I thought I noticed over the weekend a banner advert on Independent.ie for the IdeasCampaign. I thought it strange that, as a grass-roots campaign, they’d be advertising now that the campaign was over – at least the part where the “ordinary people” are involved. I saw it on the Opera browser on my phone, so went back in today to try to get a screenshot, but then discovered something else.
The top left of the banner on the Irish Independent used to always be a featured story – much of the time it would relate to the consumer affairs items that would interest me most.
But it seems that it’s now being used to redirect users to advertising now rather than to content – and the change isn’t obvious at all.
Here are two images from the same part of the page from earlier today – which one is the advert?
Much of the Irish and Sunday Independent personal finance articles, such as the “Make Me Richer” features, are focused on money saving tips and tricks, so the above text on either image isn’t unusual for a heading to a proper article.
It’s just a little bit sneaky now to have these links randomly redirect to advertising rather than proper content. Sneaky from a readers perspective – smart business I suppose on the part of the Irish Independent.