I've resisted the urge to use any ad blocking software, since I'm a web publisher who supports my sites through advertising. I finally broke down today because of the dancing people who want to refinance my mortgage.
These ads for LowerMyBills.Com bore into your brain like the Ceti eel on The Wrath of Khan.
Upon emergence, the eel larva could enter the ear of a larger animal, where it wrapped itself around the cerebral cortex. This caused the host extreme pain and rendered them extremely susceptible to suggestion. As the larva matured, the subject grew increasingly mad and might attempt suicide ...
The author of My Open Wallet shares my fear of the dirty dancing couple on the rooftop:
... there was something about the way the man was undulating his pelvis as he advanced towards the woman that always looked really creepy to me! That kind of move would make we want to throw a drink on a guy at a club, not get a mortgage from him! At least the image is just a sihouette so you can't tell if he's doing that bite-the-lower-lip thing!
You know he's doing that. He's also primping his shirt like Dieter on Sprockets.
Windows users can block a web server's content by adding it to their hosts file, which maps domain names to IP addresses. If you use this to map an ad server's domain to 127.0.0.1, which is an address for your own computer, you'll never see its ads again.
Windows XP keeps the file in the C:WindowsSystem32DriversEtc folder.
The following line will stop the music for the dancing mortgage people and any other advertiser using the same broker:
The ads are replaced with an error message that looks clunky but poses no threat to your cerebral cortex. More detailed instructions are available from MVPS.org.
Ah, yes, it was at Dieter's dance party--I was dancing with Rob...
It's the herky-jerky movements of the dancers that's so disturbing.
I believe it was Dieter who said, "You have disturbed me to the point of insanity...There. I am insane now."
No taste, no style, no sale.
AOL has a lot to answer for, don't they?
I suppose I'm a web publisher too, and have arrived at the following guilt-free personal adblocking system: 1. I use Flashblock (flashblock.mozdev.org), which nonetheless permits activating flash with a single click and 2. I use the standard Firefox popup blocker.
Not sure about LowerMyBills, but the ads that really tend to irritate me are usually either Flash or popups (and my sites use neither) so problem 99% solved!
I had an idea, instead of pointing to 127.0.0.1, why not trying something unroutable, which technically should be faster, since the computer isn't waiting for a (possibly) non-existent answer from the computer. I was thinking about something like 10.255.255.254.
Oh, no. Comcast has their routers set so that 10.x.x.x is routable! And they aren't using any 10.x.x.x routers that I can see (admittedly not much that I can try, unless I want to try the whole 24 bit address...) 192.168.x.x means the wireless router tries to rout it even though I've got that locked down (the router decides to take the whole class B), and 172.16.0.x, again, gets passed on to Comcast for 8 hops before a router finally realizes that it's not routable. And I wonder what Comcast would do with a 192.168.x.x number without the router. Probably the same thing as the others.
We had an interesting discussion about the HOSTS file and ad blocking in general over at this thread,
if you're interested, as well as some interesting test results on how a HOSTS file affects internet connection speed (page 4).
great blog! great tip to add the ad DNS to the hosts file. i can't believe i didn't do that earlier. what smug satisfaction i get now watching the IE 404 screen fill up the little banner hole.
You are my hero for this...
Once you've blocked these LMB ads, don't be surprised if you miss their poor design and bizarre imagery. If you go into withdrawal, don't fret: we've captured almost 30 of their classics in our archive of online advertising.
Here they are --
LowerMyBills online ads
I did a google search on "dancing mortgage guy" and this page was the third hit. Thanks to all who posted ideas on how to get rid of the flash ads. These ads were ruining my web experience.
I've changed my hosts file, and it works, but every few days it reverts to the old hosts file. Is lowermybills.com somehow doing this?
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I googled "annoying dancing people lower ad" and found this site. These ads ARE the most obnoxious thing to appear on the internet in the 8 years I have been on line. I like to concentrate when I read, and their motion and stark color contrast is designed to rob the viewer of an ability to concentrate on anything else on the page. As you said, it literally hurts my brain after awhile. It is much like a strobe light in a dark room.
I wonder if the already profitable web sites that host these ads for extra income (eBay, etc) realize how much they are detracting from a user's enjoyment of their actual site content.
I actually find the dancing silhouettes so bad they are hilarious and was hoping to find a place where they are all available to watch/send...
I've archived over 35 of the best and worst online ads from LowerMyBills @ adverlicio.us
Come see the linedancing cowboys, the blue babies, and the dancing couple in all their glory!
I was so sick of looking at these ads I had almost given up on using ebay! Thanks!
The NYTimes article says you "resorted to tinkering with [your] computer to block all ads from the company." Please please share how to do this.
