Charter Communications Realizes People Don't Like Having Ads Injected Into Websites

from the a-slight-miscalculation dept

Last month, cable broadband provider Charter Communications said it was going to test the clickstream tracking/behavioral ad injection service NebuAd, claiming (hilariously) that snooping on you as you surf in order to present ads to you enhances your web surfing experience. It turns out that many Charter customers did not agree -- and they weren't made any happier when independent research into NebuAd's system discovered many, many problems with it, including the fact that you couldn't really opt-out. Also, Congress got involved, asking Charter to explain itself. That's never a good sign.

Charter has now agreed to back off plans to implement this clickstream tracking. However, the most hilarious part is Charter's explanation of why it went forward with this plan in the first place: Focus groups apparently indicated that "most broadband consumers would look upon this service favorably." Well, when you describe it as "enhancing" the broadband experience, rather than spying on your every action to present you with more targeted ads, people might say that. In the future, though, it may help to be a bit more straightforward with focus groups.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: clickstream tracking, isps
Companies: charter communications, nebuad


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Rekrul, 25 Jun 2008 @ 11:00pm

    There's a company called AdBrite that serves up various ads to web sites. A while back, they started doing full-page ads. The way it works is this; You go to a site that uses AdBrite and after a certian number of clicks, the page you're reading fades out and a full-page ad fades in. After 10-20 seconds, a Skip button appears in the upper right corner that will take you back to the top of the page of the page you were on (not to where you were when the ad kicked in). While checking into AdBrite, I found a ton of propaganda from them about how users actually like these full-page ads better than banner ads because they're more like commercials.

    I'd hate to have to be the one who had to make that presentation to potential customers with a straight face!

    If you want to see what I'm talking about, go to;

    http://www.egotastic.com

    And click the header to any story. Make sure that Javascript is enabled and that you don't use other ad-blocking software. Of course, the way to stop these ads is to disable javascript and/or use ad-blocking software.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

Introducing the new Techdirt Insider Chat, now hosted on Discord. If you are an Insider with a membership that includes the chat feature and have not yet been invited to join us on Discord, please reach out here.

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.