Anna Nicole Smith's Dead Son For Sale In IntelliTXT Ad

smiths_for_sale.jpg

Someday marketers are going to wake up and realize that humans are, in fact , a much needed entity in the creation and management of online ad campaigns and that some aspects of those campaigns shouldn't be left to a bunch of servers in some sever farm in the middle of nowhere. This latest contextual corrigendum comes courtesy of IntelliTXT, that company that places annoying roll over pop ups linked to text in articles on many sites such as the Atlanta Journal Constitution. In this AJC.com article about the sudden death of Anna Nicole Smith's son, we find an ad offering 10 to 20 percent off Smiths at Target as if Anna might want to drop by Target and pick up a new son with her credit card.

WTF? Exactly what product called a Smith would be on sale at Target? Exactly. None. It's a made up keyword designed to make a Target ad pop up when ever the word Smith - a very common word - appears on a site that uses IntelliTXT. Who ever buys media for Target knows this. IntelliTXT knows this. I wonder how Target feels about gaining a few sales at the expense of someone's death.

Oh, we're sure we're going to hear from IntelliTXT on this one informing us that the ad is the result of some fourth party twice removed three layers down on some affiliate network that doesn't care about the quality of advertising, only the quantity. Well, IntelliTXT doesn't have to allow this and the Atlanta Journal Constitution doesn't have to serve these ads.

Anyway, this insanity could easily be lessened if more people checked out a company called Mochilla which leaves the human element in the contextual advertising equation.

by Steve Hall    Sep-12-06   Click to Comment   
Topic: Online, Strange, Worst   

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Comments



Comments

I wish I could send you a trackback. Thanks!

Posted by: matthew peschong on September 12, 2006 2:09 PM

spell check!@!

Posted by: susan on September 12, 2006 2:14 PM

That was in very poor taste. Use a little common sense. There's plenty of media news out there and you could've overlooked this placement.

Posted by: John on September 12, 2006 2:26 PM

That was in very poor taste. Use a little common sense. There's plenty of media news out there and you could've overlooked this placement.

Posted by: John on September 12, 2006 2:27 PM

Spell check? On AdRants? Ha!

Posted by: ariel on September 12, 2006 2:35 PM

Exactly, Ariel. Thanks for covering that before I went off on Susan with my spell rant:-) Oh, and John, ignoring something like that makes it OK?

Posted by: Steve Hall on September 12, 2006 2:43 PM

hey adrants, intelliTXT is not a company, it's a proprietary service offered by Vibrant Media. That's the company. check your facts, then write the story.

Posted by: Valarie on September 12, 2006 4:36 PM

Also, to john, a company purchases these keywords in advance, not on a certain day. it's not as if target woke up this morning and wanted anna nicole smith as a keyword. it was probably purchased months ago. The tag is down and i'm sure target or Vibrant Media (the company that placed the ad) or AJC.com noticed and took the ad down.

Posted by: Valarie on September 12, 2006 4:40 PM

Also, to john, a company purchases these keywords in advance, not on a certain day. it's not as if target woke up this morning and wanted anna nicole smith as a keyword. it was probably purchased months ago. The tag is down and i'm sure target or Vibrant Media (the company that placed the ad) or AJC.com noticed and took the ad down.

Posted by: Valarie on September 12, 2006 4:44 PM

Hey Val, are you the type that explains a joke after you tell it?

Posted by: ariel on September 12, 2006 4:50 PM

Perhaps the retro-trendy folks at Target or "VibrantMedia" (an oxymoron??) are refering to 'The Smiths':

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Smiths

Posted by: Dave S on September 12, 2006 7:19 PM

Hey Steve, thanks for continuing to post these contextual ad screw-ups. For a few years I've been keeping screenshots that I show to my clients every time they bring up this "new contextual advertising" thing they saw. Not that all contextual advertising is bad, but it requires a lot of work to make sure your clients' brands aren't advertised in the wrong places. And for conservative brands it's probably not worth that effort given all the other decent alternatives out there today.

