The Advertising-in-the-Comments-Section Rant

Regular readers — please excuse me for a moment.

As traffic to this site has grown over the past few years, I’ve apparently come up on the radar of a number of companies that have products to sell. Most of these products are somehow related to drinks or mixology, and as a longtime booster of small producers (and of large ones who dedicate themselves to quality products), I’m generally happy to hear from them.

But something needs to be made clear: if you have a product to pitch, there are appropriate ways of going about it. Best scenario: buy an ad — really, the rates for myself and other drink bloggers are very cheap, and you’ll be hitting a target demographic. If you want to send a product for review, that’s okay, too, just ask first — my e-mail address is listed on the E-mail page; if I don’t reply after a couple of weeks, it’s probably safe to assume that I’m not interested, and you should look elsewhere.

What is not acceptable, however, is treating the comments section as your company’s billboard. For some reason there’s been a wave of this lately, with several merchants carpet-bombing my posts with near-identical comments that are thinly veiled advertisements. So John from Zico: buy an ad if you want to pitch your coconut water, but stop with the shilling on my rum and coconut water post; and Abby the absinthe lady? Forget it — your product sucks, and your comments have been deleted.

I’m sorry for dragging readers through this, but there are still a lot of people who don’t understand basic Internet etiquette. I’m sick of reading a comment from a smoothie company and wondering, “What the hell does this have to do with my post?” If your comment looks like an ad, it’s going to be marked as “spam,” and if you’re getting really egregious about it, I’ll report your ISP to SpamHaus. If you have something to sell, please either buy a legitimate ad, or contact me by e-mail.

Rant over. Thank you.

11 Responses to The Advertising-in-the-Comments-Section Rant

  1. Anita says:

    [cheering] Go PAUL!

  2. AMEN MY BROTHA!

    It’s bad enough with the regular spam (praise akismet), getting inundated with the other pitches just chaps my hide.

    I’ll be Shilly McShillerson for the right stuff, but not without my own benefit as well.

  3. Boozemonkey says:

    What a timely post. The other day I was in my local store and came across Smirnoff’s new Spam Gold Label! I decided to give it a try, and it really is the perfect marriage of Smirnoff’s smooth, rich, premium flavor and the quality that has been Spam’s hallmark for generations. Give it try, I’m sure you’ll agree!

    Uh, sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    Super aggressive spam was one of the contributing factors to abandoning a site I use to have many years ago. Learn them mumbletyso’s a lesson I say.

  4. Dr. Bamboo says:

    Rock on, Paul. I also periodically get hit by comment spam (for alcohol and other stuff), and the thing that I find most insulting is the sheer laziness of it.

    Seriously, people. Send me an email- I’ll talk to ya. But turn off the comment-bots.

  5. Mike says:

    Amen, though the hundreds of comments about porn and male enhancement are what really overwhelm me.

  6. MJ says:

    So where can I get that Spam Smirnoff? Sounds like just the thing in a spicy Bloody Mary.

    I’m female, so my all-time favorite piece of spam addressed me as “hey, cat d*ck” which is just indescribable on so many levels…

  7. Dinah says:

    Hear, hear!

    And Mike, you’d think cocktailians are the last folks the male enhancement people would be after – they should know we prefer a quality over quantity!

    Ah for the good old days of the web before Viagra…

  8. Jacob says:

    I am not a big of a cocktails’ fan …I am more of a dark liquor drinker, but once my wife convinced me to try something different. She made me try The Margarita King…she was quite shocked when I asked her for more…it was great…Since then the Margarita King is the only cocktail I would drink, especially while my wife and I can enjoy it together… Jacob

  9. Paul says:

    I’m leaving “Jacob”‘s comment up just to prove my point. This comment appeared at the same time as one almost identical (that one from an “Emma”), boosting the very same product. The fact that MK’s spammers see it fit to include this ad in a comment to a post titled “The Advertising in the Comments Section Rant” just goes to show how fucking stupid they really are.

    I’ve deleted the link to their page, and reported their ISP to SpamHaus. Morons.

  10. I guess I don’t get enough traffic to get noticed by too many comment spammers. I do use the akismet wordpress plugin, which catches most of the random bullshit obvious stuff.

  11. Guess I shouldn’t have said anything about not getting too many SPAM comments in public. Still, akismet seems to be doing a fine job of catching them…

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