BusinessWeek Bloggspotting blogged The anger over banner ads on AOL Journals is reaching a fever pitch. Bloggers are organizing boycotts of advertisers, presumably including Bank of America, whose ad appears on the Journals I've seen today
Here is an example of one of their posts: To ALL Interested Parties!
This is the letter being sent to all the advertisers, all the Execs, Every single Possible person who will listen!
CAN YOU TELL THAT WE MEAN BUSINESS?????
To whom it may concern,
A significant number of AOL paying-customers were recently ambushed by America On Line with advertising from your organization on OUR paid journal/blog sites.
Paid journal/blog sites? Does AoL charge you extra for a journal/blog site, or is it something they have added as an additional freebie to their customers? The monthly fee you are paying is for internet connectivity. I will agree you are paying a lot more than you should ($23.90 a month); that is why Netscape (owned by AoL) can afford to provide their web accellerator for free for $9.95 a month, when they are competing against independent NetZero, since AoL customers are paying so much excess for their internet access they are a cash cow that subsidizes Netscape's much lower rate.AOL chose to break our trust by invading our paid-for sites and there is a significant gathering of journalers, soon to be joined by nationally syndicated reporting, who are aggressively fighting this invasion of our AOL JOURNAL sites.
As one of the agencies whose advertisements appear on these Journals, we are calling for a boycott of your organizations and affiliates until the unwanted advertising on our AOL JOURNALS is permanently removed.
Other blogging sites PAY the host for the advertising.
AoL is the host for your blog, and I suspect that Bank of America, Free Credit Report, Classmates.com, Elidel, and Kodak/Nascar, as well as any other advertiser whose ads are appearing in your blog, are paying AoL for running those ads. There are a number of blog providers that charge you a monthly fee to host your blog, and then you are free to either accept advertising, for which you will be paid, or to not accept advertising, in which case your blogs will have no ads. But when you get your blog for free, the company providing it may well decide to show ads on it. The same is true for free websites.AOL doesn't even give us the courtesy of warning us that advertising will appear on our blogs, nor do they offer any semblance of an option regarding these highly intrusive ads.
We are calling on each and every one of your organizations to protect your integrity, despite the lack of AOL's own integrity, and immediately remove your advertising from AOL JOURNALS.
AoL Users are usually regarded as clueless, and there is nothing about this that would change that notion. They should realize that TANSTAAFL still applies: There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch