Second Life and Ad Farms

In this blog post I will be talking about Ad Farming. As with my previous post, I’d like to then move the discussion into the forums so that as many of you as possible can give us your opinion.

Please keep in mind that this post is about the Linden Mainland, and does not apply to private islands where the estate owners choose how they wish to run their own estates.

So flex those typing fingers and join me after the cut..

In recent months we have had a large amount of feedback about the need to improve the Mainland experience. We have listened and we agree. There will be a number of phases to this work that will include policy changes, land recycling, zoning and urban regeneration programs. The DPW was the first step, and the next step is to tackle ad farming. After my previous post you gave us a lot of input about advertising. You made it clear that this is the most urgent issue right now.

Back when the Mainland began there were very few restrictions, driving creativity and adding a little chaos to the mix, but as in the real world, a lack of controls can lead to misuse. Unsightly advertising rapidly spread across the Mainland causing the situation we see today, with some kinds of advertising driving down land values and adversely affecting the majority of residents. We need to remove the bad forms of advertising whilst encouraging and controlling responsible forms of advertising, just as city planners do in the real world.

The good news therefore, is that Network advertising (Ad Farming) will no longer be permitted on the Linden Mainland unless you have a written agreement with Linden Lab (essentially meaning a license to advertise). Anyone currently operating such a business inworld will need to remove their adverts by the 1st October 2008.

By Network advertising we are specifically referring to the practice of using many parcels over multiple regions, especially small micro parcels where the predominant purpose of the land is to hold advertising. In the vast majority of cases we believe it will be very clear whether a particular use is a violation or not but we will provide a way for people to appeal and discuss their own case with us before any action is taken. We will assess any edge cases as we encounter them.

You’ll note that I’ve mentioned Licensing. I’d hope that most of you will agree that advertising itself is not the bad guy here, the issue has been with the way in which advertising has been done and the excessive number of adverts. There are lots of positive forms of advertising already inworld that are no problem at all, from the signs you place above your own stores to the club owner that will place your ad on the wall behind the bar for a fee. Besides, much of what we call Ad Farming is not genuine advertising at all, but geared more towards selling the parcel.

So, whilst we are no longer going to allow Ad Farming, we accept that there may be genuine advertisers who wish to operate on the Mainland and are prepared to sign a license with us to do so. The idea here, is that where we do allow a small amount of network advertising to take place, it is highly controlled, low impact and managed responsibly. Licensee’s will be limited in number, capped to a specific number of advert locations and with strict rules about how their adverts look. No more spinning, floating cubes, no more unsolicited notecard givers, no more improper use of ban lines.

We will provide more information on the license process and terms very soon, we hope to finalise them as soon as possible. Here is where you come in..

Please let us know what you think, we’d like your opinions on what licensed advertisers should and should not be allowed to do on the Mainland. Adverts as light sources? How high is too high and when is an advert too large? We would really appreciate your feedback as an aid to us finalising the terms themselves. As with my previous post comments are not enabled, so please head over to this forum thread to let us know what you think. We may not reply to all the posts, but we will read every one of them.

Your feedback was clear, and we’re pleased to make this change to improve the Mainland for everyone. ‘Ad Farming’ will no longer be allowed on the Linden Mainland.

This entry was posted in Announcements & News, Land. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Second Life and Ad Farms

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  9. Ric Mollor says:

    It will be very interesting to see what constitutes a “licensed advertiser” and if any program of effective enforcement can be maintained.

    Just the task of defining an ad may be very difficult. 🙂

  10. Interested Resident says:

    Although I think its a great thing to get rid of the blight of annoying adertising, I do wish that you had a preliminary plan to share with the community since you have announced a deadline. As it stands, its purely speculation as to who specifically will be affected. We can hope for the best decision for the community, but it would be better if we at least had a standing policy in place between now and your deadline of October 1st. After all, you could always tweak it from resident feedback afterwards.

  11. Master Nestler says:

    I think this will be the biggest change for Linden Lab and the Mainland. I’m hoping it will change from a ugly adfarm with spinning towers and high glow blocks to get attention to a beautiful mainland. I think having a license to advertise in mainland should cost the same price as if you were to have a commercial on television. October 1st will be the biggest change ever for SL.

    -Master Nestler

  12. Wonderful! I look forward to being able to remove my walls surrounding my sim(s). It will be a breath of fresh air to see blue skies again 😉 Yet another great step forward…

  13. Stephe Ehrler says:

    IMHO it’s the extortion that resulted from this “ad farming” that was so abusive. Most of these lots weren’t advertizing at all but “Lets see how ugly and obnoxious we can make this 16 SqM lot and sell it for $10,000L. Notice my use of past tense 😉 Way ta go guys!!

