A Citi Banner Ad On Starbucks’ Facebook Timeline Page? Adware Strikes Again

By David Cohen 

A large banner ad for Citi appearing prominently under the cover photo on the timeline page for Starbucks: Is Facebook testing yet another advertising unit? No: It’s probably just adware.

The screen shot below from Ticular Principal Ulrike Ruppelt shared many of the same characteristics as the one Mashable Features Writer Christine Erickson encountered last month, particularly the small print under the banner ad that reads, “ads not by facebook.”

As we reported last month, the section on adware in the Facebook help center contains step-by-step instructions for how to cleanse adware from Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer, and emphasizes that banner ads such as these are not the social network’s doing:

Facebook ads will never appear as banners in the center, top, or left column of Facebook Web pages. If you’re seeing ads in these locations, or ads that flash or play sound automatically, you probably have adware. To remove it, review the add-ons or toolbars that you’ve enabled for your browser and disable any plugin that promises special browsing abilities (like profile [timeline] themes or seeing who’s viewing your profile [timeline]).

Still, we found it interesting that while the banner ad discovered by Erickson was one of the “claim your prize” ads that litter the Internet, the one discovered by Ruppelt was for a high-profile financial company.

Readers: Have you seen any of these adware-produced banner ads on Facebook?