmodo:

As Edwards pointed out in his Twitter thread, it’s not impossible to figure out what IVRose plans to do with what is almost assuredly boatloads of data from potential onesie customers. In fact, there’s a technical phrase for it: “cookie synching.” The easiest way to describe the process is something of a handshake between a set of partnering adtech platforms that lets folks on both sides of the arrangement swap specific sets of user data back and forth. But this is adtech we’re talking about — which means the process is needlessly complicated and probably the last thing any of us would want to talk about at a party.

At the same time, it’s also a deeply shitty tactic that promises our clicks on those assless pajamas will — no joke — likely keep on haunting us for the rest of our digital lives.

Edwards, in response to a question from Rand Fishkin:

Yup – users on Safari / Brave / Firefox or browsers who block these types of 3rd party cookies already (or anyone who locks down browser settings) won’t receive the userID syncs & makes these “audience ID honeypots” less valuable for shady SSPs & dropshippers.

Among the many complaints in the antitrust lawsuit filed against Google by the attorneys general of Colorado and Nebraska is that Google has the power to collect far more data about users than smaller rivals, and that its plan to restrict third-party cookies in Chrome will deepen that moat. Both of those things are almost certainly true. But it is imperative that the solution to these problems is not to allow or require more ad-based surveillance by smaller firms like those that powered this pyjama ad.