The problem with automated advertising on news sites has always been the placing of inappropriate ads next to serious news issues. Take today’s report on steroid use in baseball. For at least a brief period, the story on CNN.com was matched with these “Ads by Google” shown at right trying to sell you the very steroids that the baseball commission is so upset about
What’s next? Ads for plutonium next to stories about nuclear proliferation?
I don’t see the steroid ads popping up anymore on that CNN page, so maybe someone at CNN (or Google) got wise to the inappropriate mismatch. (Although, if you were in the market for steroids, you would probably be reading such stories). But the same types of ads come up when you do a search for “steroids” on CNN.com:
This is not limited to CNN. Here are sponsored results for a similar search on the LATimes.com, which also shows Google ads: