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Fueling the resistance
"Sponsorship is different from ads" therefore Paid users will see it 
2nd-Aug-2007 03:33 pm - "Sponsorship is different from ads" therefore Paid users will see it
In September 2006, brad was saying : sponsored "whatever" are ads. don't worry, we (at least most of us?) realize sponsorships are the same as ads. and we remember which account levels see ads and which don't. Paid users won't see sponsored stuff -- ignore the previous post. paid users won't ever see ads. that's why you paid, and we're not in the business of pissing off paid users.

In July 2007, arie is saying: "We believe that sponsorship is different from ads." "We haven't changed our policy on paid users viewing ads. We believe that the FAQ stating that paid users won't see ads is accurate; they aren't. Paid users may see sponsored mood themes, journal themes or other content if they're viewing the journal of a user who has chosen to use one of the sponsored features."

This is part of the reply I got when I asked why Paid users were seing ads.

ETA: This statement was given as an answer to an e-mail I had written to feedback@livejournal.com. All Feedback requests are private. If a screencap is needed, tell me so and I'll make one.

When asked if there had been a change of policy since, obviously, something that used to be considered as advertising now wasn't, LiveJournal closed my request and made it impossible for me to reopen it.

When elfwreck and I both suggested that sponsored content could be made optionally viewable for Paid and Permanent users - the default option being 'visible', LiveJournal ignored our suggestion.

In conclusion, it only took LJ 10 months to change their minds about making Paid and Permanent users see ads. Except they're very clever about it because stuff where you can see the word Pepsi and the Pepsi logo are not ads, you see. So these or these? Not ads, no siree. So Paid and Permanent users still do not see ads. Fascinating logic, right? Moreover, neither the Pepsi mood theme nor the Pepsi styles have been announced in lj_releases or news.

ETA: As ide_cyan noticed, the Pepsi logo which is at the top of the Pepsi sponsored style links to
http://sixapart.adbureau.net/adclick/. Same thing for the text which is in the sidebar. Leave it to LJ to explain why a style which contains links to 6A's ad server is not an ad. A pretty ad maybe but still an ad.
Comments 
2nd-Aug-2007 01:41 pm (UTC)
Where is the post where arie said that? And where do you make these requests? Perhaps a bunch of us could send in similar messages to try getting the point across.
2nd-Aug-2007 01:48 pm (UTC)
I wrote to feedback@livejournal.com - and so did elfwreck I believe. When you write to feedback, your mail is turned into a private request at Support. So you cannot see arie's answer. I've edited my post to make this clearer. But, as I said, I can make a screencap if you think it is necessary.

You can write to feedback too. I've also seen someone open a simple Support request. This request is publicly visible.

BTW, most of the answers that were given on this topic are visible in the comments made on this post.
(no subject) - nathaara - 2007-08-02 01:50 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - elfwreck - 2007-08-02 03:03 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-02 03:09 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-17 05:35 pm (UTC)
2nd-Aug-2007 02:36 pm (UTC)
This post is a tad confusing, and forgive me if I'm missing some pieces. What exactly prompted this? Did you see actual ads, or mood themes? I agree that a "sponsored" mood theme is technically advertising and that it's ridiculous, but are you saying that a paid user saw an ad that wasn't a mood theme? If so, where?
2nd-Aug-2007 03:01 pm (UTC)
This is about sponsored mood themes and sponsored journal layouts, which include blatant advertisements. The journal layout includes a Pepsi Max logo which links to their website.

Their answers very carefully don't talk about how hard it would be to remove the link and cover the logo for paid users... but instead try to imply that not showing paid users these ads would be "restricting" them, because "pretty" ads should be acceptable.
2nd-Aug-2007 02:58 pm (UTC)
Exact phrasing of comment:
It seems that the point that you most disagree with is the "sponsored" versus "ads" issue. We believe that sponsorship is different from ads and don't believe in preventing paid users from accessing a feature simply because it's a sponsored feature. Whereas you believe that they are the same thing and should be restricted accordingly -- that paid users shouldn't have access to or view sponsored items like mood themes and journal themes.

I've gone ahead and forwarded your concerns on to the individuals in charge of making these decisions, so that they are aware of users feelings on the sponsored vs. ads issue. I can't guarantee that this will change how we handle sponsored features, but I can assure you that your opinion does matter to us and we are going to continue to consider carefully how we handle sponsorships for all user levels.
emphasis added

I heartily recommend other people open support requests related to this issue--they seem to have a small collection of pre-written responses, and it's interesting to notice how much of a request they'll ignore if some part of it could be connected to those canned replies.
2nd-Aug-2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
*nods* I especially loved the parts which talked at length about how paid users should have the right to use these themes and how we wanted to prevent them from doing so whereas none of us, as far as I know, said anything even remotely close to that. On the contrary, we suggested some compromise that, I believe, would have made all users happy (but, well, obviously, neither sponsors nor LJ happy).
(no subject) - andy - 2007-08-02 05:40 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-02 05:47 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - andy - 2007-08-02 06:00 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-02 06:06 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - andy - 2007-08-02 07:23 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-02 07:37 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - andy - 2007-08-02 07:47 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-02 07:51 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-02 06:12 pm (UTC)
2nd-Aug-2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
I'm curious, since this was brought up when sponsored themes first went live with Havaianas...how would you suggest that Paid users be opt-ed out from sponsored themes? There really isn't a good solution for that that we've come up with, because making a user's style look different to some users isn't a good idea for the owner of the journal (who more than likely wants people to see their journal as they set it).

