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  • NegBox 6:56 pm on June 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FTC,   

    FTC Complaint on AdWords Ban – Yes, I’m still banned 

    Google’s final response to the San Jose BBB case was this:

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and we are unable to provide any additional information. Google reserves the right to disable any ads when deemed necessary per the AdWords Terms and Conditions: https://adwords.google.com/select/tsandcsfinder. Again, we apologize for any frustration. Your AdWords account will remain suspended unless you have the ability to edit the content of the sites for which you were previously advertising.

    The whole thing is pretty insulting.

    Over the past few days there were some really great comments on the original post – with some really good ideas.

    Since the BBB channel got nowhere, I decided to file a complaint with the FTC – Federal Trade Commission. The FTC doesn’t attempt to resolve individual complaints – at the same time the FTC can do a lot to solve everyone’s complaints about something like AdWords and their practices – especially as Google gets as big as it is now. The only way for that to happen, though, would be for them to get a bunch of complaints, not just two. I’ll put in my grain of sand and wait for the avalanche. Maybe the FTC will get a hundred complaints over three years and act like they got them all last Tuesday – playing the same time-distortion games Google plays with everyone else.

    In case you’re interested, and it helps you file your complaint, here is the full text of the complaint I filed.

    Google AdWords service is using misleading and deceptive language, policies and practices with regards to suspending accounts. Furthermore they offer as a way of resolving AdWords service problems a course of action that is either impossible (modify sites you dont own) or would involve committing a crime. They offer no real recourse. They bar you from their advertising program as an individual, for life, and mark accounts that may be associated to your person. This does make me a less valuable professional in real life. If this was the corner coffee shop, that would not be a problem. The problem arises when Google uses these policies that provide no realistic recourse, and at the same time controls the great majority of search traffic worldwide.

    I filed a case with Google’s local BBB (the San Jose BBB, case #<withheld>) and received Google’s final reply of  “Your AdWords account will remain suspended unless you have the ability to edit the content of the sites for which you were previously advertising.”  These sites they are referring to are sites I dont own and Im not trying to advertise at all – It has been over two years since I advertised those sites. Google is knowingly acting in a devilishly deceptive manner, while ruining my good name and barring me from their system with no recourse.

    Google AdWords is taking permanent and continued action starting June 2011, based on events that took place at least a year ago, which merited a warning in 2010. Google unilaterally escalated the perceived severity of past actions and provides as a possible way of resolution an avenue which Google fully understand is impossible to execute. While Google’s explanations seem rational (‘fix the website’), and it may fully fit within the processes Google has defined, that doesn’t take away nor satisfactorily explain nor resolve the material facts that Google has permanently suspended me personally based solely on activity that took place a year ago, which they reviewed in due time a year ago, and provide no viable course of action to resolve the dispute amicably. “Fixing” a website I don’t own is not a viable course of action and Google insists that is their only acceptable means of resolution, and puts the onus on me. Google is knowingly asking to perform an impossible task, so Google can bar me from their system with the deceptive claim that I am unwilling to fulfill their requirements for compliance.

    Google continually cites they “Reserve the right to disable any ads…” That is not an issue here. The issue is that they are barring me for life with no recourse; that is not the same as reserving the right to disable non-compliant ads.

    Please give me a call if you have further questions.

    To file a complaint with the FTC, just go here and click the big “FTC Complaint Assistant” graphic.

    You’ll need a bit of Google’s business details, which they kindly provided via the BBB, and are these:

    Google, Inc.
    1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy
    Mountain View, CA 94043-1351
    Phone: (650) 330-0100

    Have fun!

    6/22/11 update: Don’t forget to also file your complaint with your state’s Attorney General. You can find your states attorney general webpage (and their online complaint form) right here in the National Association of Attorneys General directory or just Slash it with blekko.

     
    • Luke 12:47 am on June 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I just found your post while searching online. The same thing happened to me, but the ads they banned me for were 7 years old.

      I wrote up the whole ordeal here: http://www.everstatus.com/03/29/google-bans-11-year-old-adwords-account-over-deleted-ads/

      I would suggest possibly filing a complaint with your state Attorney General. They have been instrumental in banding together to lobby the FTC to take action.

      Google has an amazing amount of hubris at the moment and it will probably take regulatory action to bring any sort of change.