Like drivin' a stake through the heart of those time consuming, visually distracting, annoying vampires. Thanks for caring to share, and getting national press coverage. You da MAN!!
Wow! What a relief. I couldn't stand those dancing ads. They were ruining the internet for me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
In Linux, if you want to add them to a config file, in /etc/hosts.deny add the line:
Of course, you can browse with Firefox and install the adblock extension.
What about using 192.0.2.1? From RFC 3330:
192.0.2.0/24 - This block is assigned as "TEST-NET" for use in documentation and example code. It is often used in conjunction with domain names example.com or example.net in vendor and protocol documentation. Addresses within this block should not appear on the public Internet.
I just added some timewasting sites to which I'm addicted to my hosts file.
Yeaaaahaaa! *whaps dancing shadow ads* Thank GOD I ran into this site! Those stupid shadow people were driving me nuts! Now, I 'can't find their server'... heee hee!
We should all wage war on advertising, it's becoming hyper-invasive and sucking up valuable brain cells in the process. Soon we'll have people posting ads on their rooftops near airports so that when people look out the window they'll see an ad for Viagra or some STD inhibitor.
THANK YOU for helping with this...like some of the other commentors noted, I Googled to find out how to get rid of the annoying dancing guy ad, and ended up here. I guess you have to give those marketing people some credit for coming up with something that really does get people's attention; however, if it gets SO much attention that people resort to altering configuration files to get RID of them, then maybe they should revisit the strategy...!!
Same story, I Googled "Stupid lowermybills.com ad" and got this site. I simply cant take it anymore, they might be the most annoying ads i've seen in my 14+ years on the web. The X10 ads used to annoy me but not like this.
Million Thanks!!! Hate these stupid ads!!
I treasure the information you've provided here. I use AOL, and while there was a lull on the LMB ads for a while, but they're back with a neauseating vengeance (Jan '08). For a while I removed the Flash player to disable them, but it disabled lots of content I wanted.
I used the line "127.0.0.1 ad.doubleclick.net" to block them, and it seems successful, so far. However I still get the jiggly, moving banners for Lasix, Netflix, etc.
Do you have any idea of what line (or lines) I can add to my hosts file to kill all of them?
I'm not greedy though; if all I accomplished is killing the LMB ads, that's a huge relief.
Thanks for writing about those ads. They are everywhere! I decided that it needs to be blogged and am joining in the commentary on those dancing ads to refinance.
THANK YOU! I complain everytime I see this ad. It's got to be the most annoying ad ever. I would never go to this company for lowering anything.. unless they can lower my blood pressure by ending this marketing campaign.
I take it back.. it still shows up on weather.com. AHH someone I HATE lowermybills.com
The bad part is if you block the adds with your host file you cant wach videos on site's like FOX NEWS I think I am going to start going to CNN who does not use doubleclick (the offending add people) to run their video.
I hate these adds!!!!
I've always wanted to know who the heck is stupid enough to refinance their HOME with any mortgage broker that advertises with udulating silhouettes or dancing weiner dogs or winking cartoon chickies or...any of the weird stupid stuff that clogs the internet. Who could possible believe that's the way a legitimate financial company gets business? Probably the same people who click on the 999,999 visitor ads or take up those offers for Nigerian investments. I wonder how these people got a mortgage or even a job in the first place.
These ads drive me CRAZY! And not in a good way. I thought the silhouettes were less creepy, to be honest; now when they use infinitely-looped footage of real people dancing it freaks me out because their movements are so jerky and unnatural, like they're reanimated corpses or something. And capitalizing on the bailout bill passing literally the same day it's through Congress? "Hey, they passed a bill to try and fix all the shoddy mortgages handed out over the past eight years, why don't you celebrate with a BRAND NEW SHODDY MORTGAGE?!!"
These people need to be punched in the face.
These ads finally drove me to the point where I finally had to contact their web development department to ask them to stop. I somehow ended up speaking with a refinancing representative and begged her to let me speak to web development. She said if I have them refinance my house, they'll stop the ads.
So here I am, two months later, all refinanced (2 points higher, by the way) yet the ads are still running. I'm seriously confused.
Stephen in Wackyville
Dude, the exact same thing happened to me. They promised to stop it but the insanity continues. I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE. I try to stop looking but I keep clicking that stupid bookmark. WHY DO I DO THIS? SOMEBODY STOP ME!!
Sleepless in Sanity
YOU ARE MY HERO - THANK YOU!!!
I was at the point where I had turned flash off completely, only to turn it on manually whenever a website needed it (all too often) - all because of the stupid dancing girls from Lowermybills.com. This is great - spread the word!
I see....stupid people...Those ads from lowermybills are at best nauseating. Every time I go on to Weather Channel I see that really stupid dancing ad. If there is a God, he is up there shaking his head asking himself "where did I go wrong here?".