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Why Are You Seeing So Many Bad Digital Ads Now?

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Advancements in digital advertising technology were meant to improve users’ experience. But lately, on several platforms, the opposite seems to be happening for a variety of reasons, including a slowdown in the overall digital ad market.

Credit: Ariel Davis

Portia Kapraun has always seen unwelcome ads on Twitter, usually from major brands pitching her luxury jewelry or vehicles that she, as a librarian in Indiana, could not afford.

But the mix now is far more annoying: More ads for random gold investments, she said, and also a badly designed ad for what looked like a tabletop foosball set constructed with rubber bands and particle board, which promised its product would be the most fun family game she had ever played.

Ms. Kapraun was not interested. But she soon saw the ad again. And again. And again.

"I don't know who they think I am, but that did not look especially fun," she said of the foosball set. "These feel like bargain basement advertisers. It mostly seemed like things you would see if you were watching late-night television."

In a shaky advertising market in an uncertain economy, ads that few people want to see suddenly seem to be everywhere.

From The New York Times
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