Thursday, March 8, 2007

A Downside of Blind Networks

Looks like is starting to appear on advertiser hit lists, even as they get top-flight advertisers, thanks to their relationships with ad networks. Their being hitlisted may not be because of her politics per se, but because of that age-old #1 enemy of advertisers: controversy.

This post in Daily Kos reveals the names and contact information of various advertisers who've appeared on Coulter's site. The mission of the poster is to"out" advertisers who support what they term as "hate speech".

We in marketing know that this kind of thing -- running on controversial, divisive, or otherwise wacky and irrelevant sites -- is de riguer when casting your lot with a blind network. It's bad enough when this kind of thing happens when you have a CPA buy running -- but to trust any blind network with a CPM buy with zero transparency, and I don't care how "reputable" the network is, is something like dumping your money into the middle of the street and setting on fire the portion of it that's not blown away by the wind.

On the one hand, serves them right. It's 2007, and if you don't know that this kind of thing can happen on a blind network by now, you're either ignorant, cynical, in cahoots with blind network sale people, or stupid. Any agency that allows this to happen should be put on the hot seat by their clients, pronto.

On the other hand, this is one more data point in the discussion of transparency in ad network buys to start with. If this can move the discussion toward a resolution that provides a broad level of insight into where your ads run on ad networks, then it's totally worth it for some advertisers to die from the poison berries on your behalf.

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