      • NegBox 6:11 pm on June 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        @Luke, great post on your blog – Thank you. I’ve just finished filing a complaint with my state’s Attorney General. I think I have a contact into his office too – Yummy! I knew I was forgetting something.

        Google is controlling a monopolistic-level share of something extremely valuable to citizens: The index to the internet. You either self-regulate and keep complaints low, or get doggy-banged by the government. It isn’t rocket science, the same deal has played out dozens of times before, yet it seems it takes more than a thousand PhDs to figure out.

    • Bil Smith 8:21 pm on June 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve lost a handful of Adwords accounts over the years but it never really bothered me to be honest, but what they’re doing now is ridiculous. I lost accounts because I was doing things I shouldn’t have been doing – knowingly, no less – not because of something that I promoted half a decade ago that changed without any input from me. Google is the 600 pound gorilla in the room and they’ve relied on that to pull this kind of crap. Hopefully if enough people complain to the right people, something will finally be done.

      • NegBox 8:47 pm on June 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Bil, that’s exactly the issue. You get banned for being sly… Fine. Move on or try again. You can’t complain. You get banned for nothing, and suddenly you’re on a crusade to avenge the wrong, embodied in the monstrous Googlezilla. Human nature at its best. What makes it most fun to watch is Google’s uncompromising out-of-this-planet idea of customer service and public opinion, which goes along the lines of “What customers?” – Behaving as if the world were static and timeless, or that an impenetrable shell can be created is, in one word: Solipsistic.

    • Matt 12:59 pm on August 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      any update on this post? curious if the gov-types made any mention of receiving your info.

      • NegBox 11:06 pm on August 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        @matt, they did – I got two letters from my state’s Attorney General. I really don’t expect much. If anything the whole experience is quite liberating. Now instead of trying my best to be a good AdWords advertiser, I try my best to be the sneakiest AdWords outlaw as possible – Way less stressful.

    • Hay 3:30 pm on October 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I too just found out that I am permanently suspended from my adwords account because of two failed campaigns I ran for about a month two years ago. I simply took two campaigns from an affiliate network that I am part of and tried some adwords ads. Guess who lost money? So, I stopped the campaigns and never gave it any more thought. Lo and behold, a few weeks ago i visited my adwords account and found myself PERMANENTLY SUSPENDED!! I emailed the great Internet god and found that I may as well talk to a brick. Certainly I could easily find more common sense talking to a brick. Couldn’t reason at all with them.

      Google insisted that the only way to be re-established was to make changes to the websites (which I NEVER DID OWN, NOR DID I EVER HAVE ACCESS TO THEM). Google is completely, totally, unreasonable and uncaring. They own the internet and set all the rules to suit their own profitability.

      Have you ever noticed that google’s attitude toward anyone trying to make money on the Internet is like you are pond scum (while they scoop in billions after obscene billions). Interesting, eh?

      Google is an INTERNET BULLY of the highest magnitude and the sooner someone legislates them the better. How can the governments of the world stand by and let this monster become even more monstrous?

      • NegBox 3:00 pm on October 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Hey Hay – A giant chunk of the responsibility for the way Google is today falls on us. And by ‘us’ I mean people directly related to technology – I can’t take all the credit, otherwise I’d say “me”.
        We used Google instead of Altavista, Dogpile, or Yahoo – MSN was out of the question since they were the Evil Galactic Empire ruled by Darth Gates. We switched everyone’s default engine from Yahoo to Google. We told everyone about Google. We made Google grow into what it is today. Why? First, they gave us the same shitty results as everyone else, except they had a very clean homepage – while everyone else had shit out the wazoo on their search page – Who wants to load a 1 Megabyte page on a 56K modem? Let alone set it as a default page…. Then Google started giving really good results – Took them YEARS to put out more relevant results than the other engines – Nobody gives a shit about the quality o the results if it takes forever to get them, though – so we all used Google then for its speed and un-cluttered-ness and gave them the chance to get better. Then they added ads to their listings and over time literally fucked us all in the ass and will continue to do so for quite some time… So better go get some K-Y.

    • Gyuri 8:36 am on December 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hey,

      How is your case coming with the FTC? Would love to have some updates.

      • Gyuri 7:43 am on December 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Just raised my FTC complaint. I focused on the fact that Google Adwords is a monopoly for online advertisement, and them banning you for life seriously impairs your prospects to enter the online market which is a necessity for survival. :)

        If there would be 4-5 players with 20% market share their ban would not matter, but this way it does. For an FTC complaint you need to focus on monopolistic nature of Google, and why they should not be allowed to ban an advertiser for life.

