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TTAG reader RO writes;

So I’m listening to one of my created favorite stations on Pandora this morning. It’s commercial time which I normally tune out. But I heard an odd mix of words that triggered my spidey sense. It was an Everytown for Gun Safety ad. Are you EXPLETIVE DELETED kidding me? I screen grabbed a pic. I heard it twice in less than an hour. It’s full of the normal BS about politicians not doing what needs done, gun violence, blah blah blah. I’ll be sending Pandora a nastygram when I get to work.

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  1. I wonder if its genre based? I’ve been listening to Toby Kieth radio all day and I’ve only gotten ads for Walmart.

    • Probably genre and age.
      I listen to blues, metal, jam band stuff. Allman brothers, leftover salmon, trey anistazio, Buck cherry, black sabbath…
      My ads are mostly geico and how to upgrade for no ads.

      • Although 90s alternative may get some of the occupy crowd, I see more guys like me who listen to this music. Grunge rock is part of this genre and I don’t see that music catering to the pacifist crowd.
        Overall the politics of the internet sucks…I mean leans left so I wouldn’t say this surprises me.

    • Heh, all the ads I’ve been getting on any station I listen to on Pandora are just for car dealerships, specifically Lexus in New York and New Jersey. The funny thing about that is that I live on the west coast and will have zero chance of visiting those dealerships.

    • My black metal channel is probably just confused. Personally been digging on Nightwish lately, though. That “Somewhere” duet from Black symphony is amazing.

      • This. As long as they take anyone’s money, I don’t care. If they did refuse pro-2A ads, I would have an issue.

      • On the Pandora advertising guidelines, it says “Weapons” are a prohibited category – definite no-go, no matter what. “Political” advertising requires “review by Pandora” and may be subject to content restrictions.

        So anything weapon-related is right out, and any political ads have to be ads they agree with, basically. I don’t KNOW how they’d treat a pro-2A ad, but their guidelines could easily be interpreted to exclude them.

  2. Just when I was starting to feel guilty about illicitly downloading the ad-free Pandora One app, shit like this comes along to make sure I don’t.

  3. I still don’t get streaming radio stations like Pandora. I’d much rather have local digital copies of the music and deal with the manual library management than be subject to advertisements, especially when it’s shit like this.

    • Aye. The only real use I have for streaming or satellite radio is listening to stand-up routines while I do chores. Even then, I hate when I’m in the middle of doing dishes or something and have to stop and skip tracks because someone objectively awful like Nick Swardson or Amy Schumer just queued up.

    • I use Pandra to discover new music. I find a song I like and want to hear more like it, I create a station starting with it, then thumb up or down songs that match or don’t match that sound. It’s a great way to find new bands and songs, or even old ones you didn’t know about.

      That said, I use ad blocking software, so I don’t have any ads.

      • Point taken. I’ve been using Youtube for music discovery, but perhaps I’ll adopt this tactic.

  4. They’ve infected as well. I have signed a few pro gun petitions and they always pop up right after with their “Stop gun violence! SIGN THIS!” crap.

    • i wouldn’t say that is prudent, rather, that Pandora will take money to run adds is nothing new. Much of the leadership of these tech based companies has never had to deal with anything more threatening than a irritated house cat, so they really don’t see a need for firearms in society as they know it.

      The people who really need the kick in the pants are like ole Feinstein, who had legitimate threats against her life, and carried a gun for protection, to turn around and say “None of you need what I had, even though it gave me some peace of mind and I never had to use it, so fvck off and turn em in.”

      I am not sure what I am trying to say, but, abandoning a perfectly good service because they play what they are paid to play does not make sense to me. Perhaps the NRA should fly an add.

  5. Good to know. On the local WLS radio(Chicago) they play gun and CC commercials(or did)…

  6. So you are going to complain about their right to free speech which is complaining about your right to bear arms?

    Please tell me you get the irony.

    • ?? No one complained about their right to free speech. Everyone is complaining about their stance on the 2A. If I owned Pandora – I wouldn’t be running any anti-rights ads.

      Seems you are not grasping the concept of rights. They can advertise whatever they want and we can complain and boycott whatever we want. Legally they can say whatever opinion they want (so long as it is not slanderous / libelous) and cannot be prosecuted for it. However every town for gun safety is seeking legislation that allows people to be prosecuted when there is no victim, and seeks to restrict and hinder the exercise of a right through endless red tape. If they had the votes they would try to rescind it right off.

