Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Some Publishers are Scrapping Scummy ‘Around the Web’ Ads

Sapna Maheshwari and John Herrman, New York Times:

A sample of six Outbrain recommendations on The New Yorker’s website on Oct. 5 showed the confusion readers may face when looking at content ads; several were legitimate, but one led to a spamlike “clickbait” site and another led to a fake health news site created by a marketing company. Two led to editorial stories from AARP, which promotes its website through Outbrain and embeds the widgets on its own site.

[…]

Asked about the widget and about specific ads, Nicholas Thompson, the editor of NewYorker.com, said, “Outbrain only appears on our humor pages. That’s a deliberate choice.” He added that the arrangement was part of a deal between The New Yorker’s parent company, Condé Nast, and Outbrain. Within a week of the interview, The New Yorker had removed the ads from its site, though it declined to comment on its decision.

I’m surprised that a publication as fastidious as the New Yorker ever allowed those kinds of ads on their website in the first place, even in the humour section.