Geographically Targeted Banner Ads

By on October 14, 2004

While cruising the interweb the other day I noticed a banner ad for a South Dakota Senate candidate and I was clearly not on a site based in South Dakota. This morning I came across the same ad on a different site. If you are in South Dakota you’ll see ads for Students for Thune in the middle of the page and again at the bottom. A buddy of mine in St. Louis sees a Verizon DSL ad. Is anybody else seeing ads for political candidates in their home states?

It’s obvious that they are identifying the location of my ip address and sending me the appropriate ad for my area. While I may have been the target of similar ads in the past it’s interesting that the first noticable use of this technology is by a political campaign. Prior to this election, politicians (with the exception of weren’t known for embracing the web as a way to spread their message and fatten their wallets. They’ve moved on from filling up my answering machine to cluttering up the web pages I visit. Oh joy.



  1. I’m using Safari 1.2.2 on OS 10.3.4 and get an Eddie Bauer ad on the right side and a mortgage company at the footer. I don’t think it’s the IP address they’re using, unless Safari doesn’t play well with what they’re using to determine the address. That seems like it’d be a pretty basic thing though.

    The links on both ads start with http : / / /

  2. Are you talking about the Salt Lake Tribune? I clicked on your link and go a political story. I scrolled down the entire page and didn’t see any ads at all. I use Safari in Atlanta

  3. Here’s something interesting; on a whim I tried that same link using Mozilla in OS 10, and got the Thune ad at the bottom, but a Vonnage ad on the right sidebar. It’s definitely not getting the location from the forms autofill data, cuz there’s nothing there in Mozilla, but there is in Safari. Perhaps it is the IP.

    And the link on both ads is from the domain.

Comments are closed. If you have something you really want to say, tweet @gadgetopia.