By Shamus Posted Tuesday Feb 13, 2007

Filed under: Rants 23 comments

A reader expressed their irritation with the IMVU ads that have been running in the sidebar recently. I was actually glad to see I wasn’t the only one. They have a trashy, lowest-common-denominator feel to them. Kind of a “Welcome to Hoochie World” vibe. The ad has been running for over a month, and I’ve never seen a picture of a single male avatar. It’s either the quasi-jailbait in a bikini, or a couple of skanks in a pseudosapphic embrace. Using a pretty girl to sell your stuff is perfectly reasonable, but doing it with such a lack of class gets on my nerves. I’ve never used the software, but the ads make me think their chat software is a world inhabited by l337-speaking teenage boys that would make the average FARK thread sound like the Mclaughlin Group by comparison.

This reminds me of the comments Georgina Bensley made about “Girl” games a while back. These ads, by trying to create an image of a world that is wall-to-wall with girls, is actually doing almost nothing to attract them. It might even be alienating them.

All of this, coupled with the fact that we’ve all been looking at the same 3 images for over a month now, has finally persuaded me to “block” the IMVU ads in the Google adsense controls. Although I notice they are still showing up. Maybe it takes a while to kick in? I dunno.

LATER: I’m at a loss, here. The block has been in place for six hours and I’m still seeing these ads. This is starting to annoy me.

LATER LATER: All gone now. Yay.


From The Archives:

23 thoughts on “RIP IMVU AD

  1. RodeoClown says:

    Thanks for that, I always felt kinda dirty when my wife walked in while I was reading your stuff, thanks to those ads. Now they’re gone I only have to worry about the gratuitous panty shots…

  2. Andre says:

    I wasn’t so much irritated with the trashy ads as I was with the fact that they were showing up on YOUR site, Shamus. I couldn’t imagine that you would be OK with that kind of advertisement on your site. I’m glad to see that you’re not, and I wasn’t mistaken. I guess that means all is well with the world. ;)

  3. JFargo says:

    I’ve always felt kind of dirty from them too, like the one I’m looking at right now of the “barely legal school-girl” variety.

    I’ll feel better when they’re gone. :)

  4. beckyzoole says:

    Yeah, they’re still showing up. This one looks at first glance like an ad for a 900 line — “The world’s greatest 3d chat” displayed under a sexy-Catholic-schoolgirl picture.

    You’re right, it’s bad advertising. At least, it certainly doesn’t inspire *me* to want to try them out.

  5. Cineris says:

    My impression is the opposite: I can’t imagine a boy that would want to use their software. It’s undoubtedly extremely skewed towards girls, with at least 70% of their users being preteen/teenage girls. Not that my personal experience with IMVU is all that extensive, but on the rare occasions that I’ve found myself dealing with kids in that age group I’ve found no interest in that chat software amongst boys (and was actually introduced to it by some of the girls).

    I’m not sure exactly how their profit model works, but my impression is that they sell outfits and other appearance enhancements to make money — So it pretty much reminds me of The Sims except with even less of a game/objective angle.

    What’s kind of disturbing to me is how little girls think of representing themselves in the ways that IMVU allows them to.

  6. Andre says:

    You know, ironically, I think this post is attracting IMVU ads exclusively. Every time I’ve clicked on this post, I’ve seen one. Everywhere else on your site, they seem to have stopped appearing, but not here.

    What’s up with that? [/seinfeld]

  7. Lanthanide says:

    After mainly seeing nothing but IMVU ads on here for the last couple of months, they seem to be gone now. Yay!

  8. Andre says:

    Yeah, it looks like the jailbait beast has left for good.

  9. Flambeaux says:

    Cool. An Adventure Quest ad has replaced the jailbait/skank ads. I played AQ for all of a week. It was kind of fun.

    Note to self — if you find an ad offensive, politely point this out to the site host. He or she may be in agreement.

  10. Steve says:

    It bringsss back the jailbait cartoonssess my precioussss, or we wringsss its nassssty neck!


  11. AndrewNZachsDad says:

    Two things come to mind:
    1. The IMVU ads appear to have been replaced with Dragon Fable ads which depict cute anime-ish girls in D&D-like garb. I assume that this is what you meant by “tasteful” use of girls in advertising, Shamus.
    2. Does anyone else find it ironic that Steve posted a comment demanding that the softcore porn ads be brought back on Valentine’s Day?

    ‘Nuff said.

  12. Kevin says:

    Well I must say, as a regular IMVU user, I am ashamed of there advertising practices. All they do is attract horny young boys and 50 year old perverts. The ad practically screams “you can have cyber sex with a teen that looks like this” so yeah. I’m disappointed. Hell I even made my own custom ad for IMVU so I don’t have to use that one.

  13. Kumi says:

    Oh my goodness. Finally a blog which has commented on this. I tried it out (not via the stupid ads of course; a friend recommended me) and all they want to do is rip you off of your money. I agree with AndrewNZachsDad about the irony of Steve’s comment; bloody loser. Websites like MySpace are trying as best as they can to protect young people and yet this site is exploiting them. T.T ~