        • NegBox 10:41 pm on December 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply

          Really “my case” is lob the grenade and run. Not gonna chase the FTC. Now does anyone really believe that because Google doesn’t want me to use their systems, I won’t if I need to? If I had a choice, then I would respect that – When I don’t have a choice, well then I just don’t have a choice.

      • Gyuri 11:43 am on December 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        One more thing I wanted to mention that the Adwords team could simply block questionable URLs in campaigns instead of banning people. This treatment is totally rude. In the US Justice system not even murderers get a permanent ban for life.

    • Gyuri 7:34 am on December 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      One more addition: If you are living in the EU the new data protection scheme will allow individuals the “right to be forgotten” , meaning someone can request the deletion of all personal data, such as IP email etc. This way they wont be able to ban you for life. Screw you Google, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/8388033/Online-right-to-be-forgotten-confirmed-by-EU.html.
      I will be one of hte first person to request this for my Adwords account.


  • Gratuitous Eye Candy




  • NegBox 9:36 pm on June 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Obama Email Submit Exposed in Pictures 

    Shady email submit using Obama’s face, exposed for all to see page-by-page – Because I’m a dick, and I hate it when I don’t think of scammy stuff before someone else does.

    I was just browsing a website when this window appeared. Mr. President wants to talk to me!

    Obama just wanted some input on his campaign

    He asked me about Donald Trump

    ... and Sarah Palin

    ... and Ron Paul. I was sure he would put this information to good use.

    Obama kept his word and let me select my prize. My three very valuable minutes were turned into a $500+ electronic gadget. Gotta love the stimulus.

    I chose the iPhone! So excited to get my prize!

    Obama wanted to know my e-mail address. How else is he going to ship my goodies? By e-mail, of course!

    After I gave him my e-mail, I was surprised he STILL had more questions for me.

    He started getting really personal with the questions. I guess he might want to invite me for dinner. Or maybe an extra-special prize! Or a mortgage rebate!

    Maybe he was going to offer me a job... Or sucker me into a payday loan?

     

     

     

    I thought he would give me a scholarship!

    Or a new checking account!

    Then he asked me about my credit score. I've got no clue, maybe he can send it to me.

    Jesus Christ how many question does the president have?

    Finally I get to the last question, again... I can't wait for my iPhone! I know Obama won't let me down - He's the president of the USA!

     

     

     

    What the hell, mofo!? Now he says I need to complete two "offers" to get my gift. What kind of gift is this? I don't understand why it says on the top right that I selected the Dell computer instead of the iPhone - whatever, I also need a new computer!

    I thought ok, I just buy two crappy things and get my prize, so I got some teeth whiteners and Dr. Seuss books for the kids. Couldn't wait to get my stuff. Then this son of a bitch tells me I need to complete NINE more offers. Fine, I'll buy myself nine more useless things...

    Ah! finally, after I bought eleven pieces of shit, I get some bonus offers right before my prize. I'm just gonna skip these bonuses and head for my prize... So I'll click the bottom link...

    What the fuck now? Where is my prize? This lady is talking to me about credit cards. Lady, tell me about my prize, not credit cards god dammit!

    Maybe Obama is just going to send me an e-mail asking me for my shipping address for the prize... Lets check my inbox. ... Strange, I don't remember signing up for financial aid, scholarships, government grants, credit reports or auction places. Oh well.. I'll just wait, maybe Obama is going to call me!

    Shady email submit using Obama’s face, exposed for all to see page-by-page.
     

  • Gratuitous Eye Candy




  • NegBox 6:45 pm on June 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Ban   

    How Google Banned Me – And The Simple Way to Save Your Ass 

    I wish someone had told me this two years ago: Google associates your AdWords account to the domains that you advertise. Worse yet, they associate it to the domains and then refuse to break that association. Just to be clear: Its not the domain you have on the display URL or your tracking domain if its in the middle – its the domain -and the page- where the user lands. They keep track of where you are sending the users and the quality of your account becomes forever linked to the quality of experience those pages give the user.

    It doesn’t matter if you delete the ads by over-writing them with blanks like I did. It doesn’t matter if you delete the ads, then the ad groups, then the campaigns and all the campaigns in your account and don’t do much of anything for a year. You might as well be advertising child porn to soccer moms during Christmas.

