Open Thread: About That Prius Advertisement…

When I announced a couple of weeks ago that Streetsblog had struck an advertising deal with the L.A. Times allowing them to sell advertising space on Streetsblog, I assured readers that did not mean we would be accepting advertisements for automobiles, AAA, or politicians. The second advertisement the Times placed was for a car dealership. Apparently, we need to be very specific with the software that controls what advertisements go where.


I sat back and waited for the outraged emails or comments…I was at least expecting a snide comment or two from The Dude Abides, or Spokker, or Ubrayj02. But…nothing. Nobody said anything. The fundraiser for OpenPlans emailed me to see if I noticed, and I responded: “I’m going to wait until it runs through the cycle. I’m curious if any Streetsblog readers are going to care.”

So far, it seems as though none of you really cared. While I’m going to email our friends at the Times to make sure it doesn’t happen again, the experience does beg the question: Did you notice that advertisement? If you did, what did you think?

  • The Dude Abides

    The Dude is oblivious to ads online. But now that you mention it, I thought I saw a few questionable ads before but my fastidious drive to copy edit your post for spelling errors takes up most of my time.

  • The Overhead Wire

    Didn’t even see it. But if they want to spend money on a group that isn’t going to buy from them, why not just let them?

  • Anonymous

    Not something I would highlight to advertisers, but the lack of outrage is probably due to lack of noticing ads. (I sure didn’t notice)

  • Daniel Shenise

    I’m amazingly good at completely ignoring ad content. Probably not something people selling advertising, nor people buying advertising want to hear. But I’d bet there are a lot of people out there like me who only see the content, and completely filter out the ads. I do drive too, and I would be more supportive of a company that advertises with a content provider I support like Streetsblog. Its kind of like how I support companies that advertise during the Tour de France coverage. Except for that one f-ing beer company and their lame ass commercials. So though I totally missed the dealership ads in the first place, if I did need a new car, I would consider going to them.

  • Joel Epstein

    Have to echo The Overhead Wire, “Didn’t even see it. But if they want to spend money on a group that isn’t going to buy from them, why not just let them?”

  • Irwin Chen

    I didn’t see it because I have ad blocker on my browser… I’m immune to your crass commercialism… :)

    But seriously, I don’t think anyone noticed because we are all trained to ignore banner ads. As long as you don’t add flash enabled road block ads, I don’t really care what you have to advertise to make money to keep the site going.

  • Mike

    Even though I do ride my bike all over the place, I still have a truck that I use when it is the most appropriate vehicle for the job. I don’t know if most bus riders are also car drivers, but, I think it is fair to say that many cyclists are also occasional car drivers. So I’m not offended by car adverts. Were I you, I’d take any advertising money you can get. Ends, means, etc.

    But obviously I’d mind if auto advertainment content started bleeding into the news content.

    “This week’s coverage of Metro is brought to you by Oldsmobile*, because when you have an Oldsmobile, riding the bus is just silly”

  • calwatch

    Look Metro has car ads all the time, and car dealers used to advertise in the Orange County bus book. If you got no feedback I do t see the problem. As long as the money doesn’t sell you out its fine.

  • Anonymous

    I really don’t care if you take ads from the Oil companies and the Banksters. As long as they pay to keep alive.

  • davistrain

    As someone who reads two daily newspapers, and occasionally watches commercial TV and listens to KNX newsradio, a few car ads on streetsblog aren’t going to send me running to the dealers’ showrooms. I’m especially amused by a certain German luxury car maker, one of whose dealers invites, “Find the Mercedes of your dreams at Umlaut Motors.” Never, in all my many days, have I ever dreamed of owning a Mercedes, BMW or Cadillac. I do drive a 2001 Honda Accord because I carry materials quite often, and transit service is minimal in my area, but the purveyors of auto snobbery are wasting their time trying to sell me a status symbol on wheels.

  • Anonymous

    I just don’t look at ads. Can’t say I’ve ever noticed or cared. Had I seen it I’m sure I would have assumed it was one of those targeted, cookie generated ads –since I’m also a reader of the Los Angeles Times. Besides, is it really a sin to share the world with cars or have I missed a Streetsblog mission statement that disavows any conveyence built to carry just four people at a time?

  • There are ads on this site?

    And no, I dont use an adblocker. Thing is, this website is very unfriendly to those of us with poor eyesite. Zooming in (control and scroll wheel) means the entire right side of the page goes off screen. As thats where the ads are, I dont see it.

    if you think about it, its quite ironic that a website which promotes accessibility was not built to a standard that is more welcoming to those with poor eyesight…


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