Bad Advertisement

Advertisements

Regular users will see advertisements that are on the website; Users with Premium accounts will not see these. These advertisements are curated based upon one's general details and non-PII, while also selected to follow privacy policy and content policy our ad provider entails. Advertisements are expected to not include the following:
  • Cookies that obtain and track personally identifiable data.
  • Content that violates our guidelines, such as including uninitiated audio, pop ups, or automatic re-directions.
  • Content that violates our Terms of Service.
This form is for reporting advertisements that violate our guidelines so we may report them to our Ad Vendor. Here is the full information below on what constitutes a "Bad Ad" and how to use this form to report it.

Smashboards uses an ad vendor to deliver ads to visitors. The basic setup is Smashboards > ad vendor (Curse) > third party vendors (Google, etc.). Curse has some ad inventory themselves which will fill our ad slots, but when they run out of their own ad inventory, they will go to one of their third party services. These third services are on boarded by Curse and given the below policy. However, ads can still get through - either because the third party service failed, or because the actual advertiser failed. Please read below for the policy and how to report these ads.


The following ads should always be blocked by the vendor (or the vendor's vendor)

  • Adult (Porn)
  • Firearms / weapons
  • Suggestive (sexually provocative)
  • Excessive flashing
  • Warning (e.g. ad that appears to be a warning window from your computer)
  • Uninitiated audio (audio starts playing without user enabling/hovering)
  • Pop-under (pop-up window that appears behind current window)
  • Pop-up
  • Gold selling, or anything related to it
  • Floating (e.g. elements in ad float above page’s content. Disable by clicking a sometimes difficult-to-see x/close button)
Types of typical Bad Ads


  1. Static Ads – A static ad can be an image or a flash creative. A common static ad example is a “Punch the Monkey”. These ads are usually of very low quality and try and get the users attention by flashing, sound and/or have quick animations to draw eye.
  2. Auto sound Ads - These ads basically serve as TV playing a series of commercials over and over again. In order to ban these ads we need to identify the ad-network and the advert itself. Think of the ad type as a TV service provider, ad-network as a channel, and the ad is the commercial. These ads are the toughest for us to ban due to the information we need. Using the analogy from above, we need to identify the TV service provider, channel, the commercial, and all three can change at any given time without a page refresh. We are now avoiding networks that serve these types of ads and they are not as common anymore.
  3. Pop up Ads – Ads that pop up in a new window without the user initiating. One thing to note are surveys which sometimes come through as an additional layer when certain criteria are met. These can be troublesome but typically they are just gauging feedback for their campaign while we do sill try and ban these, typically these are very expensive for the advertiser to serve as the user has to meet certain criteria to even get it so they are far and few between which makes them difficult to ban without help.
  4. Redirects – one of the misconceptions about these is that there is an ad/ads forcing the page to go to a different URL than the one specified by the user. In our experience this is related to a user who has malware of some sort on their PC and that PC is using cookies and JavaScript to manipulate the page to redirect the user. These infestation are more and more sophisticated, they can use favorites and browser history to determine when and where to redirect you.
    1. Please look at trusted malware/spyware software to clean your computer

HOW YOU CAN HELP Static Ad - What to do if you see something weird, offensive, or ugly:
Static Ad
- What to do if you see something weird, offensive, or ugly:

  1. Right-click on the ad --> select ‘Properties’
  2. Copy & paste the ‘Location URL’
  3. Right-click on the ad --> select ‘Copy Link Location’ (Firefox) or ‘Copy Shortcut’ (Internet Explorer)
  4. Paste the URL (this is the click-through URL)
  5. Send these two URLs to us along with the URL of the page where you saw the ad
The location URL and click-through URL will provide the image-hosting server (usu. the ad network) and any other information necessary to take action.

Also Include:

  • Screenshot
  • Country
  • Site Visited by URL
Flash Ad - What to do if you see something weird, offensive, or ugly:


  1. Take a screenshot of the browser window (Alt+Print Screen… to the right of the F12 key)
  2. Send screenshot along with URL of the page where you saw the ad
  3. Any other information you can provide will be helpful, such as which browser and which version of browser you were using, approximate number of pages you viewed on the web site before seeing the ad, and country from which the ad was viewed.
Grabbing the URL of a flash ad requires an add-on or tool to view the HTTP headers when a page loads. Given this, the easiest way to take action is for the vendor to reproduce the occurrence. If you're using Firefox go in Tools > Page Info > Media, look for anything that says "Embed" on the right and do a right click > copy to report this address in your message as well.

Things to keep in mind (from our vendor)

  1. The common denominator – if you look at the system as a whole and you see the same complaint in many different places then typically there is a problem. When the problem exists with very few users there can be many outside factors related to the users’ computer and it is impossible for us to identify them all so we do take precautions and let our provides know of the problem for good measure whether it is merited or not.
  2. User Experience - We are not here to hurt User experience, in fact we are pretty hard lined in the things we allow as we want the user experience to be the best it can we with monetization.
  3. Time - Problems take time even when we have everything to send in a report. As google and other partners will have to find and verify findings.
  4. Help - We need your help, we cannot stress this enough that the details that you can provide to us are immensely useful as it can take use hours to finds the same ad or experience.
Please upload an attachment/screenshot of the Bad Advertisement.
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