re: webmasters do you know what you're signing up to?
"Does anyone have any clue on why a webmaster would sign up to this service for his site, as if the visitor is interested in the sites content, then surely phorm will roll out a load of competitors ads, to distract the visitor. Maybe I'm just not fully tuned in with what is going on here."
There are many sites whose sole purpose in life is to have content which will draw visitors - mainly, but not necessarily, prOn or meds. Once the site has good traffic they sign up to an ad network to display ads and they get paid per thousand page views. The webmaster does not care what the ads are, only cares that they give enough income to pay for the bandwidth with some profit left over. When you are being paid per view there is no need to supply content which will encourage a clickthrough. Many of these sites fall into the range that are excluded from displaying AdSense or affiliate banners.
There are many different ad networks out there and most supplement their client's ads with ads offered by other ad networks - so that there is never an empty ad space once the clients have met their exposure limit. Lowest priced ads are displayed last.
When you take into account the content of many sites displaying ad network offering, a little thing like privacy is probably not even in the vocabulary of the webmaster - they only see $$$$$.
These are the 'scatter gun' ads that Phorm is so keen to replace, and the ad networks will be eager to include targeted ads with higher payments in their stables. This is the market where Phorm will be making their money and why they don't seem to be bothering any more about our concerns about the ISPs' wiretaps.
Maybe Phorm isn't such a bad name after all: when you look down the list of what sites they won't profile you for and won't display ads for you can get a pretty good idea of who will be offering to display the ads - zero competition ads, guaranteed - and 100% of the sites in the target market only earning money from displaying ads.
Advertisers know where most people surf and they too must be waiting eagerly to offer their ads to their target market for a better ROI. Who needs clicks when you are going for brand awareness.
Just look at Pepsi's attempts to locate their market (google cache):