TUTORIAL: How to Stop Seeing ads That are not Relevant to you

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Over the holiday, I helped someone on Twitter stop seeing YouTube ads for countries with terrible human rights records that she is never going to visit. How common is it to see ads that are not relevant to you what-so-ever? I think it is really common, and I get them and stop them all of the time. Funnily enough, my day job is as a manager at one of the “big four” advertising agencies. So you might find it a bit strange that I am telling you how to turn ads off. But the thing is, I am not. I know pTeople still like to give their favourite creators revenue from ads, but the ads being relevant to you is also a bonus. For me as an advertiser, I would rather not pay to show someone an ad they wont ever click or convert on. What this tutorial is about, is changing the TYPE of ad you see to make them tailored a bit more to yourself.


In the bottom left of any YouTube video you will see the ad details. The timeclock, with how much left of the ad there is and how many ads will be served can be seen in this location. You will also find the information logo (circle with an “i” inside). If you hover over this, a “why this ad?” bubble will open. Just click on this,  scroll down and click “stop seeing this ad”. Then the ad-buying platforms will adjust their algorithm, and you will stop seeing this ad and similar ads also.


For Facebook ads, you need to click on the three dots in the top right-hand corner of the ad. Here you have quite a few options. You can either “hid” or “report” the ad, or even tell Facebook you already own this. Down more, you can also hide all adverts from this advertiser, or change your overall ad preference’s.


Despite the fact they are owned by Meta, the same people that own Facebook and WhatsApp, Instagram for some reason to be the absolute wild west of terrible, triggering ads. Because the advertising platforms for Facebook and Instagram are so accessible to ANYONE, and it is an algorithm that reviews the ads rather than a human, unfortunately, some really dodgy ones get through. No, it shouldn’t be up to you to make it so that you stop seeing these, but also, it doesn’t look like change is in the pipeline soon. When you see an ad you don’t want to see again, click the three dots in the top right hand corner. Although there is an option to “hide ad”, you will actually want to go down to “repoert ad”. In basic terms, when you “report ad” you have the option to simply select “I find this offensive”. The algorithm takes this as a stronger “no” than “hide ad”. For example, say you get an ad for a diet plan, and you click the three dots and “hide ad”. This tells Instagram you don’t care to see this ad at this time. However, if Instagram picks up that you visit this company or even another diet plan’s page, it then thinks “oh wow ok, so here we are, they are interested again”. Actually REPORTING the ad, and choosing the “I find this offensive” makes Instagram learn that you ABSOLUTELY NEVER want to see it.


On most websites, like the website for The Guardian Newspaper, you simply click “hide” to stop seeing the ads. If you see the little triangle that says “ads choices” when you hover over it, you can click it, an it will take you into the page to click “stop seeing this ad”. This means, like when you do it with YouTube, you will stop seeing ads from that advertiser, and also ads for similar services or products.

This is something I feel very strongly about. I am a manager working a client who are one of the biggest company in the world’s ads as my full time job, at one of the “Big Four” ad agencies. I STRONGLY believe that advertising should be non-intrusive and fit for purpose.

If you would like to chat more about this, or need help with a platform not listed, please email me on funinyour30sblog@gmail.com.

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