Silverpush says it's not in the ultrasonic audio-tracker ad-beacons business anymore

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Silverpush, the company that pioneered covert ultrasonic audio beacons that let advertisers link your activity on phones, tablets and laptops, says it will no longer sell the technology and does not want to be associated with the idea any longer. Read the rest

Dig this fantastic Arabic language Coke commercial

I much prefer this 1950s Egyptian television commercial for Coca-Cola to the brand's much better known 1971 jingle "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)." Interestingly, in the early 20th century, there was apparently debate in Egypt over "whether Muslims were permitted to drink Coca-Cola and Pepsi cola." According to a source cited by Wikipedia, the eventual fatwa was in favor of the sodas:

"...The rule in Islamic law of forbidding or allowing foods and beverages is based on the presumption that such things are permitted unless it can be shown that they are forbidden on the basis of the Qur'an." The Muslim jurists stated that, unless the Qu'ran specifically prohibits the consumption of a particular product, it is permissible to consume.

(via Weird Universe)

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Financial Times' response to ad-cutting threat from HP is great

Artist's impression of what they were really thinking

The Financial Times ran a column critical of Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman. The company's marketing chief, Henry Gomez, threatened to cut the advertising it ran in the newspaper. Lucy Kellaway's response is perfect.

My piece was not biased and I fear you misunderstand our business model. It is my editors’ steadfast refusal to consider the impact of stories on advertisers that makes us the decent newspaper we are. It is why I want to go on working here. It is why the FT goes on paying me.

Kellaway seems almost happy to have gotten such a direct threat in the first place, in an age of smarmy PR outreach and cold silence. But it's no surprise that HP is the one to break ranks. When did it get its reputation for this sort of "nice ads you have there" nastiness? Read the rest

The Economist's anti-ad-blocking tool was hacked and infected readers' computers

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Pagefair is an ad-blocking circumvention tool that publishers can use to track readers who've taken technological countermeasures to protect their privacy. The company has sold its service to many publishers -- including the Economist -- by deploying moral arguments about the evils of ad-blocking. Read the rest

Spy at will! FCC won't force companies to honor Do Not Track

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The FCC has rejected Consumer Watchdog's petition to force Internet companies like "Google, Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, and LinkedIn") to honor the "Do Not Track" flag that browsers can send to web-servers, informing them that users do not want their Internet activity to be tracked and shared with third parties. Read the rest

Firefox's new privacy mode also blocks tracking ads

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Mozilla has shipped a new version of Firefox whose private mode also blocks tracking beacons for ad networks, which will make private Web usage much harder to track. Read the rest

Property developer's fellatio-themed billboard stays up

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This looks like a billboard from the movie Idiocracy, but it is Christchurch, New Zealand, and the property development company that owns it has refused to take it down after receiving complaints that it demeans female construction workers. Read the rest

Botwars vs ad-tech: the origin story of universal surveillance on the Internet

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Maciej Cegłowski's posted another of his barn-burning speeches about the Internet's problems, their origins and their solutions (previously), a talk from the Fremtidens Internet conference in Copenhagen called "What Happens Next Will Amaze You." Read the rest

Dooce quits mommyblogging amid toxic pressure from advertisers

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As the supply of publishers went up, advertisers gained leverage they could use to insist on more invasive ads and more unethical editorial practices. Read the rest

Fantastic car ad by stop motion master PES

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PES created this advertisement for Honda. I hope they're grateful.

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Creator of number one best selling app pulls it from app store: "Just doesn’t feel good"

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A well-known software developer pulled his wildly successful ad-blocking utility just two days after releasing it on Apple's App Store. Marco Arment, who co-founded Tumblr and created Instapaper and Overcast, says he felt guilty about selling the ad-blocker, called Peace, because it "just doesn’t feel good." Arment explained why he pulled the app in a post on his blog (which runs ads served by The Deck):

I still believe that ad blockers are necessary today, and I still think Ghostery is the best one, but I’ve learned over the last few crazy days that I don’t feel good making one and being the arbiter of what’s blocked.

Ad-blocking is a kind of war — a first-world, low-stakes, both-sides-are-fortunate-to-have-this-kind-of-problem war, but a war nonetheless, with damage hitting both sides. I see war in the Tao Te Ching sense: it should be avoided when possible; when that isn’t possible, war should be entered solemnly, not celebrated.

Even though I’m “winning”, I’ve enjoyed none of it. That’s why I’m withdrawing from the market.

He is giving refunds to everyone who purchased the app. Read the rest

Nutty vintage ads for drug paraphernalia

Far out vintage ads for drug paraphernalia, from a water pipe that looks like a set of bathroom fixtures to "The Boosters," a brand of additives that moisten weed and act as a desiccant for cocaine. Read the rest

Bud Light's weird and bad "Grunge" commercial from the 1990s

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"Want some Bud Light, want some Bud Light, hey, yeahhhhhh!" Read the rest

WATCH: Our robot overlords will excel at ping-pong

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This ad from Omron Automation & Safety intends to make advanced automation seem fun, but the execution makes it seem like your future will depend on whether you win your sudden death table tennis match with a robotic version of the Aliens xenomorph. Read the rest

Watch the Jackson 5's cereal commercials

Long before the infamous Pepsi commercial, Michael Jackson and his brothers pitched breakfast cereal! Read the rest

"Greedy Bastard" burger criticized

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A very large hamburger marketed by New Zealand food chain Burger Fuel has attracted the ire of national regulators. Read the rest

Watch: DeSotos in space!

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A fantastic TV commercial for DeSoto automobiles from 1957. (via Weird Universe)

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