AdWords and Breitbart – A Trap For New Players

Over the last two weeks I’ve been running ads for my FTW series books on Google AdWords to coincide with their promotional pricing on Amazon.

I was startled over the weekend to be called out on twitter for advertising on Breitbart, a far-right website known for hate mongering. At first I thought it must have got the wrong guy, but no, the screenshot had my ad in all its glory above a homophobic rant on their website.

Of course I took immediate steps to remedy this. Being away from my computer limited my options, but I immediately halted all my ads from running until I could manually block the offensive site.

The Sleeping Giants (twitter account, logo above) helped me out with this. I honestly had no idea my ad would be shown here and am very disappointed that a progressive company like Google continues to push their ads there. Anyway, the Sleeping Giants forwarded me a document which I’ve linked to here:

which outlines how to block sites from your ad campaigns. I’ve made the change to my account this morning, but because my sale has finished, I haven’t reactivated my ads, but next time I run a sale the Breitbart site will be blocked automatically.

I would personally like to thank the users behind the Sleeping Giants for calling my attention to this, and to other advertisers who are no doubt as unaware as I was that their ads are being served on this site. If I could post a little more from their account, it’d be their how to help guide:

  1. Go to Breitbart and take a screenshot of an ad next to some of their content.
  2. Tweet the screenshot to the company with a polite, non-offensive note to notify them of the placement.
  3. Tag @slpng_giants so we can keep track of the progress.

Another positive thing I could take away from this is that perhaps if a visitor to the Breitbart website did click my ad and buy the book that their head has now exploded from reading a story featuring two ass-kicking, name-taking, gay main characters. One less douchebag makes the world better for everyone. 🙂