In a recent post I wrote about how poorly designed ads negatively impact the experience users have when visiting a site (and why brands seem to ignore this). Sometimes though, paid advertising can actually undercut a point you’re trying to make.

Slate recently published this post about how Donald Trump’s personal attack on Ted Cruz’s wife signaled a new low for the candidate and the presidential campaign. Its point is pretty clear: attacking Cruz’s wife was purely misogynistic and so far beyond the pale of responsible debate (Slate has written several posts like this about Trump, such as this one that states his only consistent position is misogyny).

And then you get to the bottom of the post.

In the same post is a “promoted story” from LifeDaily entitled “20 Things You Should Know About Donald Trump’s Wife.” Kind of undercuts that point Michelle Goldberg and Slate are trying to make. 

The Trump’s wife “story” is obviously clickbait, so I’m not including a link to it. But Slate is taking the money from Outbrain (the company responsible for serving up the promoted stories). It’s a bit jarring for users to read a post about how wrong it is to gossip and attack a candidate’s wife, and then see an ad on the same site that is doing the same thing to the offending candidate’s wife.

Take care what ads you serve up content sites.

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