    So now you know how to avoid getting banned. Simply put: Never, ever, ever, use AdWords to take users to a page you don’t control. They insinuate they let you get ‘unbanned’ if you correct the pages – which you obviously can’t do if you don’t own them.

    Curious to know exactly what happened to my account? Here are the details. If you’re interested in more background, here’s a post with images from the first time they sent me a warning. Note that since about a month before the time of that warning, I haven’t ran a single impression, ad, click, or unpaused any campaigns – all I did was delete my campaigns several months ago and now enter new billing info in the form of a coupon they sent me.

    The low-down

    I used Google AdWords to advertise fatloss4idiots.com and (another site). Several months after I stopped all my advertising to those sites, on July 8th 2010 I received an e-mail from LPQ-Support@google.com letting me know those two sites violate the landing page guidelines. I had not advertised those sites for several months. They asked me to make changes to the sites. Which I can’t do – fatloss4idiots.com is not my property, so I agree to never advertise them again and delete those campaigns. I have not advertised anything on AdWords since July 2010. All my campaigns have been deleted for several months now. On May 18th I receive an e-mail from Google Adwords (adwords-noreply@google.com) with a $100 coupon, saying “Here’s $100 to come back to AdWords” it seems to be a coupon for people that have not advertised in some time. So I log in to my AdWords account and put the code. The code works fine – $100 is added to my account – and I don’t touch anything else on my account. On June 8th I receive an e-mail that states my AdWords account has been suspended forever. I call their support line and after describing the problem, then I get e-mail saying their decision is final, to not to ask them why or call again. I called them again on Thursday and on Friday I get the same “our decision is final” email with no information or recourse.

    Adwords Support Sucks Flaming Ass

    Reality check:

    To keep the post at the “reality” level, lets keep in mind that all the Google policies and procedures are optional, they can be over-ridden by management, they can be applied selectively, they are defined in one meeting on Monday and changed around on Thursday. Just because someone tells you something is their process, it doesn’t mean it is a law of nature – It means the people you are talking to don’t know or don’t want to help you – it doesn’t mean things can’t be changed. Corollary: Everything changes, its up to you to find out how to make it change the way you want it.

    What next?

    Not sure. I’m not sure my time or money would be well spent getting this overturned. I haven’t used AdWords for anything for a year now. This is a problem I might have to solve when the need arises. Without an active income stream from them, its hard to justify spending time and resources on this when there are better things to do – I can see it having some strategic value, and it pisses me off ‘to infinity and beyond’ – yet it doesn’t seem to make much business sense to do something with it right now. So… Not sure.

    Update 6/15/2011:

    After posting on the blog I decided to cut and paste a chunk of this post and send it to Google via the BBB as a complaint. As Mike pointed out, the BBB is useless and powerless. Google had this to say today:

    We write in response to {witheld}. We understand that your AdWords account was recently suspended. Paused ads for disabled sites are still subject to review by our team. Please keep in mind that pausing or deleting ads related to the disabled sites will not automatically re-enable the ads nor remove the violation history. Our team has confirmed that this suspension was correct. And the account will remain suspended unless the violating sites are brought into compliance according to our Site and Quality guidelines. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but unfortunately we cannot provide any further assistance in this matter. Google’s primary objective is to provide safe, relevant experiences for our users. The decision to suspend your account was made after careful review of your account and the low quality landing page experiences promoted through your ads. We do apologize that this issue came to our attention shortly after you received a promotional offer. Our Terms and Conditions, to which you agreed to when you signed up for AdWords, state that Google reserves the right to disable any ads when deemed necessary. You can review these Terms and Conditions here: https://adwords.google.com/select/tsandcsfinder
    Initial Response Summary
    We have reviewed the AdWords account and confirmed that the suspension was correct.

    This is a standard mind-fuck response. In case you’re wondering what’s going on here: Its a set-up. They’ve pulled a process out of their ass that makes sure you can’t fix your situation, yet it sounds reasonable and they offer no alternatives. In other words, they do whatever they please – Like that was news.

    So I wrote them a little response, really for the principle because I don’t want the BBB to say “Yay! Successfully resolved the case!” when what happened was nothing. My rebuttal:

    The explanation about the internal processes of Google does not satisfactorily resolve the material facts: Google has taken permanent and continued action starting June 2011, based on events that took place at least a year ago, which merited a warning in 2010. Google has unilaterally escalated the perceived severity of past actions and provides as a possible way of resolution an avenue which Google fully understand is impossible to execute. While Google’s explanation seems rational, and it may fully fit within the processes Google has defined, that doesn’t take away nor satisfactorily explain nor resolve the material facts that Google has permanently suspended this account based solely on activity that took place a year ago.

