The Anti-Ad Server

Welcome. This project serves up random banner ads that are parodies of actual web advertising or critical of modern day consumer culture capitalism.

Note that these banners are hypotextual, i.e. they (probably) do not link to what they describe. Each image and the URL it links to are independantly and randomly determined, each time you load the page. This virtually guarantees that these ads are not simply a "countercultural version" of marketing. Clicking on a banner for X will not take you to X's web site, but may instead take you to site Y or Z. (there is some probability that a link may happen to match up with the banner you see, but this is a rare occurance... besides, who clicks on these things anyway?)

More ads and more links are coming soon....

However, you can already use the anti-ad server - simply link to it from your pages with HTML code like this:

<a href=""><img border=0 src=""></a>

For more information, write to us.

Designers: We need more banners! If you'd like to contribute, let us know!

A joint concept of,, and

Contributing Designers include:


December 28, 2001:
Technology progress: The anti-ad server software was switched over from CGI to mod_perl, which means a speed increase per request of at least 100%. The random quotes on the bottom of Detritus pages also is mod_perl now, and gradually more CGIs will be ported over.

September 6:
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 09:29:14 -0700 (PDT)
From: Steev Hise 
To:  [email protected]
Subject: Re: stealing anti-ads

Mon, 20 Aug 2001 found [email protected] writing:

->This message was sent by someone looking at:
->while i admire the anti-ad server, of which i have just
->become aware, i am also hugely pissed that you have
->stolen my work without asking permission. you will
->please remove my banners from your system promptly.
->- john wooden

 Please accept our apologies. We did credit you, and when
looking at your site we didn't imagine that
you'd be this uptight about permissions. After all, you must
realise that most of your banners are themselves collages of
other people's work for which, I would guess, you did not
receive clearance to use. For example, I doubt that you
obtained permission to use the photo of the Wendy's
hamburger that appears in your "yummy dolly" banner.
Something to think about, perhaps.

At any rate, our aim is not to irritate other artists, at
least not usually (haha).  So I've removed the 3 banners
that I believe were yours. Let us know if there are other
images you notice on the Anti-ad site that you consider to
be your property, but as far as I can tell that's all of

best wishes,

Steev Hise, Curator

July 3, 2001

Apparently an ISP in Michigan has been cracked, and the crackers placed banners from the Anti-Ad Server on the victim's web site. We are investigating this gross misuse of our banners! Please do not use Anti-Ads for Evil! We take no responsibility for actions taken while viewing or using Anti-ads. The opinions expressed by each anti-ad is that of the individual designer of that ad, not neccesarily that of or of the site which the banner links to (as mentioned above, the links and the images are totally and independantly random).

Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2001 16:01:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Steev Hise 
To: Renee.Bruce 
Cc: admin  AT
Subject: Re: anti-ads

Tue, 3 Jul 2001 found [email protected] writing:

->This message was sent by someone looking at:

->We would like to know how you monitor the people that
->choose to have your ads put on their sites?

->We are a local, family based ISP, and we were hacked,
->and the ONLY evidence of this hack, was your "banners"
->with suicide promotion, terrorism promotion, and all out
->illegla and immoral activites being placed on our site.
->This has been handed over to out legal department, and
->it will be investigated to the full extent of the law.
->Maybe you should rethink the content of your banners.
->Making fun of GE, or IBM is one thing, but promoting
->suicide, terrorism, etc., is completely on a different

Hi Renee,

As a system administrator I've been victim to the
unauthorized accessing and use of my servers a few times
over the years as well, and I know the feelings of
frustration and anger that can occur at such times, and the
desperate searching for ANY clue as to why and how the
break-in occurred.

So I'm happy to do whatever I can to assist you in your
investigation.  The only "monitoring" of Anti-Ad usage that
we do is via standard web server logs.  I can provide you
with copies of the relevant logs if you'd like.

Of course, as one can read on the mission page, which you've
seen, participation in the anti-ad project is totally
voluntary and open to anyone, free of charge, and we exert
no control over who uses the banners and for what purpose.
You're also probably aware, if you have any sort of HTML
experience, that any images and any links anywhere on the
Web can be placed on any web page anywhere else on the Web.
So, if you're saying that some unscrupulous hackers chose to
place the anti-ads on pages where they were not authorized
to do so, that's unfortunate, but hardly something can be blamed for.

Do not hesitate to write again with further questions or
requests for information.  As I said, I'm happy to help.

To change the subject, thank you for your comments
concerning the content of the ads.  We here at
will take them under advisement with the attention they are

Sincerely yours,

Steev Hise, Would-be World-Wide Web Wizard (WWWWW)
steev   AT
*Recycled Culture:
Q: Have you been listening to a word I've said?
A: That's nice dear...

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