And to Valarie...keep reading adage or some other rag if you want well researched stories. Adrants is opinionated, passionate, sometimes uninformed, and usually pretty fun to read.

Posted by: a2john on September 12, 2006 11:13 PM

Contextual advertising has a long, LONG way to go!

Posted by: Brita on September 13, 2006 3:41 AM

"Exactly what product called a Smith would be on sale at Target?"

If you do a keyword search for "Smith" at target.com, a lot of things come up. The first that came to mind when I read this, though, was Morrissey and The Smiths.

Posted by: Tracey on September 13, 2006 6:39 AM

if you were more knowledgeable, you'd be blaming Target for the ad. writer, let me ask you a question. when you get spam sent to you in your gmail account, do you blame the sender or gmail? we all know the answer to that. thanks for coming out.

Posted by: Raadiesel on September 13, 2006 9:11 AM

Raadiesel - are you suggesting a client like Target, which is likely using hundreds of thousands if not millions of keywords know every word they are using? Maybe they should have dozens of summer interns combing through their keyword lists, media plans, and monitoring everything placement by placement...not.

Target relies on their agency, as they should, to set up campaigns properly. And in many instances agencies rely on publishers or technology vendors to help with set-up of large scale campaigns. At some point either the agency or technology company needs to accept responsibility for the words they recommend for their client to use in their campaigns (whether those words are human generated or not).

I have a novel idea...maybe Intellitext could be intelligent enough to look at surrounding words and exclude ads if words such as: died, death, rape, sex, etc. appear? Sounds like more intelligent text to me.

Posted by: a2john on September 13, 2006 9:26 AM

I agree that they should be looking at surrounding words and ads, but just because an article has the word sex in it doesnt mean you should automatically exclude it. It would prob require humans going through thousands of daily articles. And considering the ad is no longer there, I am guessing they already doublecheck their articles. Its more about keeping track of the news and avoiding stories like this. Doesnt sound too easy.

Posted by: Raadiesel on September 13, 2006 9:36 AM

Why are bloggers so angry? Is it because you have to hide behind your computer for someone to pay attention to you? are you attempting to sound more intelligent when you really work at McDonald's? Does your life piss you off so you rant and rave thru a blog? get a life, say something useful.

Posted by: nunyo's on September 13, 2006 6:32 PM

oh, please, Nunyo - you're hiding in your anonymous commenter IP shadow, no less reading and participating in our "rants and raves" that you would otherwise seemingly not have time for if you had any kind of life. get a therapist, admit your guilty pleasure.

Posted by: ariel on September 13, 2006 8:47 PM

Nunya, I'm not angry. This is my job. This is how I make my living. It's my business. Adrants is quite a bit more than just a blog. Regarding contextual advertising, I just call it as I see it. It needs work. It makes errors. If we don't talk about the errors, companies like IntelliTXT will go on doing what they do without a care for who they might upset with odd placements like this. The role of a journalist or a blogger or whatever label you want to affix to me is to call attention to this sort of thing. That's what I did. Do I do it in a heavily opinionated fashion? Of course I do. Who wants to read boring, straight, just-the-facts editorial? That's why we're called Adrants and not Adnews.

Posted by: Steve Hall on September 13, 2006 11:57 PM

This is sad... but advertising is keeping us all running...

Posted by: David on September 18, 2006 11:39 AM

Damn... this woman died. and all tabloids can think or say... oh... how cam we make the headlines out of this... how shallow can you get

Posted by: Margie on February 9, 2007 1:12 AM

there are to chaffee men that are named martin keys and backfish .. they are cops who asked to girls if they would go against daniel ayers ! from Chaffee Mo! well these 2 cops told these 2 girls that they would take the 2 girls out of community service if they told a lie about daniel! and i think they should be arrested!!!!

Posted by: Auntel on February 10, 2007 11:14 PM





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