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Author Topic: Mysterious iStockphoto banner ads featuring my photos  (Read 6030 times)

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« on: December 07, 2011, 21:04 »
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I've recently found when I am in various web pages, I see an istock banner ad that features several thumbnails, one or two of which are always from my portfolio.  The first time I saw this I thought, "Isn't it wonderful.   Out of 9 million photos, they chose one of mine to feature in their ad."

However, this was in a browser when I was logged into my iStock account.   When I switched to a different browser, and went to the same websites, no more iStock ad at all, with or without my photos.

The ads are obviously being triggered by cookies on my computer.   Is this another example of really poor policy, where they are wasting money in streaming ads to the person who is 100% certain not to buy the photo being shown, because he already owns it?  Or are they trying to trick us into feeling grateful towards them, and upload more photos to get a princely 17% commission?



« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2011, 21:37 »
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I've recently found when I am in various web pages, I see an istock banner ad that features several thumbnails, one or two of which are always from my portfolio.  The first time I saw this I thought, "Isn't it wonderful.   Out of 9 million photos, they chose one of mine to feature in their ad."

However, this was in a browser when I was logged into my iStock account.   When I switched to a different browser, and went to the same websites, no more iStock ad at all, with or without my photos.

The ads are obviously being triggered by cookies on my computer.   Is this another example of really poor policy, where they are wasting money in streaming ads to the person who is 100% certain not to buy the photo being shown, because he already owns it?  Or are they trying to trick us into feeling grateful towards them, and upload more photos to get a princely 17% commission?

All of the above?

« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2011, 21:47 »
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http://seanlockephotography.com/2011/11/08/istock-serves-up-targeted-advertising/


Thanks, that explains it.   However, while Locke calls it "smart targetted advertising," that's obviously wrong.  It's a really dumb algorithm that somebody mistakenly thought was smart.

« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2011, 21:50 »
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Hmmm, let's see... Serving images to buyers after they had seen them earlier to entice them back vs. the cost of contributors who have nothing better to do than look at their ports.  Probably worth the money.

« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2011, 22:09 »
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Serving images to buyers...

Serving?!
this is not in iStock,s CW
Under Serving did you mean tennis shoot  ;D

« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2011, 04:44 »
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As well as Seans concise explanation, next time you see one of these, click on the little "i" at the top right of the advert - you get a whole page explaining why and how it works. Very clever and, I would think, effective marketing. The same thing happens on my own blog, sometimes instead of the regular Google ads down the side I get a banner advert related to something I have looked at on the internet recently (not always something I would own up to either ;). Regards, David.

« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2011, 20:07 »
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Hmmm, let's see... Serving images to buyers after they had seen them earlier to entice them back vs. the cost of contributors who have nothing better to do than look at their ports.  Probably worth the money.

Not to mention the buyers who will think the photo(s) they may be interested in buying are already being used for another campaign and are hence overexposed, prompting them not to buy.

« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2011, 20:22 »
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I'm using Firefox with Adblock and third-party "harvesting" cookies blocked. Moreover, daily AVG goes through my history and deletes those that get through (the "smart" ones?) like the doubleclick parasites. I don't use IE since then hell breaks loose with ads and trackers all over. That's why I don't use Chrome too since it's probably one big tracking and spying machine as Google has direct access to your browsing behavior and your IP at the same time. Apart from the fact I don't like to be followed by creepy shadows at my back, all these invisible reloads cost me money since part of the time, I'm on Wifi volume billing.

But nevertheless, thanks to SLocke for the explanation.

« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2011, 20:32 »
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What a negative place. Its for buyers not us. It rememebrs what they searched for before and targets them with similar results. I builds sales and you complain.

« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2011, 05:51 »
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What a negative place. Its for buyers not us. It rememebrs what they searched for before and targets them with similar results. I builds sales and you complain.

I am a buyer

« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2011, 07:55 »
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Another good blocker for FireFox is Ghostery (http://www.ghostery.com/) which should stop just about everything - unfortunately it'll even stop iStock referral links because of the third party redirection, which is perhaps not so good news for some!

And it helps speed too;  they have a page http://purplebox.ghostery.com/?p=1016022107 showing just how much some of the redirection, tracking cookies, analytics, etc. can actually slow down your page loads.


 

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