Being new to the UK, I've learned two valuable lessons; one, when a cab driver talks about the weather, always agree with him. "Weather's cold today sir?," says the cabbie. "Oh no, zin Germany, much colder, zis is noting," says the German. His business card is all that remains of him. Anyway as I was saying, I've learned a second thing, don't mess with the BBC, "The BEEB," "Big Ben." There will be no advertisements and shameless commercial plugs here sir, no. But wait! Has the organization that promotes the noble entertainment ideals of truth, justice and low production-quality sitcoms had a change of heart? Hop on over to http://bbc.co.uk and you might be greeted by *gasp* banner advertisements. oh capitalism, let us rejoice! Maybe now they will have enough money to make a show that actually lasts longer than two seasons.
All jokes aside, there is something America can learn from the BBC. To some degree, television should serve the public good, unlike the current climate in the US where commercial news outlets like CNN, MSNBC, ABC, and CBS pander to their audience and their subsequent advertisers. In America, if I want a fair and balanced opinion I turn to Fox News Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) BBC opening up to advertisement is a good thing as long as it is done tastefully and do not bow to special interests. So if this whole banner ad thing works, does this mean I don't have to pay the TV tax?
*since publishing this story, the banner ads have not shown up again. I opened up another browser and went back to the site. Yup, ads. Apparently the ads are cookie based.
screenshot taken from a new browser called Flock
I thought that you would only get adverts if your IP was outside of the UK, are you going through a MS proxy server which is based in Ireland?
I believe that adverts have only been added to the International versions of the site. The BBC ("Auntie" not "Big Ben")remains a advertising-free zone in the UK because of the license fee. The BBC adds to its income by syndicating shows like Eastenders and The Office and now by having banner-ads on the website.