Tag Archives: Advertising network

Standards And Practices

After selling a schedule of TV ads to a sponsor, there always came a moment during which you held your breath.  It was the time when the sponsor’s commercial was reviewed by the Standards And Practices folks.  They reviewed the commercial to be sure that it complied with governmental and network rules about such areas as comparisons to competitors or “taste.”  Any claims about a product’s efficacy had to be supported by actual research. We weren’t even allowed to present avails (the beginning of a negotiation) unless a new advertiser could pass a background (read Dun and Bradstreet) check by the finance folks. 

I have no idea if those processes are still in place at my old network homes (I suspect they are), but I know that they’re not in the digital world.  Marketers often wonder about the ad blocking phenomenon but one aspect of it might just be the tremendous number of scams and consumers’ wariness of all ads as a result.  As a former web publisher, I always had a concern about the ads that came to our site via an ad network and I felt incredibly bad when we accidentally ran some banners that installed malware.  In retrospect, there were a number of red flags on the order that we should have caught, but the desire for the cash outweighed our wariness.

It’s much worse today, given the number of “imported” pieces of advertising and advertising disguised as content most sites run.  Even the best of publishers have revenue pressures that can blind them to the dirtbags to which they routinely direct their readers.  One solution?  Maybe the industry – publishers and advertisers – need to set up and pay for a central review board through which all ads need to pass.  Call it the digital advertising Standards and Practices department.  No sign off from them, no seal of approval, and the ad won’t run.  Maybe not every site will take that on, but promoting it to your readers as a scam-free site might just help both readership and ad blocking.

Worth a try?

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Filed under digital media, Huh?

I Can Do It All By Myself

For those of you with children (or those of you who can recall when the adults you’ve raised were children), you might remember one of the great parental moments.  It’s the one where the child – probably only 4 or so – realizes that they can do things for themselves.  Maybe it’s pour a drink of water or maybe it’s get dressed on their own.  No matter which of the dozens of tasks we as parents undertook for our kids, at some point we all hear “I can do that all by myself!”

I bring this up because by the time  most folks are old enough to use the web, they can do most things by themselves.  Which is why I can’t understand many sites’ choices to present audio or video elements which aren’t user-initiated.  As someone who used to run a large site that made a fair amount of money based on ad views, I get that showing more ads is a good thing.  But as someone who spends too much time (and more than a second is too much time) finding and closing the pane providing me with an annoying sound or a video that’s running down my laptop’s battery, I can’t help but wonder if web-masters are doing this just to increase their video views, ads served, or audio files played.  They can’t be doing it because users like it.  More importantly, advertisers are starting to ask the same question and about how it affects consumer response to and engagement with their ad.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, auto-initiated content is that which plays automatically when users visit a web pageAccording to SpotXchange, which is a video ad network and market:

 There is a significant difference between auto- and user-initiated video ads, which results in two different user experiences.  An auto-initiated ad plays automatically when a user visits a web page, but the video ad does not block the user from viewing intended content.  User-initiated ads must be viewed by consumers before reaching their desired content, such as a video or game.  Because higher levels of consumer engagement are associated with user-initiated video ads, advertisers are willing to pay a premium for them.

By not letting the user decide what they want to see, publishers may actually be shooting themselves in the foot, since the value of the content displayed is diminished.  We can all do the web all by ourselves and choose what we want to see and hear.  Turns out it’s better business too to let the user decide.  Imagine that!

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Filed under digital media, Helpful Hints

You Know What They Mean

Another report of marketing brilliance (sarcasm alert) from the digital world. This time it’s a report that ad networks are continuing to track users who opt out based on the flimsiest of reasoning. As a consumer, I’m not surprised and not pleased. As a person who works in digital marketing, I’m appalled since this is exactly the sort of behavior that leads to more rules and less innovation. It puts an entire industry in a bad light even though it’s a few bad apples and not everyone.  But I’ll lay out the fact and let you decide if I’m overreacting. Continue reading

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Yes, But Why?

Mobile phone evolution

Image via Wikipedia

There’s a study out from Mojiva, a mobile ad network which says, unsurprisingly, that consumers click on mobile ads. I know – shocking coming from a company that has a vested interest in having marketers use the mobile ad environment. However, I can tell you from first hand experience with my clients that the click-through rates on mobile are pretty high. I’m not sure if it’s a function of presentation or exploration, but it’s less important than what happens (or doesn’t) next and that’s what I’d like to chat about. Continue reading

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Filed under digital media