Boxing After Bedtime Is Not A Good Ad Choice For A Kiddie Game Site

What is an inappropriate ad on a site specifically designed for children? Tina was surprised to see this advertisement for the new FX series “Lights Out.” Not only does the ad contain the image of a blood-covered boxer, but the show it advertises is on at 10 PM – well after the target audience’s bedtime.

Tina writes:

Perhaps I am an overreacting mother, but after playing Webkinz (webkinz.com, geared towards ages 8 & under?) with my sweet, darling young children, we all happened upon this lovely ad on the exit screen. Nothing says harmless family fun like a gory bleeding boxer!

Now on the same page, there’s a video ad for Verizon Wireless smartphones. No blood, but still an odd choice for a child’s game. These ads are clearly meant for the parents supervising their kids’ Internet time, but why have ads at all?

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  1. HiPwr says:

    “Why have ads at all?” I have a sneaking suspicion that the advertisements generate some revenue for the website. Just a theory.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Lol, I thought the same thing. Ridiculous…

    • carlosdelvaca says:

      Yeah, they have ads so they can make some money. My kids are avid Webkinz users, and I am stunned at the outcry every time Ganz adds something that generates revenue. Yeah, you bought the stuffed animal which essentially gets you a year-long license, but if you don’t like the idea of paying real-world cash for virtual items (which I agree is silly), then DON’T PAY FOR THEM. I agree that this particular ad is out of place, and someone’s ad serving algorithm needs to be adjusted. But Ganz isn’t running a charity, and I respect their right to serve up ads as long as they don’t take things over.

      • FuzzyWillow says:

        I agree with you. But I find it interesting how something that starts out free and good loses so much value once you place ads on them. Some web sites do it well, but others just plaster every square inch of the page and make the site useless. Some examples of web sites that used to be useful are no longer.

        weather.com is covered with so many ads. The national weather service has better more accurate and ad-free web site. Heck, your paying for it via your tax dollars, might as well make use of it.

        YouTube – popup ads and pre-rolls are making it useless. (I barely have the bandwidth to see the video without it buffering, the last thing I want is to sit through a poorly buffered pre-roll.

        I realize someone needs to pay the developers and for hosting, but I think many of these sites go overboard. This just sends me to alternatives that aren’t as obnoxious.

  2. Angus99 says:

    Harden up, America. The sooner children learn that you have to pulverize your opponent into a bloody mass of flesh and raw bone, spitting teeth and fragments of gum into a ring which has become one man’s hell and another’s glory, the better.

    Kids today! When I was young, we lived in a cardboard box in the middle of the road, and our dad beat us to sleep every night.

    • DJ Charlie says:

      You were lucky. We lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six in the morning, clean the paper bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down t’ mill, fourteen hours a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence a week, and when we got home our Dad would thrash us to sleep wi’ his belt.

      • ReaperRob says:

        Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing “Hallelujah.”

      • Doubts42 says:

        wow, your dad had a belt. My little sister had to follow my dad around all day holding his pants up.

        You fancy rich folks are so so soft.

    • pythonspam says:

      +1 to all three of you

  3. AngryK9 says:

    Those poor precious little snowflakes!

    • georgi55 says:

      +1

      • FuzzyWillow says:

        I am guessing neither of you have children.

        • Clyde Barrow says:

          Not having children is irrelevant and it’s a sign of this generation of mom’s in America: overreacting, overbearing, overcleaned, hypocrondriatic women who can’t seem to think straight. Come on, how can a woman allow an online ad to frighten her? It’s happens but only in this country and this type of OCD will be passed onto her kids. What she is doing in presuming an attitude about something that her kids probably could care less about and don’t give a second thought about, but SHE is going to make it an issue until someone hear’s HER VOICE. lol. meh.

          • FuzzyWillow says:

            I wouldn’t extrapolate her concerns for a country-wide OCD hypochondiratic epidemic, but I appreciate your concern for the future of parenting.

            I just wouldn’t want my children exposed to that image on a children’s web site. I don’t think it is good practice for a company to place that type of advertising on a children’s web site. There is a time (in childhood development) for exposure to such things and a place. That ad popping up in a child’s web site seem inappropriate. If the publisher of the site is going to allow it – more power to them – I just will not partake.

            • Clyde Barrow says:

              I didn’t see an ad that would corrupt kids. I’ve been in martial arts for years and I know plenty of parents that have their kids in martial arts and this ad is just a boxing ad, big deal. Would they think something is wrong? Probably not. It’s based upon how the parents react and the kids will pick up this nonsense and become just as wired to be OCD or whatever you want to call it and be just as screwed up as their moms.

              Walk down a European street and you’ll see statues of naked bodies. I know of one restaurant in Lyon, France where there is a naked female statue. No one cares. Children aren’t masturbating in the corner and mom’s aren’t wailing calling their legislatures asking for reform. It’s a non issue. You won’t see mom’s running to and fro with “hear me roar” and “oh please, think of the children” standing in front of the restaurant with signs in their hands.

              Again, this is a non issue.

              • FuzzyWillow says:

                I think we’ll just disagree about the ad.

                The nude statues are an interesting point though. I never said anything about children masturbating to statues, so I don’t where you got that straw man from.

                But personally I have nothing against nude statues. Make love, not war.

