Content Scares Advertisers Away From Social-Networking Sites

from the this-offensive-content-is-brought-to-you-by... dept

Thanks to the extensive use of ad networks and other middlemen, it’s common for companies to not know each and every place online where their advertisements appear. For instance, a lot of big companies claimed ignorance when their ads showed up through adware products, saying that they had no idea they were supporting the practice. Last week, a number of British companies became alarmed with their ads on the Facebook social-networking site appeared on the profile pages of the British National Party, a far-right wing political party that’s generally seen as racist and fascist. The companies yanked their ads from the site, and now the British government says it won’t advertise on user-generated content sites for fear that its ads would run alongside contentious or undesirable content. This is a serious concern for many businesses, which don’t want to be seen as supporting or associated with certain groups or types of content. But it’s a potentially bigger problem for Facebook and other social-networking and user-generated content sites. These sites’ major challenge is figuring out how to monetize the massive amounts of traffic they get, and their poor click-through rates are already one factor that holds down the rates they can charge. Couple those low rates with a dearth of quality advertisers scared off by the sites’ content, and it sounds like a vicious cycle for social-networking and UGC sites.

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Companies: facebook

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Comments on “Content Scares Advertisers Away From Social-Networking Sites”

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Rick says:

It’s amusing how Google has no problems dealing with this issue. CONTEXTUAL advertising is and always will be the primary source of advertising for many social networking sites and forums. They’re the only ‘major’ ad network that utilizes this both for the benefit of their advertisers and the ad viewers. Imagine the higher returns, prices, and satisfaction if more multimedia ads were served in this fashion?

I’ve always assumed thats what Google intended to do with Doubleclick. They didn’t buy it just for the user data…

GoblinJuice says:

The few times I actually visit a SNS, like MySpace, I’ve never paid attention to the ads – I was usually looking for a specific person.

Hell, the last time I clicked on any ad – intentionally, that is – was for something related to The Simpsons Movie. The event stood out in my mind because I couldn’t think of the previous time I intentionally clicked an ad.

Oh, yeah, I block most ads… so… yeah… I’m sure that isn’t helping the situation. =D

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Simple solution: fire people

The central point of the problem here isn’t so much the ad-agency sucked in placing the ad. they just placed the ad on Facebook in general. They had no real input on what profiles it showed up next to. Therefore, they removed the ad from Facebook completely. That’s the central problem in this article. People aren’t placing ads on social-networking sites specifically so ads don’t show up where they don’t want them to. We’re focusing on the problem that Facebook is facing (no pun intended… well not at first anyway), which is how to overcome this issue.

Ikey Benney, On Social networking ads (user link) says:

Content Scares Advertisers Away From Social-Networ


I believe this is a legitimate concern for any business that truly cares about its image, brand and reputation.

It is called “guilty by association” syndrome.

Your ad appearing by the side of an unsavory content can affect the reputation and image of your company.

Ikey Benney

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