  14. Mesha says:

    Oh wow…. It sounds like a lot of you really didn’t like the IMVU thingies. I have used imvu as a chat place for bout 10 months….and i like it, but then again the only video games i liked ever were Final Fantasy 9…and SIMS. I do admit that the advertising they use is like… 75% showing just girls (the James Bond ads were nice though…and that …Space marine one is nice too, and they used to have a pirate-y…Capt. jack Sparrow sort of ad) but i don’t think any of it is worse than the kind of dressing you see in music videos. I have seen a lot of older ppl that try to act like younger ones…and some men that are girls when they are on imvu. It shocked me a LOT at first, but since my main reason of using IMVu is to chat and relax while dancing in one of the public rooms while we all listen to music…. i don’t hang out with the ones that are looking just for the ‘cyber’ stuff. A lot of the friends i have, chat as anime characters… or lolz… some of them are star wars jeddis…and the Star Trek ppl really love being able to act like they are from the movies/tv shows (not into star trek myself). I have dressed as a cheerleader though, when I was trying to get the spot in a HEROES roleplay group….as Clare Bennet. IMVU is what you put in it… a lot like real life… there are ppl only looking for one thing, but you always have the choice to choose who you hang out with and call your friends. (oh P.S. i do like the ppl that play the Dr. Who roleplay…mainly cause i love that show….giggle.. I wanna be Rose Tyler ) and i almost forgot.. IMVU does make money…but who isn’t trying to make money? i’m sure it cost them a whole lot to run a 3D chat world when every chatter can pull up his own scenery ( or 3- or 4)…at any time, and imvu usually has 35,000 to 70,000 chatters at one time. So they sell clothes….I LOVE shopping for clothes..and since a new top or ddress cost me basicly 50-80 cents ….its something I can be happy with. My lil 14 year old brother spends more a month on his Warcraft (?) game…than I do on imvu in a month…( i usually spend 8-12 dollars a monthy….when I want to..not billed every month) So… why is imvu such a bad thing again? :) and no…i don’t work for imvu… i just think its fun. Bye everyone.

  15. NyNita says:

    I’ve had an account on IMVU for almost 2 years and I can attest to the fact that the ads are sleazy – they create the image that you can get more than what is really there now. They haven’t changed the ads forever. They systematically have changed the rules (a lot of them never published until it is brought out into the open in the forums – and even then, staff does not address the real issues). This program has been in Beta for 5 years now and it’s just a shield so they don’t have to pay taxes – they continually get more monies from investors who have no idea what kind of rip-off the company really is. Nothing is free – you always have to buy, buy, buy – and, the rooms, just a room – no real virtual world. These are just a few of the reasons so many are leaving IMVU for other sites.

  16. imvu user says:

    i have been using imvu for 3 years now and have see all the changes they have made to it. they noe have a ga, vip and ap acces point. you have prove your age and pay for an access card that allows you to buy anything unapropriate. same with the rooms you chat in, if its not GA then you can not pass without an access pass. like any chat room you get people asking to cyber but a simple block button get rd on them. its very safe for children because you dont need a chat room to talk to friends. just like MSN you can have a window open with just a single friend there.

  17. Sharnuo says:

    Wait, so your saying that it’s both safe, and there’s inappropriate stuff there?

    Also, learn to spell. And use capitalization.

  18. Szyja says:

    I hate those ugly IMVU Ads! I hope they go bankrupt. I’m really sick and tired of seeing stupid foreplay pics on wherever irrelevant place I visit.
    P.S: Comment no.17 is nothing but another ad of IMVU.

  19. Pokeboy says:

    plz help me block those darn idiotic stupid IMVU adds!!!!!!

  20. Pokeboy says:

    i want to keep playing pokemon deluge but my parents wont let my play because of those thrash IMVU advertisments!!!

    P.S. pokemon dleluge is a non-download game and is free to play it is also very fast

  21. Davie says:

    Imvu is not good, you can often get easily banned, what they called disabled, many have complained of being on there some years, having spent thousands of dollars and suddenly one day they can not access their account.
    Another worrying thing is the amount of accounts that get hacked, so a lot of them claim on the forums. If you complain to much you get banned and later disabled.
    Finally you have no realy safety on there, so despite the minimum age being of 13, anyone young can get access to the site. There is often naked graphic porn images too, which makes it very unsettling given the fact there are young teens on the site. IMVU removes the naked images of men, but often avoids and leaves those of the women, for whatever reason, who knows.
    If I had to rate the site over all, give it 1 out of 10, better ringing them for someone decent to answer you, but then having said that, just given the run around as you are told to take out a ticket on the site, thus one can wait days or weeks, if they respond to you at all.
    As for the offers to get credits, most are a con, surveys all about getting your details off you, to bug you constantly, a serious privacy risk, especially for kids, which it appeals a lot to. And not only that, when you gone through them, often then say sorry at this time not qualified etc. We then have those free things one downloads, and these are often full of spyware or virus.
    For a company making so called millions of dollars now, to not be accountable to even paying customers is truly shocking to say the least.

    As a long time user of imvu I feel I need to point out a management flaw in the way the service is run. Instead of fixing long standing existing bugs in the client, they continue to add new features, many that the users scream they do not want. Until imvu gets their act together, it is not a wise investment of anyone’s money. If someone needs to try it out, do not waste any money upgrading to an AP account, the experience is the same. Safety appears to be a secondary concern to imvu also. They have a report for abuse system for the users, but all they ever do is give copy and paste responses to support requests that they obviously have not read. Every time you file a ticket to report abuse and you state all of the steps you have already taken to stop it, they will send you a copy and paste message back telling you to do what you have already stated you have done. They have inadequate age confirmation systems in place, so that children can get access to the more adult portion of the site, and predators can and do easily pose as minors.

  22. Nader bu zaid says:

    It is so easy to block all imvu annoying ads weather imvu like it or not because the imvu adds is spam and the offers is full virus and they fraud stupid users with but if you have the dr web internet security on your computer no adds ever will run in your web browsers ever with no need to add blockers and no adds in 3d games too i use the dr web ver 6 internet security and it was blocking all imvu adds and you can filter adds in internet settings

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