How-To Geek

Apologies About An Awful Audio Advertisement

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A few days ago we mentioned a horrible auto-playing audio ad that one of our filler advertisers decided to run without telling us. We told them in no uncertain terms that it better not happen again… and then they enabled it again last night.


Photo by Vitor P

If you were subjected to the annoying ad, we’re sorry, and this time it’s really not going to happen again. We’ve disabled the offending advertiser and won’t do business with them until they find a way to leave control of the ads completely in our hands so we can make sure it doesn’t happen in the future—or we just won’t do business with them period.

Audio ads that play automatically are the lowest of the low, one of the most dirty rotten tricks that a website can play on a reader. At least your browser has a built-in popup ad blocker—you’ll need to install Flashblock or something similar to stop audio ads from blaring out of your speakers (which is also one of the ways we prevented YouTube videos from playing automatically—you’ll simply see the Flashblock icon in place of the normal Flash ad).


We’ve long prided ourselves in avoiding intrusive, sleazy advertising and providing a clean, genuinely useful website for our readers—and we intend to stick by it, recession or not. We don’t think a recession is any excuse for compromising your core principles—and frankly, it’s a critical point where you need to stick with the core values that brought you success in the first place. You can’t simply sell out because it’s too tough for you.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/27/09

Comments (16)

  1. ProstheticHead

    Amen to that.

  2. Ivo

    Seriously, Geek, my respect for you grows with every single article you put out every day.
    But this is just as badass as it can get lol
    You just prove to me that geeks can also raise their voice against things they don’t like :)

  3. Neut

    All hail AdMuncher!

  4. strungout

    Well said!
    (errrrr nice donkey).

  5. Brian

    Thanks for the sincere apology, Geek.

    Fortunately, I was not one to be effected by this annoying ad, but I am glad the problem was dealt with swiftly. I love to know that the website owners care about what type of advertising appears on their site.

  6. BrianA

    You may have lost an advertiser but you’ll keep a lot more readers. Great site, thanks.

  7. Jo E.

    Good riddance to the annoying advertiser and welcome friend-for-life, good and noble Geek. You should give lessons to other so-called credible websites regarding their advertising practices.

  8. DaddySU

    Good for you, great site. Keep it up!

  9. InDiSent

    You the man!!!

  10. Ra

    Good Decision. Thanks for such a great site.

  11. N

    Thank you very much for taking care of this and for showing so much respect to your readers!

    I hope that none of your readers who were affected by this ad were using a screen reader as autoplaying audio and video is a real mood killer for them…

    Keep up the good work mate!

  12. Nate

    I hate the ones that are “free” stuff. They always yell. I have like iTunes and Firefox open and a loud “GET A FREE XBOX!” just interrupts my music.

  13. SamS

    Hey, did you report these guys to the BBB or add a listing to SafeSearch or Mcafee? Listings like that help the rest of us when we’re making decisions like selecting an advertiser….

  14. Felicia

    On occasion when I’d hear those loud annoying ads, I would be surprised that I didn’t drop dead of a heart attack. Thank you for this software.

  15. calebstein

    If you use Dolphin 3d browser (the best browser in my oppinion), and enable the ad blocker, it will disable almost all ads. It found and blocked 19 on this page.

  16. Ann

    Thanks for the apology and thanks for care about readers as always, That’s why you are so successful, because you care and because you are smart. When I enter a website and I hear the audio adds, my first thought is “this is crap” and a second after I am out.
    Well done. We are very proud of you Geeks.

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