Same with the mood themes. Should we really be changing the way users' preferences show to different viewers? I don't think so. I think we all know that many LJ users are very sensitive about how their journals look (remember when the navigation strip went live?).

So, I really am curious...what's your proposed solution? How can we not display sponsored journal settings (like styles and mood themes) to some users while still respecting the settings of the journal owner?
2nd-Aug-2007 06:12 pm (UTC)
How can we not display sponsored journal settings (like styles and mood themes) to some users while still respecting the settings of the journal owner?

You cannot. That's that simple, which is why I guess I was told that sponsored content was not considered as advertising. It made showing it to Paid and Permanent users perfectly ok.

As I said, LJ is very clever. Sponsored content is presented as being über cool and something that all users would like to use and why prevent Paid and Permanent users from using and seeing this über cool content?

(no subject) - opalexian - 2007-08-02 06:33 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-02 06:14 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - janinedog - 2007-08-02 06:26 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-02 06:33 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - xb95 - 2007-08-02 06:45 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-02 07:26 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - serenadesha - 2007-08-03 04:04 am (UTC)
(no subject) - herongale - 2007-08-02 07:49 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - janinedog - 2007-08-02 08:07 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-02 08:13 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - janinedog - 2007-08-02 08:23 pm (UTC)
Easily Feasible - zorkfox - 2007-08-03 06:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Easily Feasible - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-03 06:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Easily Feasible - foxfirefey - 2007-08-03 08:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Easily Feasible - zorkfox - 2007-08-03 08:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Easily Feasible - foxfirefey - 2007-08-03 08:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Easily Feasible - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-03 09:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Easily Feasible - foxfirefey - 2007-08-03 09:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Easily Feasible - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-03 09:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Easily Feasible - zorkfox - 2007-08-10 03:55 am (UTC)
(no subject) - queerbychoice - 2007-08-03 12:26 am (UTC)
(no subject) - dzurlady - 2007-08-09 10:39 am (UTC)
(no subject) - dda - 2007-08-20 04:46 am (UTC)
2nd-Aug-2007 06:36 pm (UTC)
If we are going to get the sponsored themes coming from VOX, there is a lot of them headed this way, heck even Bank of America (I still can't believe that one). What VOX did was separate them in a category called "branded" that would be nice here.

One question I have, maybe someone here knows the answer? How long does a sponsored theme hang around? when will they be gone? Are they going to disappear from VOX also?

2nd-Aug-2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure how Vox does their themes, but is the category in their design area of the site? If so, we do that for Basic/Plus, by showing sponsored layouts separate from the rest of the layouts (at the top of the list). In the new customize page, there will be a sponsored category that people can click.

And sponsored themes on LJ stay around as long as the deal lasts for. After that, the theme can no longer be selected from the customize area, though those using them can continue to do so until they change their style again. Havaianas is actually gone already. I don't know how Vox does it, though.
(no subject) - tallblue - 2007-08-02 07:22 pm (UTC)
2nd-Aug-2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
Also we have yet to see the sponsored V-Gifts from Pepsi Max. Was it called off?
2nd-Aug-2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
I don't think so, I think I have seen code for it recently but...
As someone said to me, Sponsored Virtual Gifts are a much bigger issue seeing as you can't control who is allowed to give you a gift and which gift they are allowed to give you. Paid users could then have Pepsi ads - sorry, sponsored gifts - on their profile pages.
(no subject) - tallblue - 2007-08-02 08:51 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - tallblue - 2007-08-02 08:54 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-02 08:59 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - tallblue - 2007-08-02 09:00 pm (UTC)
2nd-Aug-2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength...
3rd-Aug-2007 10:38 pm (UTC)
There's not enough *headdesk* in the world.
3rd-Aug-2007 11:33 pm (UTC)
Also: if sponsored content is different from advertising, why the frell does a sponsored LJ style contain an URL leading to 6A's Adbureau?!

http://sixapart.adbureau.net/adclick/CID= (followed by a string of numbers)

Adbureau! Adclick! It says ad right there!

(reposted because of typos)
3rd-Aug-2007 11:45 pm (UTC)
Because LJ's logic and yours are two different things. You're trying to be honest. Thanks for noticing that. I've added it to the post.
(no subject) - msilverstar - 2007-08-04 01:04 am (UTC)
4th-Aug-2007 01:07 pm (UTC)
I don't agree that sponsored styles or mood themes are ads. They're selectable from the layout edit section for plus/free users, and you can see the layouts/mood themes of plus/free users, so I don't see why Paid users shouldn't see them if they're layouts. It's not like they're ads that break layouts.
4th-Aug-2007 01:20 pm (UTC)
Actually, everybody can use them (Paid and Permanent users too). Paid and Perm users do see other users' layouts - thank God! - but don't see the ads that are in Plus layouts. Some Plus layouts look perfectly fine with ads in them so this has nothing to do with whether ads break them or not.
Personally, I think that something with the Pepsi logo, the name Pepsi and the links to 6A's ad server advertise the brand Pepsi. You're free to think otherwise but I would like to know what your reasoning is.
(no subject) - aiwritingfic - 2007-08-04 01:34 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-04 02:05 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - aiwritingfic - 2007-08-04 02:08 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-04 02:21 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - aiwritingfic - 2007-08-04 02:27 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-04 03:07 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - aiwritingfic - 2007-08-04 03:29 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-04 04:01 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - aiwritingfic - 2007-08-04 04:07 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-08-04 04:14 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - aiwritingfic - 2007-08-04 04:16 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - aiwritingfic - 2007-08-04 04:52 pm (UTC)
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