      So no – no one is getting your irony or Dave’s ignorant laughing because you two couldn’t put two and two together.

      • I was assuming Dave in VA was laughing at the silliness of the statement, not so much in support of it. I could be wrong however.

  7. we should all clIck on the ad. Doing so costs Everytown money and gets them nothing in return.

    • Say, what? Clue me on this would be

      Is it like the old trick of mailing a brick to an organization to make them eat the return postage?

      If that’s so, it seems like it would be easy to write a script to hammer their domain…

      • It depends on how they’re buying the ads. Most of the time it’s just “impressions”. So they pay a hundred dollars, and in exchange, the company who serves the ads (maybe Google’s Double Click) agrees to give them thirty thousand impressions. So every time their ad shows up on someones screen, it counts against their total, whether it’s part of their target audience or not.

        The real hurt comes if they’re buying by click through count. That means they pay the ad serving company a few cents every single time a new user clicks on the ad. Not all companies do this though.

    • I do something like that with junk mail. Not all junk mail, just those which solicit on the basis of access to what I consider to be my private information, like home and auto records or my credit report. I’ll write “No thank you” on their offer letter, then mail it back to them in their own postage paid envelope.

  8. Well folks, here’s a little secret that doesn’t work on iphones but works great on your PC. Download adblockPlus and block all those stupid ads. I listen to Pandora every night, commercial free…for free.
    Please don’t tell all of your friends. This is just for us 2A types. I don’t want to lose this freedom too.

    • for the ‘droid people out there, there’s a APK that drops all the ads as well. same is true of the gadget for windows. only if you use the web portal do you get smacked with ads if you have the unpaid version.

      an email campaign to Pandora wouldn’t be ill advised, assuming it’s not of the “you suck and we hate you!” vein. expressing our disappointment in them taking ads from only one side of a debate is appropriate, as is stating you’ll be voting with your wallet against Pandora if they continue to do so. kindly informing them that if both sides aren’t availed use of their platform then no sides should and Pandora should remain neutral.

  9. Did they fly in every MDA “volunteer” to one place for the photo or are those pay for play models?

  10. I think some pro-gun organization should take out an ad on this channel. If they refuse to air it, we need to broadcast that fact. We should call for the ad manager to be fired for violating the Communications Act. Pandora uses public satellite bandwidth.

  11. Hell, Glen Beck is he king of idiot adds……..just don;t listen and they go away….kinda sorta…;)

  12. I think you should ask Pandora for your money back.

    Wait. What? It’s a FREE service? Unless you pay for the AD-FREE version?

    Well ok then. I guess you get what you pay for.

    • Or don’t. If you have an Android device or jailbroken iPhone, three seconds on Google can kick up a cracked version of the ad-free Pandora One. I won’t reward anyone who shills for Everytown, and I’d rather spend that money on ammo anyway.

      • Ok. If you don’t care about copyright laws, fine. If you think an outfit like Pandora can operate without revenue, go right ahead. The best idea, mentioned above, is to click on the ad which costs MDA (Bloomy bucks) a few cents and gets them nothing in return.

        Being occasionally subjected to ads promoting ideas or products we don’t like – Thats part of the cost of capitalism. I hate Wal*Mart but if they want to pay to bring me the entertainment I like, that’s fine with me. They can run all the ads they want.

        • Finding a way around the crappy ads is a true free market. A true entrepreneur will find a way.

        • “Ok. If you don’t care about copyright laws, fine.”

          Oh my, what gave me away? Since they’re already accepting all that yummy ad revenue from Bloomberg’s deep pockets, they can obviously do without our financial support. “Don’t like, don’t buy” sounds like a good deal to me in this case, so I didn’t buy. As for shaming about copyright: I’m afraid I can’t offer up a good enough rebuttal, because I’m not sure how to properly spell a fart sound.

  13. Funny thing I’m getting gun “safety” ads while using Crunchyroll (anime streaming service) which I found quite odd considering the potential users/audience of the app O.o

  14. I’ve not listened to Pandora in years, more or less after the ads started. On the flip side of this, even if I’m reading an anti-gun article on an anti-gun site, the ads tend to be Midway and Brownell’s, and I find that amusing.

    • …and that should tell you something about how much personal information the various companies serving the ads have gleaned about you.

