Contextual Advertising Blunders

Here’s another case of contextual advertising producing really, really inappropriate results:

I was watching the CNN video about Iran kidnapping British Navy personnel from their boats, when the ad in the bottom slid in: “Life is better with a boat.  Discover Boating”.  Yeah, right.  I’m sure the 15 British hostages agree right now.

A previous case of unfortunate ad placement also includes boats. Yahoo Headlines talk about the Katrina Catastrophy, Navy ships and rescue teams rushing to the region, while the associated ad reads: “Down the Shore… Enjoy the last days of summer.”

By far not as tasteless as this one from Southern Comfort:  “Born in New Orleans (where anything can happen)” – right after Katrina.

(credit to Jeff Clavier)

This last one actually goes beyond just a “blunder”: as proven by a job ad, it was not a case of unfortunate timing, but intentionally tasteless, exploitative advertising.

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  1. Anonymous says

    That is a funny, yet sad coincidence. If I was selling boats I would not want to show my ad in a time like this.

  2. Anonymous says

    I just noticed the born in New Orleans one. I can believe this.


    LA Ad Agency

  3. Anonymous says

    This makes me think, who reads the fine print ? We should be a little bit careful today because there are all kinds of predators who just wait for us to make a mistake so they can make a profit.


  4. Reminds me of an old screenshot I took. I was reading an article about a local house fire where a baby died. Above it was an ad for some sort of Iomega storage product, and the headline was “BURN, BABY, BURN!”.

    Call me sick, but I had to laugh at the contextual association. (Not at the baby… that part sucks.)


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