                I never advocated “reform” or “legislation.” so perhaps you are over reacting a bit.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      “Perhaps I am an overreacting mother…”

      At least she admits it. It’s not a pr0n ad or anything. Besides which, did she complain to the website, or simply come right here with her cries of “won’t someone think of the children???” ?

      I usually get annoyed when people blame the OP, but geez.

  4. xipander says:

    I’m pretty sure their targeted adds anyway based of tracking cookies for previous websites you’ve been to…

  5. FuzzyWillow says:

    As a parent, I would find this disturbing – but that the price of admission to a free online web site.

    As a result, I am picky about where my kids browse.

    I’ve never heard of WebKinz, but I will not be visiting their site any time soon.

    • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

      It’s not exactly free. You have to buy a stuffed animal and get a secret code to set up an account. You then have to continue to buy other animals (at least once a year, I think), to maintain the account.

      • FuzzyWillow says:

        Then why have advertising at all?

        I hate it when I pay for something, then it is plastered with ads. Just about every basic cable channel nowadays runs infomercials on Sunday morning. I am paying for these channels, yet at the time I can actually watch them, they don’t have any programming on. Which is why I am now cable free, but thats another topic.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Again, “disturbing”. How? What’s “disturbing” about it? It’s a boxing ad. Period.

      This kind of nonsense is nothing more than modern day adults having zero control over their thoughts and using children as the rule of thumb to justify their “rage”. Every little thing just makes these mom’s lose control, the world is gonna end, the sky is falling, blah, blah, blah.

      Self-control of your thoughts and emotions is important.

      • FuzzyWillow says:

        It is a violent image of someone who has obviously received blows to the head. So much so, that they are dripping blood. There is a part of my brain that empathizes with people in distress. It causes a reaction that I can process as an adult, but as a child cannot be processed as easily. Perhaps that part of your brain isn’t functioning – or you have been desensitized to the suffering of others. If so, I feel sorry for you.

        I really don’t have any rage – I won’t let my kids visit a site like that. It is my family – and I control their internet access. Let your kids view violent images before they are mature enough to handle it and you can deal with the consequences. Its a free country.

  6. skapig says:

    Not all of the adverts shown during TV shows aimed at children are appropriate either. Panic!

    • GrayMatter says:

      Absolutely! I am always highly amused by the kiddie cartoons with the commercial for the increased mobility wheelchair, adult diapers, and the like.

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        They figure gramps is stuck home watching the kids maybe? But yes, and what about billboards? Should you put blinders on your kids when you drive? What about TV? I guess if I ever have kids, they’ll be scarred for life!

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        I wonder how many mom’s allow their kids to watch The Family Guy with all the sexual innuendo’s of underaged sex with adult men, drug use, drinking, mocking of Christ, and everything else. But oh NO! Not a boxing ad.

  7. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Perhaps UFC should open a youth classification.

  8. Alter_ego says:

    Aren’t these adds based on previous websites you’ve visited? That’s how I can get an overstock.com ad advertising beanbags, when I’ve just been looking at beanbags on amazon.

  9. Rose says:

    Oh, Adblocker on my kid’s netbook, how I ♥ you. :)

  10. Snowball2 says:

    Ad supported content aside, what confuses me is that it’s not like advertisers want to pay to put their ads in ineffectual places. In my day job, I’m certainly not trying to waste my ad budget. So why are ads like this, which would seem to be poorly targeted, showing up? Just the other day I noticed nickjr.com has added interstitial ads to their online videos. The ad that I saw? For Cover Girl eye shadow. Is my 5yo really a target for makeup? Or if they think parents might be watching, do they also think that a Dora video is the right time for mom to think about new makeup? It doesn’t seem to make sense. Of course it also why the ad supported content model is in trouble…

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Well, I think parents are supposed to monitor their kids online. Maybe these companies assume that mom or dad is sitting with junior, and will see the ad. Sadly, mom and dad are probably on their own computers, and letting the laptop babysit junior…

    • gamblepsu says:

      If it’s a pay per click model rather than a pay per view, than their isn’t any adverse expense to them.

  11. bnceo says:

    Yes, parents always overreact. It’s why there are rules galore. The Parents Television Council is to blame for my lack of adult entertainment on adult channels. So yeah, curses to you all. Enough with the overprotection. It’s quite sad to see a bunch of scared people who let government and others parent their kids and try to avoid actual parent time by explain to their kids what stuff is.

    • FuzzyWillow says:

      “Yes, parents always overreact.”

      When you start a comment with that phrase you lose all credibility.

  12. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    Am I the only one who thought Tina’s remarks came with tongue planted firmly in cheek?

  13. gamblepsu says:

    Ad Blocker FTW!

  14. StrangeEmily says:

    Now THIS is what I keep coming back to this website for… if i remember correctly a lot of these sites have an age limit to join in the first place so mommy and daddy sign up for them to bypass the age limit and the company gets all this misleading data that leads them to this. Pfft.. and COME-ON, you really didn’t think that only children play this do you???

  15. TasteyCat says:

    “Perhaps I am an overreacting mother”

    Yes, yes you are. Your kids have seen worse, and will not be traumatized. At least you score points for sitting there with them rather than having it be an electronic babysitter, though.

    If Quantcast is to be believed, only 22% of the traffic to webkinz.com is preteen.