Inexplicable Things I’ve Removed From My Facebook “Advertising Interests”

Facebook's "Your ad preferences" header.

Two months ago, I swung through the Facebook “Ad Preferences” interface. I have been so diligent in marking most individual ads as irrelevant – because they are genuinely irrelevant, not because I merely dislike advertising – that the ensuing advertisements were flying off the rails.

I returned today to knock a few more off my list, knowing that these things attach to your profile like ticks in tall grass. I continue to wonder why any of these exist as something an advertising campaign can be built off of, and if you’ve never looked at yours, you should.

In the name of documenting what I’ve removed:

I have removed an advertising preference for Bark (sound).

I have removed 10 years of Football Manager releases, from 2005 to 2016, but excluding 2015, which was not in my advertising preferences. This is ironic because I am in the game’s regen database starting in the 2015 release. (Weird story.)

I have removed technical concepts, including COM file, HTTP 404, the 2014 release OS X Yosemite, and 1080p.

I have removed Bible, God, and First Epistle to the Thessalonians.

I have removed multiple places I have never been: New South Wales, Chino California, Germany, Entre Rios Province, South West England, North East England, and State of Mexico.

Not to be outdone by specific locations, I have removed geographic concepts: City, Country, and U.S. State. Also, somehow, List of United States cities by population.

I have removed five seasons of The Amazing Race (14, 17, 18, 21, 22). While I did watch TAR back in the day, I stopped around season 10.

I have removed both Love (band) and Love.

I have removed a number of purely weird concepts or things, including: Fictional film, Food craving, Gift, Institution, Mammal, Online, Resource, Remake, Ticket (admission), Time signature, Special edition, Sound, Vertebrate, and Wristband.

I have removed Socialistische Partij Anders. I’m sure they’re delightful, but I don’t think I need the ads.

I have removed multiple pieces of media I’ve never seen, including The Ringer (1931 film), Ghost (1990 film), and Godzilla (1954 film).

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I removed an advertising preference for Facebook.


Fact Checking A Call To Fact Check

There was a brief hullabaloo after the iPhone price drop where some strangle Google ads appeared when you search for “iphone price drop”.

> This is like salt in the wound for the early adopter while I was initially bummed by the price cut news, this makes it infuriating! I’m a big boy and made the choice to stand in line and have fun with the rest of the faithful on iPhone day. I can handle a price change or even a new product, but for the price to be cut so drastically so quickly and then to have it rubbed in my face like this by Apple is just wrong.

Today, Cory O’Brien over at Didn’t You Hear came clean and admitted to placing the ad allegedly from Apple. Which would have been fine if he didn’t try to pass the buck to the blogs who covered it for “misreporting” and failing to “fact check”:

> See how their address is, and mine was Also, see where their ad is placed? That’s usually a pretty good clue about the source of an ad. Fortunately, some of the various blogs’ commenters picked up on the fact that this was an affiliate ad, and not one placed by Apple, and called it out as such. Unfortunately, many of the blogs themselves did not. Fact checking would have saved me quite a bit of worry in this situation, so my plea to the big boy blogs is this: Keep those journalistic integrities intact, and Check That Fact!

Of course, had Cory done a little more research, he would’ve realized his own “facts” are wrong.

Also, the yellow box that sometimes appears at the top of the page? It has nothing to do with the source of the ad.

> While there isn’t a way to ensure top placement, there are certainly some best practices that may well help your ads rise to the top. Really, there are no secrets: these are the same best practices that affect the positioning (or ranking) of your AdWords ads wherever they appear, and they also happen to be the same best practices we wrote about just a few days ago.

Never let the facts stop a badly planned joke.


Battle Of The Awesome Non-Sequitur Adverthings

Both of the following are advertisements, kind of. Both don’t make much sense. Regardless, both are AWESOME.

Without further ado, for your consideration:

A Glass And A Half

A new ad campaign from Cadbury that has almost nothing to do with delicious chocolate. Features the music of Phil Collins. If that wasn’t enough, after you’re done watching the video, read the transcript.


A flash clock application from UNIQLO that has almost nothing to do with hip japanese clothing. Features the music from Fantastic Plastic Machine. If that wasn’t enough, after you’re done getting entranced by it, partake in the UNIQLOCK BLOG PARTS™.