RARLabs RARFail

I’m on a FAIL kick lately, and this one deserves a post.  I used to be a huge fan WinRAR, a file compression tool that was easy to use and supported a wide array of options like file spanning and encryption. I’m all for integrated ads – that is, ads that leverage the same font/color scheme of the site.  Now, both of these ads in the page below are for the same product, RegistryBooster 2009.  The ad in the top right is obviously an ad, but it’s pretty close to crossing the line.  What do I mean by crossing the line, and how integrated is too integrated?  Crossing the line is when there’s a strong likelihood users will accidentally or inadvertently click on a link, not realizing it’s an ad.  The second arrow (the ad in the middle) crosses that line.  While it’s true that it’s marked as “advertisement,” it’s done in a clever enough way that attempts to trick the user to click on the link (let’s face it: we usually skim pages).  This is because the placement of the wording would make users feel that clicking “download now” is actually downloaded the intended WinRAR application.  Further, the green “run system scan” link implies I’ve clicked this link before, and consciously or unconsciously, we feel safer in clicking previously visited links. So what do you think?  I’m not claiming this is the worst I’ve seen, but it’s enough that makes me question the integrity of both RARLabs and Uniblue (makers of RegistryBooster). 

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