Stealth Web Advertising Tactics Of "Illegal" Sites


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Stealth Web Advertising Tactics Of "Illegal" Sites

  1. 1. Stealth Web Advertising Tactics Of "Illegal" Sites
  2. 2. Advertising a website is never easy. But imagine howmuch harder it would be if advertising your website were illegal.
  3. 3. Gambling websites face just that challenge in reaching US and Canadian audiences. In both countries, the government has put media outlets on notice that accepting advertising from gambling websites is illegal. (Note: in the US, at least, the industry disputes this, and charges have never been filed by the US or Canadian federal governments.)
  4. 4. The sites have come up with some pretty creative waysaround the law. Are their tactics worthy of imitation? Ordo they threaten to drag down the image of ecommercefaster than a wave of no-prescription online pharmacies dispensing questionable images of minors via browser- hijacking adware?
  5. 5. Have a look at some of these stealth web advertising tactics:
  6. 6. Domain Name Games
  7. 7. A while ago I saw a TV commercial for a poker-related website. The commercial carried the prominent warning "not a gambling website." Curious how such a site couldmake money, I typed in the domain name. What did I see? Gambling!
  8. 8. I later realized I had typed in the dot-com version of the domain name rather than the dot-net. The dot-netversion, the one advertised, has only play gambling withno money. The dot-com version is the real moneymaker.
  9. 9. Web experts have long said that any serious businesswebsite needs a dot-com domain name. Many consumers wont remember any other extension such as dot-biz or dot-net, and will instead simply type in the much better known dot-com. You can call them stupid, but theyll spend their money on the other site.
  10. 10. It seems the marketers of that poker website weredefinitely not stupid. But is this ethical? Worse, could this open up a can of worms for other websites that have adot-com and dot-net version, if policymakers try to close this loophole?
  11. 11. Publicity
  12. 12. One casino website has taken to buying items on eBay that have generated a lot of media coverage already. The items have included a grilled cheese sandwich with thesupposed image of the Madonna on one side. The site has managed to ride the wave of publicity of items such items by buying them. They thereby get their company name(which contains their domain name) in any story about the bizarre auction item (well, except this story).
  13. 13. Sponsorships
  14. 14. Gambling websites have tried hard to get their domainnames plastered over as much sports-related real estate aspossible. It hasnt been easy. Professional sports world has long been wary of anything relating to gambling. Billboards in major stadiums and arenas are out of the question. So, some sites have started sponsoring rodeos and other smaller events. One site even bought advertising space on a female models midriff.
  15. 15. Are any of these tactics working? There are some gambling websites that say its all more hype thansubstance. They stick to buying ads on other websites.
  16. 16. The battered image of the internet, meanwhile, seems tohave suffered relatively little from all this. After all, eventhe strongest gambling opponent has to admit there are more dangerous things online than poker.
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