  14. elise sands says:

    please don’t loophole in all the ads so no change of value occurrs there are MILLIONS of places in all sorts of malls establishments that make revenue by selling ad space LL gets its fair share from THAT ad farms for ANY reason ANY are a blight and serve NO purpose that cannot be met legitimately…..MINIMUM parcel size 512 that simple.. a commercial land beside a road perfect for a LICENSED bilboard or for a store to have ads INSIDE!!! ALL the 16sqm’s should be offered to the surrounding land at market gvalue or refunde3d and sold with ist priority to the neighbors.. the Ad Mongers have had their free ride and scr*wed our property values often to a point od conflict they need to bow out and go legit.

  15. Brigitt Boucher says:

    I for one applaud this move. The way “advertisers” use ads to extort money from landowners to buy out some awful ugly tiny parcel has been a bane for far too long. I hope that the plan they recommend will involve adding an abuse form option to allow investigation of this type of practice. Excellent news, Jack, and thank you.

  16. Thank You Linden Lab for addressing this issue! says:

    Some ad farm owners make it a goal to have one 16m plot in every sim . This is abuse. A land owner with large plots can’t even buy the 16m plot since the ad farm group will never sell… Nothing like having a full sim or you and your friend have the sim and one 16m plot is stuck in the middle with a over size spinning prim and or ban lines… Even if there is not prim or ban lines you can never buy the full sim with the ad farm group holding one 16m… Some ad farm groups will say give him a 16m plot at 0L and he will move, then he keeps both and now you have two 16m plots you can never get… This is Abuse of real customers of LL/SL. This Abuse must be stopped!

  17. Hulk Ah says:

    I would assume that they should simply not ‘take over’ the mainview in sims. Everyone can have a build next to them and hates it , but that build is just on 1 location, 1 height…I have store up in the sky with windows. Right before that windows someone with an adfarmspot next to my land has placed advertiseing in front of my windows, so people inside will get his advertisement shoven down their throats.

    That kind of advertiseing should be forbidden all the way.

    Let’s just keep advertiseing how it looks in real life. If you’re on the highway, you see some advertiseing, but it’s not fully packed, and they do not repeat the same ones over and over again. and in the sky too

    Also i believe adfarms are quite useless. How many people do actually fly randomly in sims and look at adfams, then click on them and go to the target destination and spend money there. That is a very hypothetical situation that i can barely see happening on a daily basis. Since it’s not a way that reaches alot of people, i think the considering could be to remove them all, because it’s pointless for both sides

    – 1. It’s never gonna work. Adds in random sims will not make you earn alot more like classifieds are able to do
    – 2 Everyone hates them at all, so why keep them?
    – 3 They make the land prices go down
    – 4 Linden Lab now even wants to waste time on managing them. Why not take time for things that are worth it

  18. Wayfinder says:

    Long overdue. A shame this didn’t happen 2 years ago when people were being driven out of their homes by such stuff.

  19. Awaken Yoshikawa says:

    Well, tricky is and tricky does and you may get rid of one thing, but already I see a new development, People with small plots of land selling junk they know nobody will but yet have the land up for sale.
    Same problem isn’t it? One thing will replace another.

    My land in mainland, and it’s almost worthless now. The Lindens reduced Private Island fees, but left mainland tier the same. So why should someone become member and buy on mainland? When they can just rent from someone who has island at cut rate price. So why be a member and pay high tier when you can rent the same space? That is why premium membership is dropping like lead balloon.

    Lower the tiers, so I can compete with private island. Other wise why do I pay membership plus tier, when I can rent half an island with no membership fees at cheaper price? Its’ not fair and worse than ad land in my opinion

  20. Kira says:

    getting rid of ad farms on the main land is great….

    can we maybe get this stuff and status reports put BACK on the splash screen so we dont have to search them out?

  21. mirage says:

    It was cler of them that did though.. probllem is not that. Ovb ppl dont like it. Bigger issue is how can you say to them it was ok then but not now? Im not suporting them but LL has to walk soft on this.
    What if lets say you put up a sign says whatever your selling.. you own it pay for it.. should beable to ..
    This is tricky see ..

  22. Herron Nohkan says:

    Death to mini parcel ad farms. My experience has been that they are strictly for extortion prices on tiny plots of land in strategic places.

    Valid point is made in that they will be replaced with something else. penatlies must be severe when someone asks extortion land prices ($9995 for 32 Meters in my valley). supply and demand did not bring prices down.

    Valid point…lower the tiers on the mainland. Why should full residents have to pay more for original land on Linden mainland? Then be vulnerable to those of a greedy nature who gouge us for those pieces of land that are needed.

    Valid point…limiting the smallest size of parcel to 128 meters is NOT a good alternative. Many legit business owners want parcels of 32 meters for stalls and store sites.

    I am not opposed to making money in SL. The problem is how people go about it in such a greedy manner. THe ad farms are similar to what happened with the casinos, and tarnish SL mainland in the same way. It makes the place that we pay so much to the Lindens for look cheap and low class.

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