Ghosts in the machine.

Ads, like haircuts and predictions, are prone to looking bad when the world changes in unanticipated ways, which is to say: constantly. The saving grace for ads was always their impermanence.

To everyone except for archivists or hipsters leafing through old issues of Playboy waiting their turn in the chair at Freeman’s Barbershop, ads cease to exist when they stop running. This is a mercy when you have created ads that guilt-tripped women for making bad coffee for their hubbies; or announced the arrival of picturephones prematurely (twice). Unless you stupidly cop to the act in a blog (D’oh!), you can escape history’s judgment.

Not so now. The ease of search and the speed of change make instant and highly visible jokes out of web sites, apps and the other trappings of online marketing. They are ghosts in the machine, orphaned by change.

Here are some of my favorites:

They pulled the product in 6 weeks. The page endures.

You can surf the site. You just can't buy the car.

Seems to be lacking a tab for "hateful diatribes."

I like the "Stay up to date with Michele" part.

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