  15. Pandora is lousy compared to Spotify. I have a big music collection, but the 10 bucks a month for ad free, ability to skip songs and build playlists from a truly massive library is the best money I spend each month.

    Pandora is a Hi Power. Spotify is a Dan Wesson.

  16. The funniest thing I take from these comments is that dudes listening to country,rock metal, blues, jazz, or rap dont hear these ads. What type of music do you listen to?

  17. Most Silicon Valley and dotcoms are lefty anti-second amendment types. If you are going to boycott every time you hear some anti-gun message you might as well give up on the internet. The real issue is that they may not take ads from pro-Second Amendment sponsors. That is what would make it a no go zone for me.

    • Sometimes I find the hypocrisy of the dot com world to be quite amusing. Sure, they don’t sell firearms, but I’ve bought a whole lot of shooting and reloading accessories off Amazon. I guess they’re fooling the right people.

  18. I quit pandora when they forced video ads on me and went with slacker. I’ll definitely never return to them after that crock. Slacker FTW.

  19. While Pandora can obviously advertise whatever they want via the 1st amendment, Everytown is a anti civil rights and discriminatory organization. They are not unlike the KKK, which is anti civil rights and discriminatory, just to a different group of people.

    You can bet your ass that Pandora wouldn’t run an advertisement for the KKK, and if they did, and you were a person of color, you would take offense, and stop listening to Pandora, because of how they perceive the message of that group.

    How is this any different? The only argument is the KKK doesn’t hide what it is behind BS like “race safety” like Everytown does with “gun safety”, so maybe the people that OK’d the Everytown ads don’t really know what they stand for.

  20. My station may be right back, but I won’t. I prefer Spotify anyway, unless they start picking up these ads.

  21. Meh. I just pay 50 bucks a year for Sirius XM, where I can listen online and in my car. No ads, unless it is talk radio (since most of these have AM affiliates).

  22. Why doesn’t the pro gun community run promos like the antis?
    The truth is there is a steep learning curve to world of guns. Most of the passive information people receive is the inaccurate representation from hollywood and the local news. This makes the anti gun argument far easier. To the uninformed, it seems logical that you take away the guns and the shootings stop.
    Too often the gun community forgets the third player in the gun debate. The neutrals. We are going to lose the balance of power if we don’t start informing the neutrals of our side of the story. Move away from the “If your not with us you’re against us” mentality. Forget the idea that all liberals are anti gun.
    This site is a great resource, but if we are to win this war we need to step into the realm of passive information.

  23. I wrote Pandora, this is their reply:
    Jason | Pandora
    MAR 27, 2015 | 02:36PM PDT
    Hi James,

    I’m glad you wrote to us about this. We always welcome input from our listeners – on any and every topic.

    Perhaps the best place to start is to tell you that, like virtually all media outlets, the advertising content on Pandora does not represent an endorsement of any kind on our part. We realize the prominent placement of many of our ads may give the impression that Pandora somehow endorses the product, issue, candidate etc., but we do not.

    We recognize that certain material is sensitive ground, and we do our best to preserve the listening experience. It might help to know, all our ads are thoughtfully vetted by folks across various teams at Pandora to ensure they are free from speech or content that’s hateful, illegal, false, misleading, fraudulent, inaccurate or unfair.

    I hear where you’re coming from, but the fact is that Pandora incurs substantial costs in licensing and streaming for every song it streams. In order to provide this service free to listeners, we need to generate enough advertising revenue to cover our costs.

    I’ve noted your thoughts about this campaign. Rest assured, your voice has been heard.

    Thanks again for taking time out of your day to write to us. We really appreciate hearing from you.

    Jason | Pandora
    Artist Advocate
    PANDORA® internet radio
    Need help?
    Was my reply helpful?

  24. Just got an email from Pandora today that advises the ad has been stopped. I guess a few of us (me included) wrote to them:

    Thanks for writing in and sharing your thoughts with us. Unfortunately, I can’t speak on behalf of Pandora or the ads team – however, I can confirm with you that the Everytown for Gun Safety campaign has been paused.

    We value feedback from our listeners whether it’s positive or negative.

    As always, your feedback and suggestions are welcome, so don’t hesitate to email us.

    Thanks again, Frank.

    Adam | Pandora
    Listener Advocate
    PANDORA® internet radio
    Need help?
    Was my reply helpful?

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