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Old 31.01.2011, 10:56
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Is the EF sponsoring ads

I noticed this ad' in commercial placed on 24/01:
http://www.englishforum.ch/commercia...cht-basel.html

Apart from having email/address/phone number displayed which are regularly picked up by the mods and deleted for us mortals as "not allowed under forum rules", this user name is English Forum Switzerland, yet uses term like 'I' in the text for the individual, and it has a sticky.

How come, or is this another way of getting ad's onto the EF by the backdoor?
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Old 31.01.2011, 11:13
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

This is the username that has been used for announcements previously, controlled by 'the management'.

The details has been amended to 'EF Announcements & Commercial Ads'

Clearly this must be a new form of income generation for EF.
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Old 31.01.2011, 11:21
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

T'would appear according to jrspets response (now deleted) on the thread it is indeed a paid ad' so normal rules seem not to apply... viva la revolution!

Last edited by Papa Goose; 31.01.2011 at 12:07.
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Old 31.01.2011, 11:22
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

Yes, it's a paid ad. We've been informed we need to accept some of these (hopefully only a few - to date this is the only one.) They are being posted by "English Forum Switzerland" (an EF admin account) rather than by the individual business owners, in an attempt to make their status as transparent as possible. EF has not gone into the driving school business, we're just trying to make it clear that this is a paid posting.

And before you all jump down Editor Bob's throat, this is coming from over his head as well as ours... so be nice to him please.

As far as the content and format of the ad itself, it's in Commercial; phone numbers, email addresses and websites are routinely allowed there, and anyone clicking through to that subforum should be expecting to see commercial content from expat-related businesses. Yes, it's a sticky - it sort of has to be though: there wouldn't be much point in anyone's paying for ads if they weren't set off somehow from the free ones.

Again, we've got to post these ads - so by posting them this way, we're trying to keep it as transparent and as non-disruptive as possible.

Thanks for bearing with us anyway.
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Old 31.01.2011, 11:22
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

At least it is clear (or not) if you pay Editor Bob, you are allowed to give your names and personal informations regarding your business.

As long as you pay...
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Old 31.01.2011, 11:25
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

If one of our friends has had a negative experience with the company being advertised can we reply to this post on behalf of our friends that the experience with this company was not as they expected? Obviously this would be an unnofficial personal view and not represent in any way a formal or professional view from ourselves as the posters ?
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Old 31.01.2011, 11:31
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

ef-sponsoring-ads-ig.jpg

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Old 31.01.2011, 11:31
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

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At least it is clear (or not) if you pay Editor Bob, you are allowed to give your names and personal informations regarding your business.

As long as you pay...
Hi Nil,

Like I said, this ad is in "Commercial", where other expat businesses already advertise for free. In that section they are allowed to include phone numbers, email addresses, the works. The content is absolutely no different from any other ad in that section; all we've done is make this one into a sticky and charge for posting it.
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Old 31.01.2011, 11:34
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

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If one of our friends has had a negative experience with the company being advertised can we reply to this post on behalf of our friends that the experience with this company was not as they expected? Obviously this would be an unnofficial personal view and not represent in any way a formal or professional view from ourselves as the posters ?
It would appear not. Replies to the thread have been removed.
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Old 31.01.2011, 11:40
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

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If one of our friends has had a negative experience with the company being advertised can we reply to this post on behalf of our friends that the experience with this company was not as they expected? Obviously this would be an unnofficial personal view and not represent in any way a formal or professional view from ourselves as the posters ?
As long as nothing libellous is posted, I cannot see how this should be any different to commenting on any other commercial activity.

If EF wishes to greatly increase its income they should approach KFC. They seem to have more mentions/threads than any other company!
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Old 31.01.2011, 11:40
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

Will ads be censored?

If we pay, can we get a link to The Forum Who's* Name Must Not Be Mentioned?



*Whom's?
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Old 31.01.2011, 11:41
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

Thanks for deleting the posts on that thread MathNut (no offence, just sayin), that ad' looks great now, I'd be well chuffed if it were mine and I opened it to find 5 folks groaning it.

Seems to me that if we are to have thread ad's with stickies on them, so be it, but 2 people questioned this so transparent or clear it isn't. What it does look like is that the EF is recommending the guy (and he may be great), or it's been slipped in on the QT and hoping no one would notice...

Like I said (and you will have to take my word for as it's deleted now) but this is a slap in the dish to the EFers who enhance this community, have businesses and threads on here, but only get an EF endorsement or a sticky if they cough up some dough.

EDIT: I don't think the reaction would have been the same had the "EF Announcements & Commercial Ads" said simply read Paid Advertisement... that would at least be clear. I had a quick look and personal details are indeed cool in commercial threads, sorry I didn't know that, ya learn sumthin' everyday eh
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Last edited by Papa Goose; 31.01.2011 at 12:06.
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Old 31.01.2011, 11:45
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

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If one of our friends has had a negative experience with the company being advertised can we reply to this post on behalf of our friends that the experience with this company was not as they expected? Obviously this would be an unnofficial personal view and not represent in any way a formal or professional view from ourselves as the posters ?
Good question. It's all very new and I don't know what the exact terms of the advertising agreement were. Would have to clarify with EdBob/Stockholm. I assume this is a hypothetical question though for now?

What I do know is that off-topic posts to that thread will need to be deleted. Assuming we do eventually wind up with 2 or 3 of these stickies, it doesn't really seem fair to the first guy to have his thread hijacked by angry rants about the format while the second and third are accepted without much ado.

