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Just a random observation, I was browsing Serverfault.com without being logged in and saw an ad for Paessler PRTG which supposedly SHOULD link to somewhere on http://www.paessler.com/ but instead it brought me on the Engine Yard web site, offering my Rails hosting:
http://www.engineyard.com/free-peepcode?utm_source=stack&utm_medium=banner&utm_content=728x90b2&utm_campaign=peep

The Image-URL of the ad is:
http://ads.stackoverflow.com/ads/636_Banner_Serverfault_728x90_1.gif

The Redirect-Link is:
http://ads.stackoverflow.com/a.aspx?Task=Click&ZoneID=7&CampaignID=216&AdvertiserID=70&BannerID=371&SiteID=2&RandomNumber=704684172&Keywords=wmi%2ccpu-hogging%2cwindows-server-2003%2csqlserver

The Question where I saw this ad is:
http://serverfault.com/questions/53774/does-wmi-cause-cpu-creep

screenshot of the ad

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Thanks for pointing this out, Michael.

It's now fixed and the banner is redirecting to the correct address.

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Most likely not a bug. I don't know if the SO guys rolled their own advertising, but the ad management software I used to use (when I was in the newspaper web dev business) all linked in ways similar to that -- it was used to track clicks on the ad for conversion purposes. I don't know for fact that this is how it works on S[OFU], but this doesn't strike me as a bug.

Did you click the ad? Where did it eventually take you? (I copied and pasted that URL and wound up at http://www.engineyard.com/free-peepcode?utm%5Fsource=stack&utm%5Fmedium=banner&utm%5Fcontent=728x90b2&utm%5Fcampaign=peep, which didn't make much sense to me ... But I suspect that might be something to do with the processing which comes from a.aspx.)

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Yes, I clicked the ad. It's an ad for PRTG which links to ads.stackoverflow.com/a.aspx which redirects me to EngineYard.com, instead of the expected paessler.com. So It's like it's pulling the wrong link out of the database with can be a simple typo, or a bug. The Ad software seems to be third party (Just go to ads.stackoverflow.com to see the admin interface login) –  Michael Stum Aug 16 '09 at 20:07
    
FYI, we are currently using BanManPro to serve up these ads. It's a bug... but caused by the wrong URL being entered into the Target URL field in the ad software. –  Alex Papadimoulis Aug 16 '09 at 20:11

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