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Was reading TimesOnline and saw an ad that M&S are delivering to Switzerland. How do they know where I am?

(12 Posts)
MmeGoblindt Mon 26-Oct-09 21:52:58

I am assuming that noone else gets this ad.

This is the second time today that I have seen an add geared to where I live. The first one really freaked me out as it offered me the chance to meet two young ladies, who live just 20km away. Some kind of dating chat.

TrillianSlasher Mon 26-Oct-09 21:55:49

IP address. And stuff.

TrillianSlasher Mon 26-Oct-09 21:57:11

MmeGoblindt Mon 26-Oct-09 22:10:14

So the ad thingy uses my IP address to chose the best ads for my area?

Spooky. I had a look at the blocking of IP address, seems not to be such a good idea, if it is not secure?

Thanks, Trillian.

Off to look at the M&S Swiss delivery charges.

TrillianSlasher Mon 26-Oct-09 22:13:57

Something like that. I'm not an expert on these things...

TrillianSlasher Mon 26-Oct-09 22:28:11

I was kind of hoping someone who understood properly would come along and explain...

Hint hint.

MmeGoblindt Mon 26-Oct-09 22:31:08

lol Trillian.

I am strangely drawn to the Geeky Stuff topic, even though I know nothing about Geeky Stuff. I wonder why.

TrillianSlasher Tue 27-Oct-09 10:42:17


I'm sure someone knows much more about this than me...

I think I post because I want to hear the proper explanation when it finally appears.

badgermonkey Tue 27-Oct-09 11:10:52

I keep getting sidebar adverts which are advertising products I've recently googled. It's a bit freaky, especially as they happened to be fairly esoteric things.

WartoScreamo Tue 27-Oct-09 11:21:03

I get local adverts when I'm looking at the BBC website. And MSN knows I'm in Belgium though I never told it.

WartoScreamo Tue 27-Oct-09 11:22:02

The downside is that I can't use the BBC iPlayer, or download certain things from Amazon and iTunes.

WebDude Tue 27-Oct-09 15:10:33

Geo-location/ tracing is very common, and often for the copyright reasons - some US TV channels block previews of their shows being seen outside USA, some others like BBC, have a policy of adverts for non-UK viewers of some/all (?) BBC websites,
(a) because that brings in some cash (though no idea how much of a benefit it is if people use advert blockers on Opera or Firefox browsers) and
(b) because they can, justifying it with "UK people pay for a TV licence"

It often fails, of course, if the tables of data are not up-to-date (I wanted to listen to a radio station from Brighton but was denied as it thought I was outside UK - actually using Three mobile dongle for my home connection). offers a way for people outside the USA to access (some) US services (free, at reduced speed) from up to 3 PCs in a home network, and "Tor" allows anonymous access to web services, via volunteers all over the world, so it's (unfortunately) pot luck what country you would appear as being from.

Some sites switch you to a "local" version, eg for some, .com for others (US/Canada) where pricing details might be different (eg swap of US$ to UK pound in pricing, but because you cannot easily see the US prices, don't know the way they might be skewing the prices.

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