Forbes Ditches Embedded Text Ads After Complaints From Editors

from the readers-don't-matter dept

Earlier this year, Vibrant Media started heavily pushing their "embedded" text ad program that would automatically highlight words within the text of news articles and link them to ads. One of their big publisher wins was Forbes.com. However, after using them for a few months, Forbes has stopped the program, saying that its editors were concerned about the mixing of ads and editorial. Of course, it makes you wonder why Forbes didn't consult its editors before shoving these ads into their content. Also, somewhat surprisingly, Forbes claims that the reader response to the ads was more positive than negative. On something of a side note, when this program was first launched, we trashed it publicly, pointing out not so much that it was mixing ads and editorial, but that the user experience was dreadful. A few months after that, a sales person from Vibrant Media contacted us to tell us about this wonderful new advertising method that they were positive we would love at Techdirt. If you're approaching a publication to use your technology, doesn't it make sense to first search that publication to see what they've said about you? Even better than that, wouldn't it have made sense to keep track of what publications were saying about you when it happened so that you could respond right away, rather than looking silly a few months later?

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  • identicon
    obstuse squirrel, 3 Dec 2004 @ 10:57am

    selling you product you trashed

    Most sales types I know would relish the thought of making a run at you on that, as long as someone pays them.

    I am sure that you appreciate all the viagra ads, and so forth that you get too, which should tell you how sales people think

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark, 3 Dec 2004 @ 12:40pm

    Editorial consent

    "Of course, it makes you wonder why Forbes didn't consult its editors before shoving these ads into their content."

    Speaking as someone who's worked as an editor at a variety of relatively high-profile website, I can assure you of one thing: no one ever asks the editors. Given the great influence editors have on the quality and content of the site, it's really kind of remarkable how low on the totem pole they are, when it comes to making decisions like this. The Forbes decision process would have to proceed through several layers before it finally filtered down to editorial, and by that point the decision likely had already been made.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Editor, 3 Dec 2004 @ 12:49pm

    Toshiba help

    Help! My Toshiba Labtop 1805-S (Win 98) is fried and I don't know which part to buy: hard drive or motherboard 1) I turn on the computer and the screen stays blank: nothing happens 2) I put in the company-provided rescue disk and the screen flashes a big message: Wrong Disk 3) I brought it over to a friend who transfered my hard drive into his and rescued about 100 of my word processing documents. 4) He recommended a new mother board 5) Toshiba has given me the run-around E-mail me at blogsforblackwell@hotmail.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    August Jackson, 3 Dec 2004 @ 1:04pm

    They could use Techdirt!

    Mike, it sounds like Vibrant Media could use your corporate intelligence services so they would know which publications had trashed them before they approach them as prospects.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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