an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

WebSafe: Be a Fly

Posted by Rosepixie on March 9, 2010

This banner ad for WebSafe was sent to me by a friend.

The ad makes it sound like a service that will tell you what your kids are looking at or doing on their computers, doesn’t it?  But that doesn’t actually appear to be one of the features that the WebSafe service provides.  Their service provides you with mostly vastly trumped up facts about things you should be worrying about and then the ability to block those things from web browsers on your kids computers.

See, the “fly on the wall” metaphor implies listening in covertly.  Flies can’t actually interfere with what’s happening, they’re just not in a position to do that.  And when people say they want to be a “fly on the wall” they aren’t usually saying they want to control what’s going on, they’re saying they want to *know* what’s going on.  There’s a big difference there.  And there are very good reasons parents might have to want to know what their kids are doing online when they aren’t around, but that’s not what this service offers you.  It offers you panic and probably not very good filters (honestly, I have yet to see a filter that actually blocks everything it’s supposed to and most can pretty easily be gotten around by someone half aware of what they’re doing – which most teenagers are).

Truth in advertising is important.  For some reason, WebSafe seems to have missed that message (although, truth doesn’t seem to be one of their big things anyway).

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