I followed a link posted by Arianna Huffington (founder of the Huffington Post) to an article that essentially emphasizes how disconnected Mitt Romney is from middle class America. Before even reading the article however, this sleazy, cheap looking advert caught my eye, highlighted in yellow (click to enlarge):
|Read about the 2012 elections, then click the ad on the right to find yourself true love|
That's right: Huff Post Politics want to be the authoritative source of information for all things political in the US, but on the side there's a big advert that looks like it was designed on Microsoft Word 97 trying to attract the attention of men that "want a sugar momma."
I know that The Huffington Post has bills to pay. And I know that dating sites can be a large source of revenue for any website that hosts adverts. But surely for the sake of credibility you as a news publication need to discriminate a bit and have some criteria that anybody looking to advertise with you needs to follow.
The Huffington Post is not a tabloid and Arianna Huffington will be the first to tell you that. But how can you be taken seriously on issues as important as the presidential race when you have a big advert next to your articles that is encouraging romance for superficial, even immoral reasons?
The internet is an open place where information and opinion are freely expressed, but if ever there was a case for news websites to adopt internal advertising standards and discernment, this is it. And while you're at it adopt some design standards too please. A tacky looking advert can make your entire webpage look unattractive. Again, above is a case in point.