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June 18, 2005 12:44 AM

Broken: InKline ad

codeman38 sees a problem with an InKline ad.


well, i dont see a problem.. i just see a black page :p

Posted by: Dragon at June 18, 2005 12:52 AM

I can see the page and I'd have to agree, broken. If I am a mac user, why would I want something that would fix my windows?

Posted by: Faolan at June 18, 2005 03:55 AM

maybe its not broken even though the banner mentioned mac I got the idea the person clicking on it was using a windowed based sysytem and the page linked to can detect that(cookie)? If the person linking was using a mac, then the page would be offerring the mac version of the software. Just a guess

Posted by: kent at June 18, 2005 04:31 AM

Kent, but the person seeing the add was using a mac, and then when he clicked on the add, it pitched the pc version to him. You can see by the interface of the browser that he's clearly on a mac computer but being shown PC software.

Also, I checked out their site, they do not appear to offer mac software. A better way to spend their ad dollars is if they can detect and display ads based on the os of the computer, if they see a mac computer, just don't display their ad to that person.

Posted by: Joshua Wood at June 18, 2005 06:36 AM

A few of the recent articles here reminded me why I block ads. I use firefox (, adblock (, and Filterset.G ( to block pretty much all ads.

Posted by: Roger at June 18, 2005 11:31 AM

It is pretty dumb, and certainly makes the InKline company look stupid ... but it's actually just about as effective as any other banner ad.

The website, and the ad-hosting company, likely get paid based on click-throughs, not sales of InKline's product. So they're just as happy when Mac users click as when PC users click. As for InKline, even if they end up displaying their ads to a certain number of people who can't use their product on their current platform, some of those people may be interested in buying the software for another machine, so there may still be a few sales in it for them. Finally, I'd be willing to bet that they've made at least a couple sales to Mac users who didn't realize that the software would be useless to them. (After all, the Mac is for people who "don't know anything about computers", right? Gotta get my requisite Apple dig in.)

On the other hand, there's no denying that codeman38 had a negative customer experience!

Posted by: E.T. at June 18, 2005 03:09 PM

I count the words 'PC' and 'Windows' 16 times in an ad apparently targeted at Macs. This Is Stupid. I hate ad-men.

Posted by: Bob at June 18, 2005 03:30 PM

kent: I can confirm that I was most definitely using Safari on a Macintosh when I saw and clicked the banner.

Posted by: codeman38 at June 18, 2005 05:18 PM

I know I've built up a bad reputation, and everything I say is going to be criticized. But still, two pieces of advice for codeman38:

1. Try Mozilla's Camino browser. It's basically the Mac equilivant of Firefox.

2. I wouldn't recommend clicking on any banner ads, especially the ones that say stuff like "Your computer needs to be protected, get our software". They could lead to viruses, or porn, or just stuff that doesn't have anything to do with protection.

Posted by: nickd at June 18, 2005 08:00 PM


what is broken are your links

Posted by: Joltin Joe at June 19, 2005 12:42 AM


1. I use both Camino and Safari regularly, and just happened to be using Safari in that screenshot.

2. Normally I don't click on banner ads like that, but that particular one just piqued my interest a bit too much. Usually they're wrong about the type of computer I'm on as well. ;-)

Posted by: codeman38 at June 19, 2005 10:46 AM


>1. Try Mozilla's Camino browser. It's basically the Mac equilivant of Firefox.

Actually, the Mac equivalent of Firefox is...Firefox. After trying many browsers on my iBook, including Safari, Opera and Camino, I settled on Firefox as the best performance and easiest to use. Both Camino and Safari had rendering and interface issues (Camino was especially buggy) and while both have improved significantly since I was shopping around Firefox has been so simple and fast that I've never had a reason to reconsider any others. Pop-up blocking, tabbed browsing, virtually universal support, a plethora of incredibly useful plug-ins, and an intuitive interface make it the same class-A choice for Mac that it is on Windows.

Very few products have the elegance or sophistication for me to rave about, but OSX and Firefox are two of them.

Posted by: Hoki at June 19, 2005 01:51 PM

This whole issue is a bit of a pet peeve with me, but PC doesn't just mean Windows. Windows is A PC, not THE ONLY PC. Macs are also PCs. PC means Personal Computer. Macs, being computers for personal use, ARE PCs! PC is not a brand name, it is an acronym to describe home CPUs.

Posted by: Mech_59 at June 19, 2005 03:45 PM

Roger, didn't I tell you to quit overloading your pc with useless programs? If you want a good ad blocker, just use Zonealarm, then you won't have a million programs using up resources! *hugs and kisses*

Posted by: Rogers mom at June 19, 2005 04:28 PM

Joshua & codeman thanx for the clarification then it truly is broken.

Posted by: Kent at June 20, 2005 01:09 AM

_@_v - just goes to show that how you advertise is a key indicator of the quility or reliability of the product or service.

_@_v - most people have figured out that if it's advertised by an e-mail it's either crap or and outright scam. the same goes for the legion of spammers who post adverts on the various bulletin boards, blogs and web mailing lists.

_@_v - and yet there's still enough suckers out there to keep these cretins in business. would be a good way for those eugenics freaks to weed out the truly worthless ones in the species by putting saltpeter in some of that "vi-a-k(g)r@" that i get a million emails for.

Posted by: she-snailie_@_v at June 20, 2005 08:05 AM

Now, we all know that selling a Mac user Windows software seems pretty broken, but as far as the purpose of the ad goes, I don't think it's broken at all. The ad agency made their money, and InKline probably has made money off of Mac users who didn't know any better. Sinister does not necessarily equate with broken.

Posted by: chinette at June 20, 2005 09:49 AM

While it is true that there were probably a few sales to mac users, the profit from that particular combination is unlikely to cover the expense of the ad itself. The real reason they are advertising to mac users is that they are probably too busy (or lazy) to optimize the ad. A lot of unprofitable advertising gets approved simply because some marketer somewhere is too lazy to weed out the bad ones.

Posted by: Rana at June 20, 2005 02:40 PM

Selling a product to a customer who can not benefit from it will not profit the company. The customer returns the product and the company has to log the inventory back in stock return it to their inventory stock and in nearly all cases pay for the return postage. Grant it that most software returns are not admissable after the product is open but whoever opens software without checking the requirements is broken.

Posted by: Kent at June 21, 2005 12:55 AM

Whoever with a Mac buys this software is broken.

Posted by: Bob at June 22, 2005 08:37 PM

Build it and they will come...

Posted by: Sean at June 23, 2005 01:45 PM

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