So if anyone wants to rant/complain/question/flounce, all I ask is that you please do it here on the Forum Support thread, and I'll respond as best I can. The basic decision to have these ads isn't up for negotiation, unfortunately (like I said - orders from management) but if I can clarify anything else surrounding it I'm happy to do so.
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Old 31.01.2011, 11:52
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

I would like to pause for a moment of proud "I told you so-ness" as this exact situation, that if an external company advertised goods and if people responded negatively about it, would this be allowed, was asked at the timet this forum was taken over and the response was that of course it was allowed as it is a neutral forum.

Using the old "it wasnt me that ordered it guv" is a straightforward piece of project implmenetation to bring something in without the customer being able to respond as their is no direct interface to respond into.

The thing is, someone told one of my mates that he'd heard down the pub that one of my colleagues used this driving school and it was dreadful (or so I think), so if I started a new thread saying "for gods sake don't use x driving school" I wonder whether it would be deleted. I would say yes in all probability.

It's a sad day indeed etc etc
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Old 31.01.2011, 11:58
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

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Thanks for deleting the posts on that thread MathNut (no offence, just sayin), that ad' looks great now, I'd be well chuffed if I opened it to find 4 folks groaning it.

Seems to me that if we are to have thread ad's with stickies on them, so be it, but 2 people questioned this so transparent or clear it isn't. What it does look like is that the EF is recommending the guy (and he may be great), or it's been slipped in on the QT and hoping no one would notice...

Like I said (and you will have to take my word for as it's deleted now) but this is a slap in the dish to the EFers who enhance this community, have businesses and threads on here, but only get an EF endorsement or a sticky if they cough up some dough.
I don't have any particular objection to paid advertising. It is a reality of the internet. It would have been good if 'the management' had made an announcement in advance, along the same lines as Mathnut's clear explanation here.

Without that, the speculation about motives is inevitable. Please don't imagine that these things will go unnoticed. Most members are very reasonable and accept that some changes are going to happen not that EF is a commercial entity.

It is clear that the format for these paid adverts needs rethinking. I am sure that the groans on the advert are most likely for EF posting it rather than the company featured. Either replies should be left on, or Thanks & Groans blocked.

Members can always start a new thread 'My experiences with XYZ Co.' etc.
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Old 31.01.2011, 11:59
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

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At least it is clear (or not) if you pay Editor Bob, you are allowed to give your names and personal informations regarding your business.

As long as you pay...
And how long will it be before all posts in Commercial are paid only. The way this forum is going I will be long gone before that happens.
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Old 31.01.2011, 12:03
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

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The way this forum is going I will be long gone before that happens.
Now that would be a sad day!
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Old 31.01.2011, 12:05
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

This sucks monkey balls.



Anyway, if you have a bad experience with a business that has a paid advert, may I suggest opening a complaints thread and adding a link to the advert. Or will this also be banned? If it is and Cablecom pay for an advert, will all of the Cablecom complaint threads have to be deleted?



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Either replies should be left on, or Thanks & Groans blocked.

Countdown, 10, 9, 8......
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Old 31.01.2011, 12:07
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

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Like I said (and you will have to take my word for as it's deleted now) but this is a slap in the dish to the EFers who enhance this community, have businesses and threads on here, but only get an EF endorsement or a sticky if they cough up some dough.
Maybe in the opinion of ordinary members on here, there should be a 'right' to advertise for free both in ordinary Ads and in the Commercial section. Whether the writer of these free Ads all 'enhance' the community or not is another question. For this Mod at least, the Ads, often put in by members who have no other interest in the Forum, make a load of work and little fun. When the posters don't bother to read the rules, or, if they read them, don't stick to them, they are a pain in the neck too.

If the guys and gals with Commercial Ads on here really care about EF and other members, they'll probably find that folk recommending them or asking questions will keep their Ads 'alive' without payment. They can post in their own Thread if they have something valid to say or new Info to add. It is accepted that contented customers post on here and whether they were prompted or not, the Mods neither know nor care. See Grumpygrapefruit!

Somehow EF has to get some money. Someone, somewhere, has to cope with updates, server problems and loads of things I don't even pretend to understand. I don't think any of us like it much, but there are now Ads. I think it's good that members keep an eye on these innovations, but like King Canute, we are going to get wet feet whether we like it or not.
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Old 31.01.2011, 12:08
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Re: Is the EF sponsoring ads

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Thanks for deleting the posts on that thread MathNut (no offence, just sayin), that ad' looks great now, I'd be well chuffed if I opened it to find 4 folks groaning it.

Seems to me that if we are to have thread ad's with stickies on them, so be it, but 2 people questioned this so transparent or clear it isn't. What it does look like is that the EF is recommending the guy (and he may be great), or it's been slipped in on the QT and hoping no one would notice...

Like I said (and you will have to take my word for as it's deleted now) but this is a slap in the dish to the EFers who enhance this community, have businesses and threads on here, but only get an EF endorsement or a sticky if they cough up some dough.
As a Mod I can't force people to remove their groans - would be nice of them though. This is a quarrel with forum/management policy, right? Why take it out on some hapless advertiser?


As for transparency and endorsement issues: EF does not endorse any of its Marketplace advertisers, commercial or private. Had we allowed Mr. Knecht to post a thread under his own username, and then elevated it to sticky without an explanation, that would indeed have looked very much like an endorsement - which is why we didn't do that.

As it stands, we are not endorsing the guy: we are publishing his paid advertisement, in the format paid for, under a username clearly marked for that purpose. While I can understand the resentment, I do think we've made that as clear as we reasonably can.
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