    So, next up should be where Google says “Lalalalalala I’m not listening! You are gone!” and case closed. Stay tuned.

     
    • Earl Grey 9:54 pm on June 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Unsuprisingly with my background and complete lack of interest in following any rule i lose tons of Adwords accounts.
      No real cossitency of reason and i can lose one account and do exactly the same in another account but keep it.
      Seems sometimes there is a crazy jobsworth just comes and denys or bans.

      • NegBox 3:29 am on June 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        @Earl grey – Then there’s that black hat route you bring up. Sorta “If you brand me an outlaw, I’ll get off the nice mouse wheel and truly become your nightmare” approach – which I have to agree is as valid as any approach. Everything flows thru the path of least resistance. If it’s significantly easier for me to bypass the rules than play by the rules and the payoff is comparable, you can fully expect me to go dark. By eliminating the payoff for good behavior, and a mechanism of redemption, Google creates a nightmare scenario around this service – pretty short-sighted. A sign of a B-player somewhere in leadership there. You gotta give the little people things to play with that you can see and are relatively harmless… It’s like a religion here: If you couldn’t ask for forgiveness and salvation by doing something, you’d have no disincentive to try to wreck the machine.

    • Mike Chiasson 10:55 pm on June 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      When you get adwords banned do they ban your analytics/gmail accounts as well?

      I had some other questions but forgot by the time I scrolled by the ladies.

      • NegBox 2:21 am on June 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        It just shows a message as a regular alert inside the AdWords interface. You can still browse around. Other stuff like analytics, etc, remains unaffected as far as I can tell.

    • Earl Grey 2:22 am on June 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      No its just adwords.
      Dont ever just download an upload your campaigns to unbanned accounts.
      they have some kind of hashing and can tell.
      Start new campaigns based on what you have learned.
      Some accounts can give me a $5 return for every $1 spent and then when i put it in a new account i can get $8 for $1.
      Country you set your account up in makes a dramatic difference.
      UK starts slow and gets better.
      Switzerland starts well and declines.
      I have no reasonable explanation to explain any of this.

      • NegBox 3:31 am on June 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        @earl grey: Good tip, man. Looks like I’ll have to read your blog some more and add you to the blogroll.

      • Dan p 11:14 pm on June 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Earl – How about US?
        Do you usually create accounts with UK?

    • Ryan Eagle 9:13 am on June 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Yea i’ve heard and experienced a lot of sketchy stuff with Google Adwords.

    • greg 6:34 pm on June 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hi NegBox,

      I received the same mail on 9th July 2011. Permanently banned from AdWords for advertising fatloss4idiots.com – AND NOW LISTEN: 4 YEARS AGO. Yes, that’s right right: I ran a a month long campaign in June 2007 and the paused it. I haven’t even used my AdWords account in the last 2 years.

      And by the way: Google hasn’t ever sent me any final warning.

      Can you believe this? They banned me for advertising something 4 years ago WITHOUT ANY – NOT EVEN FINAL – WARNING!!

      Google is evil.

      Greg

      • NegBox 2:54 pm on June 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        @Greg Sorry your comment got flagged as spam, just fished it out. I thought scanning “paused” campaigns for compliance was unreasonable, yet I chalked it up to “whatever”. Now taking into account deleted stuff and even going back years, pretending like the time dimension doesn’t exist, or expecting people to ignore it when attributing consequences to events is not just ridiculous – it won’t hold up to scrutiny. You brain’s evolution connects events that take place close in time according to your short human time scale. If you call your girlfriend “bitch” and she stabs you with a fork, it’s ‘a domestic dispute’. If you call your girlfriend “bitch” and she tracks you down five years later and stabs you with a fork, its ‘attempted homicide’. Unfortunately for Google, time matters for humans.

