Morons And the Blind Ad Buys They Make


Here's some food for thought as you consider just how smartly your marketing budget is being spent. Recently, a media buyer refused to place a buy on a site because the site's content was deemed unsuitable. All well and good but then the same media buyer placed the same buy on a blind ad network (a buy that is made without knowing on which sites the ads will appear).

We bet you can guess what happened next. Yup. The ad appeared on the site that was deemed unsuitable because the blind ad network buys ads from the same, so-called unsuitable site. One, perhaps, can't fault the buyer since they had no idea the ad would appear on the site they thought should not be part of the buy but doesn't the entire blind buy thing seem idiotic? It's like, "Hey, let's throw some money at a stripper and see what sticks to her thong." Not the most efficient use of one's cash.

One might also thing a smart marketer would demand to have complete control over where and when their ads appear but blind ad networks are dirt cheap and sometimes impossible to pass up because they make the CPP and CPM look so good. It's reduced a well thought out media buy into a simple, mindless math equation.

As much as this idiocy needs to be called out, perhaps it's just a moot topic. After all the world's biggest blind ad network is - you guessed it - Google. And Google is God when it comes to online advertising. Google's Adwords and AdSense can seemingly do no wrong. Though from time to time they, too, serve up their own renditions of bufoonish contextual fuckery and blind buy surprises.

Is a low CPP and CPM so important as to continuously give up more and more control over where and in front of whom ads a marketers ads are placed? We don't think so but, then again, we're not buying media anymore. We just bitch about how it's done.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 8-07   Click to Comment   
Topic: Online, Opinion   

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I'm not quite sure why anyone uses blind ad networks or GoogleAds. I work for a group of people who would freak out if they thought I was putting ads out there that may end up on unsuitable sites, so I don't do it.

Posted by: Lesley on October 8, 2007 2:16 PM

maybe we should fault the buyer. can they not specify what is expected/suitable and the Network then adjust the stream? If not adjustable and truly a blind buy --- the buyer must stay away. interesting post . . .

Posted by: arthur on October 8, 2007 3:00 PM

My, how clever. That picture has been around for years and used in any number of media ads. If there was room in this little comment box I'd show you an ad we created for a radio station about a hundred years ago!

Posted by: Greg Gillispie on October 8, 2007 4:03 PM

Who said we were going for clever? We're going for relevant. In fact, there are so many moronic moves in this business we have used that very same image ourselves many times before. And we'd love to see that hundred year old radio ad of yours. Our comment boxes expand to meet the every whim of our readers.

Posted by: Steve Hall on October 9, 2007 1:25 AM

Approximately 15% of all online display dollars go to networks. Major advertisers using networks include Ford, American Express, J&J, and P&G along with pretty much every other major marketer in North America. I don�t exactly get the stripper comment, but then again I don�t visit those places.

I think we are past calling marketers using networks �Morons.� The network space is the hottest sector of web advertising, with major brands and direct response advertisers seeing the benefit of using these companies. Problem with the buyer you referenced is they chose the wrong ad network. Having Google in the name doesn�t make it the best or safest ad network out there. Do some research, you will see a few companies in the space delivering for clients while avoiding any inappropriate content association.

Posted by: Mike on October 9, 2007 8:10 AM

It's the marketer's fault if he/she did not specify what site(s) not to advertise on. It cannot hurt to ask an ad rep to send you some examples of sites in their network. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't

Does anyone know of ad networks that actually work? I've tried out plenty and dealt with the "dynamic" e-CPM pricing models and have never had luck with those.

Posted by: YoyoMa on October 9, 2007 12:34 PM

Sounds like someone has Google envy........

Posted by: Kate on October 10, 2007 12:11 AM

Google's a waste of money

Posted by: YoyoMa on October 10, 2007 12:46 PM