I don't get this often, and ironically this is exactly what the flawed cookie law was meant to address.

I am getting a lot of targeted adverts for stuff I recently purchased, from those same suppliers. Especially on FaceBook but on other sites too.

This means they are paying good money to try and sell me the very things that I definitely no longer need, having purchased from those very suppliers only last week. In my case some shirts from M&S and a camera strap from Calumet.

Now this has to be wrong somehow.

I did not get adverts for these things when I wanted them, when I was thinking "my shirts don't fit, I must be getting fatter?", or "where the hell is that camera strap I bought on St Maarten last year?", no. I had to go find the web sites of people I buy from and buy things. Adverts were no help.

But now I have them, these people are paying advertisers to try and sell me more of these things - the exact things I no longer need and are the very least likely to want to buy from anyone.

How broken is this marketing industry?


  1. I am surprised that you do not (attempt to) block ads.

    (Although I can understand why AAISP does not offer such a service.)

  2. I bought a replacement fridge/freezer door from espares a few weeks ago. Since then I have been absolutely bombarded with email advertising... more fridge/freezer spare parts, and oven spare parts too, because everyone needs a dozen spare parts a week.

    Their unsubscribe link claims to work, but the bombardment only intensifies (maybe they're using it to verify address validity).

    I have now blackholed *@email.espares.co.uk. Way to ruin your reputation, idiots -- I was happy with you before you did this, while now I'm actively disrecommending you and I'll never use you again. Score! sigh.

    1. That's the same company that doesn't know the difference between F270 and F770 - leaving me to deal with a return that wouldn't have been necessary if they hadn't made the silly mistake. Unfortunately the parts I needed are in short supply anywhere else.

  3. Targeted advertising is driven by your browsing, not purchases - in some ways you might praise them for being spot on; after all you did buy those products. In the meantime install ghostery and an ad blocker.

    1. Oh, I know how it happens, and I am pretty sure I have 3rd party cookies disabled anyway, but to no avail. My point is that however it happens it is just wrong for the advertisers as they spend money trying to sell me stuff I already have. The process as a whole does not work well.

    2. Most advertising is pay-per-click, not pay-per-impression, I think. Therefore these adverts won't have cost the advertisers anything, unless you go on a clicking spree.

  4. I see the same with Amazon suggestions - the suggestions are always things I just bought (although that's happening less now that amazon have got rid of free shipping on so much stuff, since I just don't use them for much any more!)

    Anyway, disabling third party cookies in firefox solves a lot of that... and running adblock solves the rest :)

  5. Its the Farnell ad's you get telling you that you have items left in your basket that creep me out. Not sure how they are putting that information together, clever though.

  6. Given that I'm sending DNT and you presumably are too I don't see how these kind of adverts can possibly be legal in light of the cookie directive.

    DNT is the clearest possible expression of wishes in respect of cookies and they willfully ignore it. I'd love to see a legal challenge along these lines. They'll claim you opted in and cinsenyed by not blocking them individually but the truth is that you simply can't view the sites (even to read the policy) without receiving cookies and if you follow their instructions the whole site inevitability breaks but only after they still set a few cookies. I don't see how they could claim that amounts to consent in any meaningful sense.


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