stop the huge banner adverts right accross the top of the page pushing the site down and making it look terrible
Please get rid of the huge adverts at the top of each site. There are plenty other spaces for adverts. No commercial or professionally developed site would have adverts along the top of the home page. This is spoiling a great product.
Thanks for your comments. First of all this is a trial that is constantly under review. All of your feedback is being noted and we appreciate the comments we have received so far.
Until the end of the trial we have made the following changes:
1. No more betting or gambling ads in the large ad format across the top of the website. These ads have already been stopped.
2. All large ads formats will be capped at 1 per person per session.
Once the trial has ended we will also make the following change:
1. All large ad formats must be sport specific and reflect the brands already associated with the sport. Example football – Nike.
Once the trial has finished we expect the number of campaigns to be very low.
Advertising is still required to fund Pitchero, but we are altering our business model to be less reliant on it.
We will address the Club Creative issue separately as this is still being looked into from a technology perspective.
Many thanks for your feedback. This is an update on the current situation.
All large format betting ads have been removed and will not return. Last week, we made the mistake of announcing the trial would end on Sunday 23rd. This was a communication error for which we apologise.
We have three campaigns left to run; Google, Honda and Investec Hockey. The last of these campaigns will finish on the 7th of July. These campaigns are capped at 1 per user session. Your members will only see the ad once, each time they visit a club website on the Pitchero network.
In the short term no more campaigns will be booked, within the same space or size.
Looking forward – this is what we have learnt:
On our side, the visual implementation of the new advertising was very poor.
We were not able to target the ads away from clubs using the premium club creative package. This is now being looked into.
The brands we advertised did not match our user profile, particularly betting. These have been removed.
We did not provide adequate feedback to our users.
For all these things we are very sorry, and we will try much harder future.
Looking forward – the future of advertising:
In short, the small ad formats which we normally run generate less and less revenue. Advertisers instead want to use large formats – and we have very little say in the matter.
Look at the Telegraph, Guardian, Independent or Daily Mail website you will see large formats are being used on most pages.
To this end, to keep Pitchero free and where appropriate, we must adapt.
It is not simply a case of valuing the advertiser above the user. It is about finding a balance between paying the bills, generating revenue so we can improve the service and providing a great user experience.
Looking forward – changing our model:
In the long term we are trying shift our business to be less reliant on advertising and to focus on payments and retail.
This, we hope, will mean we can keep the amount of advertising on a club website to a minimum.
Looking forward – we really do care:
The team at Pitchero work incredibly hard to offer your club a great service. Some times we get it right (Payments, iPhone app) sometimes we get it wrong (advertising).
We will continue to work hard and hopefully win back your support.
Our office is in Leeds, just off the M62. As a Webmaster we welcome you to call in anytime and talk directly with Pitchero staff.
We are also holding weekly webinars where you can talk to developers online.
Finally, please feel free to call the office anytime.
Simon Annicchiarico commented
Thanks for putting this Under Review, I think this topic is very important.
It seems to me that there are a number of areas of concern:
1) The suitability of the advertising for children in particular
2) The dominance of your advertising supplier adverts compared to our club sponsor adverts
3) The dominance of your own Pitchero product advertising
4) The suitability of this when a club is paying for Premium Features
A more appropriate balance needs to be achieved that meets our sponsors needs, parents needs and doesn't devalue the web experience with too much advertising noise. Certainly gambling, dating and other such adult focused activities don't seem appropriate for a family club website.
I would be grateful to know when you might have a solution for us please?
Simon Annicchiarico commented
Thank you for listening. What about dating websites though, as well as gambling?
Chris Gordon commented
Thanks for everyone who has voted for my suggestion. Hopefully the large advertising at the top of the page will not make a comeback. I think Pitchero is a great service for clubs and a very thorough one at that but these ads impacted on the branding,look and feel far too much. I would have no issue with adverts lower down, at the sides, at the foot of pages etc. and on several site pages as I understand you have to make some money back to continue to offer this service. The ones across the top were just too much and pushing the page down like that was no good for the clubs and end user.
Am so happy you have listened to your customer base and removed the large advertising unit from the top of our sites. My website is now back to being a great product which my clients are happy with and only hope this isnt ruined by the introduction of more advertising units of this nature.
Any chance of an Android App please we dont all use Apple Phones.
Ross Pinnuck commented
Thank you for the update. I am glad you have listened to some of the feedback and have been humble in your update responses.
If your future solution of banner advertising is of the scale of the the Guardian, Independent and Telegraph then that would be more of an acceptable size (a third of your current banner height).
Also would sugget making it fit better with the rest of the header instead of just a massive white banner (The independent is a good example of this).
It would be nice to get a clear indication as to what the options are in paying vs free solutions. As many clubs are run by volunteers be warey of charging too much for advertising free solutions.
We have been using the site for a few years now and would certainly consider the option to pay to hide advertising.
Pitch Hero commented
@Gorseinon RFC the Oxfam adverts were due to a technical issue from our advertising provider which has now been fixed.
Frazer Club Admin commented
I know let's take a perfectly good successful platform and ruin it in one blink of an eye.
