Fake Ads on the Internet

Here is an insight into Internet advertising you may not be aware of. If you see an ad that names your town or a geographic region close by to you, it is probably faked. I was asked about it today by someone who saw a review supposedly written by a woman in a small town close to them. I went to the site the person told me about and it was for a product. It had a woman’s name followed by a town close to me when I looked at it. It said, “Melissa of,” and was followed by the town name just over the hill from me. That was followed by her personal testimonial of how great the product was.

I looked at the actual page source that showed the code of the page. The spot where the town would go was a script that inserted the name of an area as close to the person who was looking at the ad as the script could find. Your IP (Internet Protocol) address is easily traceable to your ISP (Internet Service Provider). When I see these ads, sometimes the results come back as far away as the main office for my ISP that is about an hour or so away from me. Sometimes it is right here in my own town.

It makes it look like there is someone right here in my own neighborhood that has had amazing results with a product or is making thousands of dollars a week doing some stupid scheme. The funny thing about this page I was shown is that it actually had a disclaimer at the bottom plainly stating that the people in the ads were not real, and the stories they were telling were not actual accounts. In this case it was shown as personal product reviews that include a first name, location and photograph.

The photos are often of pretty young women. If it is a weight loss product, it may have a handsome man with big muscles. Most often though it is a photo of a pretty young woman. What you get is a fake photo, a fake review or testimonial of a product and they try to make you think it is a real person that exists right there close to where you live. Of course, the disclaimer sets you straight. However, today was the first time I have ever seen a disclaimer.

It must work because there are a lot of those ads on the Internet.

Welcome to Politics

My seven year-old nephew got mad last year when the government was going to make McDonald’s and other fast food joints not put any toys in the meals for children. I was told by his grandfather that he was livid over the news.

I told grandpa to congratulate the boy on becoming a Republican at such a young age. 🙂

Walmart Finally Figures Out It Isn’t Target

According to a news story in The Wall Street Journal, Walmart is bringing back guns, fishing rods and fabric that it had stopped selling.  When the big remodel was going on with the black shelves replacing the standard beige ones, and the signage switching to bright oranges and greens, I could see that Wally World was trying to mimic Target.

I knew it was a bad idea back then, but who am I to argue with billions of dollars? It’s funny how little old me who isn’t on the board at Walmart saw the decline of the giant retailer coming long before even they did. It comes down to a simple lesson in nature that a fox shouldn’t try to be a rabbit.

Since I could plainly see that the retailer, who was second in the nation in employment only to the US Government, was going to slip, I’m now offering my consulting service to other multi-billion dollar industries. Just kidding.

Actually I thank the Lord for opening my eyes to see what is going on around me in detail. There is no random occurrence. We just don’t know all of the variables to plug into an equation. There is so much to see if you just look.

State of the Union

Here is an empty car lot in Ripley, West Virginia. Jeff Sorn, who is a used car dealer next door, told me this used to be the biggest GM dealer in the region with 2000 cars on this now empty lot.  He also told me that he used to work there and the dealership employed 150 people.

Times are a changin’.

(Click on image for full size).

Super Bowl XLV Problems

Being from southwestern Pennsylvania we are Steeler fans. That is to put it mildly. The fans who couldn’t get into the Super Bowl who had tickets was just wrong. Of course there is going to be a problem when fans are sold tickets for seats that do not yet exist. The powers that be apparently hoped that the seats would be installed before game time but they weren’t. A tiny disclaimer on the back of the Super Bowl ticket warns that one may not get the seat they bought. That would be an understatement.

The NFL and others who claim responsibility for the seats that tickets were sold, but where no seat was actually physically installed, have agreed to provide different things to appease the insulted and disgusted fans. Everything from three times the face value of the tickets to tickets to next year’s Super Bowl have been offered.

Three times face value is not enough for someone who bought plane tickets, booked a room, lost vacation time at work, paid more than face value for their ticket for a chance of a lifetime, and who had the expected experience of the Super Bowl denied them. However, my wife has come up with a great idea that might be appealing to the fans who flew across the country to not have a seat at the game.

My wife suggested that the actual Super Bowl expenses be covered and the league also plan a get-together for the fans to have a day with their team. Okay, maybe not the whole team, but the fan favorites. Pay for their flights and rooms. Have the event at an undisclosed location with limited media access. After all, this one will be all about the fans. The players will volunteer their day and evening. The fans get a dinner with the players, a meet-and-greet, and for once, a no hassle chance at autographs.

The league, players, stadium and others involved that permitted the fiasco to occur need to step up and do the right thing. Hey, I don’t have a problem that my wife and I won’t be invited. We weren’t going to the Super Bowl anyway. We don’t have that kind of money. The fans that did try to make it out to support the Steelers and the Packers need to have the NFL and all involved make it right by the fans who did not have seats to go with their Super Bowl tickets. It’s only a few hundred fans. It’s not that hard of a thing to pull off.

I tell you what, my wife and I volunteer to bring warm towels for the players who get a cramp signing autographs at the makeup event for the fans who got turned away at the Super Bowl. This is a multi-billion dollar business. Who do the NFL and the players think are the ones that pays for all of it? It’s us—the ones who go to games, buy NFL products, and are patrons of the sponsors. Do the right thing.