    • Patrick 5:31 am on June 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Yep, nearly exact thing happened to me. They banned me for an old deleted campaign that I hadn’t run in 3 years, domains were all parked when they banned me:
      http://www.pjkdirect.com/2011/03/adwords-account-banned-clear-mistake

      It is worth the fight to get back in. There is still a gold mine their if you know how to use it…

      • NegBox 3:11 pm on June 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Well.. Honestly now, it isn’t worth my time or the frustration to play the support-phone-tag anymore. The worst possible scenario is one where they reinstate my account, I go on the have a good income stream from them, and then they decide to cancel it again for what happened five years ago, and I have no clue how to work around them. That scenario will not play out. When the time comes, I’ll either find (aka: Social engineer) a contact high enough in Google to straighten it out for good, or (perhaps in parallel) just open an account as an advertiser from one of the countries I do business in and either outsource it or use my VPN and VMs to access that account and segregate billing and domains.

        • me me me 2:59 pm on June 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

          Segregate billing? How is it possible to have multiple adwords accounts when I need adwords invoice to deduct expenses for tax reasons? Are adwords aware of the credit card or paypal account, or whatever, the name the money is coming from? Perhaps slightly mispelt names? You say you get past this because you’ve set up LLCs in various countries, I’d appreciate something lighter since doing so usually means tax ambiguity, you can be charged taxes both in that country and your home country…

    • Patrick 5:35 am on June 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Additionally, the whole “set your own landing page” doesn’t always work. They will ban you for bridge pages in a second, or anything close. Direct linking can still work great on the content network. It is a sacrifice for sure. Bridge pages will get you killed in a day though…

    • didi 6:38 am on June 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      NegBox, was the ban because you ran ads on the search network?

      @Patrick Direct linking is allowed on Google content network??? This is the 1st I’ve heard of that, which verticals or offers work on content network? I have a feeling if I try an email submit on the content network the banhammer will come.

      • NegBox 3:59 pm on June 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        @didi: This is a case of Customer Relationship Management left to engineers. Many businesses have customers that cause the business a loss, once the segments are identified, you try to get rid of them. Everyone does this, from ATT to Best Buy to your local Zoo — You calculate things like the Lifetime Value of each particular customer and provide them service and offers to match. You use price points, service hours, service levels, you send offers to only certain customers, you do or do not offer the customer a bonus for not defecting to a competitor, you ignore or include them on your market research, etc, etc. That’s how you get rid of the bad customers. You CANNOT however stop them at the door of the Best Buy and tell them they are barred forever from Best Buy because your predictive engine tells you they are just going to buy the loss leader and there is a 50% chance they will return it, causing a loss instead of a profit – and to not think of wearing a mask because your super-duper technology will recognize them and boot them. See the problem? In some ways this reminds me of that movie “Minority Report”.

        @didi: The ban is completely unrelated to where I ran ads.

        @me me me: Too many questions man. I don’t have all your answers.

    • me me me 11:43 pm on June 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      well then u can lick me scottish balls laddy

      • NegBox 5:45 am on June 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Scottish salty balls!

    • fm1234 12:31 pm on June 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      That may be the greatest picture ever posted on the Internet. No, not the tits; they’re nice and all, but I’m referring to the demotivator. Is that a cap from ‘Brazil?’ I’ve never before thought about it, but associating Google’s support with the universe in which that movie takes place actually makes Google support seem a lot more sensible.

      Frank

    • fm1234 6:38 am on June 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I’d also nominate a pic of the interrogation chair; captioned “Advertiser Review: Confess quickly, or you’ll ruin your credit.”

    • kt 11:56 am on August 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Their rules can be very stupid the way they apply it to all cases as a blanket. For example their bridge page rule can be a good thing or completely idiotic. Here is my response to them for being accused of a bridge page but of course they are not going to budge from their dumb position so I will just have to find alternative advertisers:
      —————————————-
      Wow, your requirements are pretty strict. So in essence you don’t allow resellers of any kind even though some offer great services such as in my case having the same low price for registration of domains and renewal. Just for your information here are a few sites that google adwords are running on and have been running for a while that are exactly the same:

      *****Here I included 4 pages that were doing exact same thing as my ad from the first two pages of adwords listings of a keyword search*****

      And this was just a quick search. I have seen many more!

      BTW, I believe it should also be noted that I am not simply sending visitors to somebody else’s page. That particular page is my reseller page with my
      own custom settings and prices. That is why you see the huge title “DomainOfferer.com”. So it is not exactly the same as me redirecting people
      to a completely separate site. It is basically my site that is hosted on another domain. I certainly pay for it so it should be mine.
      Regards,
      —————————————————-
      Google is a good company but many that work for it have a special arrogance that deserve to be slapped around a bit.