David Quarm commented
The capping per session is no longer working and you cannot get rid of the adverts. I understand and appreciate all the feedback you have already posted and that you recognise that the majority of the users do not like the adds, however the mechanism you have put in to control these adds is broken.
Gorseinon RFC Webteam (GO) commented
You say above " We have three campaigns left to run; Google, Honda and Investec Hockey. The last of these campaigns will finish on the 7th of July " ..... So how is it i have a massive " WE CAN MAKE IT OXFAM" banner now on the top of the site ??
Frazer Club Admin commented
Whatever at the end of the day you are clearly still running the adverts five days after you said they would stop, now your only feeding us with a load rubbish to try and justify it.
Ross Pinnuck commented
So Jon can you please confirm the following points:
1. The banner is not going.
2. It will still appear for everyone every time they visit.
3. It will only disappear if they revisit the page a second time without closing their browser.
4. Only companies that have a sports tie in will appear like Barclays, Coca Cola, Investec, Sky etc.
5. These adverts will appear indiscriminately throughout the season depending on which commercial company wants to run a "campaign" against your users.
If this is a trial; with this action clearly being very unpopular; keeping this banner surely demonstrates that you are valuing advertising revenue over user opinion?
Jason Pepper commented
Just logged on to our site because a parent messaged me complaining that I was ruining the site through my choice of advertising !!
In all my time working in IT this has to be one of the most stupid decisions I've seen taken.
Well done Jon Milsom and your boys you have managed to annoy and alienate your entire consumer base without a single interaction (that I have seen)..
I suggest you reconsider the decision you have taken and listen to your users.
If Microsoft can do it (Windows 8, XBox One etc) then Pitchero can do it, swallow your pride and admit it was a daft decision, you will be respected all the more for doing that.
Dave Winpenny commented
I agree somewhat with Matt. I was told via a posting that the trial was ending on Saturday; thats last Saturday. Well, it clearly hasnt! So it sounds like Pitchero needs to learn to communicate better internally.
Personally, I would be more than willing to pay to allow my club site to NOT have any adverts.
So I pose a question back to Pitchero..... "How much would you want to charge my rugby club so that I dont have to have ANY ads and I retain control of the creative section?"
I find it amazing that Pitchero considered this "trial" without consulting some of its users; for example, it would have been useful if this was at least mentioned on the Membership and Payments webinar last week. I am 100% sure you would have received some interesting feedback if you had described it correctly.
OK Pitchero, thanks for your reply above but a few things I want to know.
1. when is this trial ending?
2. Once the trial ends will the god awful large advert be removed?
3. If we have purchased a creative licence will we have the option to remove this advert at the top?
4. Can you explain what '1 per person per session' means
One thing that doesn't ring true is where you say you are altering your business model to become less reliant on advertising yet you introduce the biggest bloody advert Ive ever seen on any website in a blatant money making venture.
You are aliening your customers by keeping this sized advert. I dont knwo of any website I have ever been on that has an advert of this size running at the top of the page. It totally ruins the look, feel and professionalism of our Pitchero websites.
PLEASE REMOVE IT NOW!
Pep (Parent) commented
Also, you need to regard that a lot of people give a lot of hours to updating these websites. Coming in doing such a negative thing on the backend of hours upon hours of work, pounds and pounds spent promoting the website. Then to force their hand to leave, because that's ultimately what it will do. Is not going to win you any friends. You potentially have a great service here, so before forcing people into things just consult the people that matter (your members), because for you to say now 'it is a trial' is rubbish.
Pep (Parent) commented
What an absolute mess of what was a great resource. People pay for a creative package and get this in return and their paid for background replaced by a Lions advert. Greed sorry it really is. If you want to ruin your platform and the reputation of your users (Promoting gambling and adult services to kids!) you go ahead.
PaddyPower are not your users though and without the users you have no platform to sell to the likes of Paddypower!
Shocking stupidity, sack the developer of the idea
I was messaged by a Pitchero support staff member who said that if i purchased the creative licence then i could deactivate the large banner at the top. I did this and there is still no way of removing it. So I have now paid £144 for the CL on the recommendation of the support staff which didnt do what they said it would.
I emailed them informing them of this and all I got back was a message from a different member of staff saying they are trialing new advertising methods.
Not happy at all!
Mark Stanley commented
Just seen how bad these are - they even get past Chromes ad block - worst of all is the add from Chrome fill about half of my browser window - and guess what I am browsing via chrome at he time.
Kingstonian FC commented
The huge banners at the top of the page have completely wrecked the mobile version of the site (which isn't even optimised in the first place), where most of the screen is lost to the advert. Even on a desktop computer with a large high-res monitor the advert is huge. The size is significantly larger than standard banners - though to add that the point here is not just to reduce the size but rather to remove it from the top of the page altogether.
As with some other feedback, we also have a paid-for creative package with Pitchero so the last thing we were expecting was for our site background - a fundamental element to its design - to be displaced by yet more prominent advertising.
Adding to the advert issues - the auto start videos in the right hand column have gathered a lot of complaints from our visitors. It doesn't exactly allow users to be able to discreetly browse the website.