    • Dean 5:45 am on October 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Ok bro,when I got suspended I was shocked and all fucked up, thinking I did something really bad… well I found the phone number to call them directly and the arrogant prick actually laughed as he pulled up the offer that caused the suspension that I really had no clue as to what the fuck. It was an email submit from peerfly, free ipod scam bullshit that I had already deleted before I was suspended so I was like ” well fuck dude I deleted it and I know it was bullshit”
      anyway.. I called peerfly and he told me to abandon that account and start a new one in another sir name.. using my first name and not my middle as I did.. and a different address and a new email.. and that worked. Now I know better than to promote lead gens direct links. You must only promote from your own site,so like Negbox says, so you can control the shit google doesn’t like.. They are such bullies.


  • Gratuitous Eye Candy




  • NegBox 6:47 am on June 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: culture, excel,   

    International Marketing – Giant Spreadsheet of Cultural Differences 

    Need a leg up on international campaigns? Use this giant interactive Excel to compare cultures, create ads that connect and avoid pissing money away.

    Inspired by Finch’s hilarious “How not to crack an international market” post, I decided to share this juicy spreadsheet. I got it during my MBA, probably from one of the professors – I had never seen it before, and have never seen it posted since. The spreadsheet form comes from Neil Sandford who got permission from the original researcher, Professor Geert Hofstede.

    Geert Hofstede excel data

    What’s in it an how it was made

    (Original simple article in Chinese)

    These ideas were first based on a large research project into national culture differences across subsidiaries of a multinational corporation (IBM) in 64 countries. Subsequent studies by others covered students in 23 countries, elites in 19 countries, commercial airline pilots in 23 countries, up-market consumers in 15 countries, and civil service managers in 14 countries. These studies together identified and validated five independent dimensions of national culture differences:

    Power distance, that is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. This represents inequality (more versus less), but defined from below, not from above. It suggests that a society’s level of inequality is endorsed by the followers as much as by the leaders. Power and inequality, of course, are extremely fundamental facts of any society and anybody with some international experience will be aware that ‘all societies are unequal, but some are more unequal than others’.

    Individualism on the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, that is the degree to which individuals are inte-grated into groups. On the individualist side we find societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate family. On the collectivist side, we find societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families (with uncles, aunts and grandparents) which continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. The word ‘collectivism’ in this sense has no political meaning: it refers to the group, not to the state. Again, the issue addressed by this dimension is an extremely fundamental one, regarding all societies in the world.

    Masculinity versus its opposite, femininity, refers to the distribution of roles between the genders which is another fundamental issue for any society to which a range of solutions are found. The IBM studies revealed that (a) women’s values differ less among societies than men’s values; (b) men’s values from one country to another contain a dimension from very assertive and competitive and maximally different from women’s values on the one side, to modest and caring and similar to women’s values on the other. The assertive pole has been called ‘masculine’ and the modest, caring pole ‘feminine’. The women in feminine countries have the same modest, caring values as the men; in the masculine countries they are somewhat assertive and competitive, but not as much as the men, so that these countries show a gap between men’s values and women’s values.

    Uncertainty avoidance deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity; it ultimately refers to man’s search for Truth. It indicates to what extent a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Unstructured situations are novel, unknown, surprising, different from usual. Uncertainty avoiding cultures try to minimize the possibility of such situations by strict laws and rules, safety and security measures, and on the philosophical and religious level by a belief in absolute Truth; ‘there can only be one Truth and we have it’. People in uncertainty avoiding countries are also more emotional, and motivated by inner nervous energy. The opposite type, uncertainty accepting cultures, are more tolerant of opinions different from what they are used to; they try to have as few rules as possible, and on the philosophical and religious level they are relativist and allow many currents to flow side by side. People within these cultures are more phlegmatic and contemplative, and not expected by their environment to express emotions.

    Long-term versus short-term orientation: this fifth dimension was found in a study among students in 23 countries around the world, using a questionnaire designed by Chinese scholars It can be said to deal with Virtue regardless of Truth. Values associated with Long Term Orientation are thrift and perseverance; values associated with Short Term Orientation are respect for tradition, fulfilling social obligations, and protecting one’s ‘face’. Both the positively and the negatively rated values of this dimension are found in the teachings of Confucius, the most influential Chinese philosopher who lived around 500 B.C.; however, the dimension also applies to countries without a Confucian heritage.

    Scores on the first four dimensions were obtained for 50 countries and 3 regions on the basis of the IBM study, and on the fifth dimension for 23 countries on the basis of student data collected by Bond. Power distance scores are high for Latin, Asian and African countries and smaller for Germanic countries. Individualism prevails in developed and Western countries, while Collectivism prevails in less developed and Eastern countries; Japan takes a middle position on this dimension. Masculinity is high in Japan, in some European countries like Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and moderately high in Anglo countries; it is low in Nordic countries and in the Netherlands and moderately low in some Latin and Asian countries like France, Spain and Thailand. Uncertainty avoidance scores are higher in Latin countries, in Japan, and in German speaking countries, lower in Anglo, Nordic, and Chinese culture countries. A Long Term Orientation is mostly found in East Asian countries, in particular in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.

    The grouping of country scores points to some of the roots of cultural differences. These should be sought in the common history of similarly scoring countries. All Latin countries, for example, score relatively high on both power distance and uncertainty avoidance. Latin countries (those today speaking a Romance language i.e. Spanish, Portuguese, French or Italian) have inherited at least part of their civilization from the Roman empire. The Roman empire in its days was characterized by the existence of a central authority in Rome, and a system of law applicable to citizens anywhere. This established in its citizens’ minds the value complex which we still recognize today: centralization fostered large power distance and a stress on laws fostered strong uncertainty avoidance. The Chinese empire also knew centralization, but it lacked a fixed system of laws: it was governed by men rather than by laws. In the present-day countries once under Chinese rule, the mindset fostered by the empire is reflected in large power distance but medium to weak uncertainty avoidance. The Germanic part of Europe, including Great Britain, never succeeded in establishing an enduring common central authority and countries which inherited its civilizations show smaller power distance. Assumptions about historical roots of cultural differences always remain speculative but in the given examples they are quite plausible. In other cases they remain hidden in the course of history.

    The country scores on the five dimensions are statistically correlated with a multitude of other data about the countries. For example, power distance is correlated with the use of violence in domestic politics and with income inequality in a country. Individualism is correlated with national wealth (Per Capita Gross National Product) and with mobility between social classes from one generation to the next. Masculinity is correlated negatively with the share of their Gross National Product that governments of the wealthy countries spend on development assistance to the Third World. Uncertainty avoidance is associated with Roman Catholicism and with the legal obligation in developed countries for citizens to carry identity cards. Long Term Orientation is correlated with national economic growth during the past 25 years, showing that what led to the economic success of the East Asian economies in this period is their populations’ cultural stress on the future-oriented values of thrift and perseverance.

    Enjoy. If you are using Excel 2010 or higher, you’ll have to allow editing to be able to interact with the charts. Here’s the spreadsheet:

     

     

    Prof. Geert Hofstede conducted perhaps the most comprehensive study of how values in the workplace are influenced by culture.

    Geert Hofstede analyzed a large data base of employee values scores collected by IBM between 1967 and 1973 covering more than 70 countries, from which he first used the 40 largest only and afterwards extended the analysis to 50 countries and 3 regions. In the editions of GH’s work since 2001, scores are listed for 74 countries and regions, partly based on replications and extensions of the IBM study on different international populations.

     

    Subsequent studies validating the earlier results have included commercial airline pilots and students in 23 countries, civil service managers in 14 counties, ‘up-market’ consumers in 15 countries and ‘elites’ in 19 countries.

     

    From the initial results, and later additions, Hofstede developed a model that identifies four primary Dimensions to assist in differentiating cultures: Power Distance – PDI, Individualism – IDV, Masculinity – MAS, and Uncertainty Avoidance – UAI.

     

    Geert Hofstede added a fifth Dimension after conducting an additional international study with a survey instrument developed with Chinese employees and managers.

     

    That Dimension, based on Confucian dynamism, is Long-Term Orientation – LTO and was applied to 23 countries.

     

    These five Hofstede Dimensions can also be found to correlate with other country, cultural, and religious paradigms

     

     

     
    • joy sanders 2:52 am on October 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks heaps, especially for the finishing eye candy made all that reading worth while…. appreciations!

    • Wolf 1:50 pm on February 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It’s a great sheet, but unfortunately all the LTO data seems to be missing. It just shows 0 for every country.


  • Gratuitous Eye Candy




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