Re: Interesting Twist to BANNER ADVERTISING
VERY LONG POST DUE TO COMPLEXITY OF ISSUE AND DEPTH OF
ARGUMENT; BUT WORTH A READ. WOULD OTHER CONTENT SITES
PLEASE SPEAK UP and tell Fred that his idea will
deprive them of revenue?
> the hypothetical scenario of having the ISP router
> server actually replace banner purveyor ads for
> incoming web site pages, with banner advertising which
> has been sold by the ISP to local business to advertise
> to the local constituency...
Bad. Really bad.
MATT MAGRI REPLIED:
> changing the content of what the user has requested,
TO WHICH FRED RESPONDED:
> Not true. You would be hard pressed to identify one
> single web surfer who REQUESTED that ad. I have a real
> problem calling banner exchange ads "content". Maybe
> it's just me.
The user requested the site's content. The user does
not pay the site to produce content, the site pays the
bills by displaying the ads. If the ads are not
displayed the site does not make money needed to
generate the content. Basically mis-appropriating
revenue from the site.
> In the banner exchange schemes, ad banners are 99.9%
> of the time NOT part of the content. In fact, the site
> owners seldom knows what banner will display for any
> given surfer at any given moment.
But a banner exchange helps small sites build traffic;
removing the exchange ads removes banner credits,
reduces traffic; i.e. steals traffic from the site.
> (Why is it that some have come to think that banner
> advertising is part of "content"???
It is not; but it pays for the content. Otherwise there
would be far fewer sites, and you would have to pay
monthly subscription fees.
> Could a site even testify WHICH banner was replaced
> for which reader at which time???
Irrelevant. The ads generate revenues the sites need.
> What about schools, government ISPs, and others who
> automatically filter out ads, spam and porno? Will the
> schools go to jail?
They filter spam & porno, but not the ads; the ones
that filter ads are technically liable and subject to
> School systems regularly filter incoming content and
> ads when filters can be programmed to do so. A school
> system just won a big law suit for filtering and
> blocking certain sites. The court ruled it is within
Big difference between blocking porno sites and
removing ads that generate revenue for the sites to
substitute ads that generate revenue for you; somewhat
akin to changing who a cheque is payable to.
> I think we need a wakeup call at this point. Remember
> that the Ad purveyor site SENDS the bit data to our hub
The data is sent in response to a request.
> servers for viewing on our private WAN. Once that data
> arrives here, it's on OUR property. Not like TV where
No, you have no claims to the data. You are totally
wrong here. Your subscribers pay for your bandwidth;
and they are paying the freight for the data.
> the receiver is getting wide broadcast air waves. A
> Private WAN is like closed circuit TV. We can show what
> we please. Period.
So you are willing to give up your "common carrier"
status? You are NOT a private WAN, you are a point of
access to the public internet.
> We let (usually) most web pages "trespass" on our
> system, but we don't have to.
Your subscribers pay you for access. Maybe I should
track down your IP's, and set up a special page to be
served to your subscribers saying "Your ISP has been
blocked due to their advocating modifying the content
of the site. Please call your ISP's tech support to
complain if you don't like their policies". Remember, I
don't have to give you or your subscribers access to my
content; the price people pay to see my content is the
ads I place on my site. Those ads pay me to generate
the content people want to see.
> Banner ads can constitute over 33% of incoming
> bandwidth. This is a significant amount of
Doubt it. I'd guess more like 10%-20%
> tresspassing. The advertisers are in effect stealing
No, your subscribers are paying for the bandwidth; they
want to see the sites whose content, whether you like
it or not, includes the ads those sites choose to
display. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO REMOVE THE ADS OR
SUBSTITUTE YOUR OWN. Just like the post office has no
right to modify the contents of your mail; not even the
dead tree ads you receive. Those dead tree ads help
subsidise postage by the way; without those ads you
would be paying a lot more for mail. You would also be
paying a lot more for newspapers without ads. And
> that bandwidth to display their message, for personal
> gain. Letting all those door-to-door salesmen into our
> subscribers homes.
They don't have to visit the sites; if they want to
visit the sites they have to view the content as
presented by the sites, including the sites ads, as
that is what pays for the sites. There is no such thing
as free lunch.
> The site owner who sells the ads is in effect stealing
> bandwidth from the ISP, then charging their advertisers
Guess what? I pay for the outgoing bandwidth. Guess
what? your subscribers pay for your incoming bandwidth.
Your argument is a straw man, and without basis.
> for that bandwidth. We, as ISP are in effect charging
> our customers to make you money!!! Seems upside-down
> doesn't it?
No, you are charging your customers to make you money,
and now you want to make more money by replacing the
ads on sites therefore depriving them of revenue.
> Why would anyone in their right mind charge someone
> else to make YOU rich???
Unfortunately I am not rich; I do make a decent living;
however I write my content, and if you (or your
subscribers) want to see it you will have to view my
ads; and NOT modify my web pages as delivered.
> ??? Should the ISP NOT be compensated for that
You are; by your customers.
> ??? Should the local TV station charge for advertising?
> ??? How about national advertisers in the local
> Do they pay? (Ha... after over 30 years in print
Really? How would Time feel if you pasted over their
ads with local ads and made money selling the local
ads? Why don't you ask them?
As I said before; if you can convince your subscribers
to go to a site you build, say "MyTown LocalWebNews"
and sell advertising on it, more power to you. If you
can convince them to make it their home page; good for
> The BANNER ad substitution coding would NOT replace any
> of the content of the web site (or the movie) the way
> Mr. Henning thinks it would (see later in this post)
Yes it would; and it would be illegal. If enough ISP's
did this I would have to down my site due to a loss of
WILLIAM HENNING SAID:
> What you are talking about would be more akin to the
> theater replacing any products that appear in the movie
> with some other product that the advertiser paid the
> theatre to insert.
TO WHICH FRED REPLIED:
> Nope. Wrong.
Actually it is fairly close.
> Banner ads are NOT messages which are intended to
> appear as part of the actual content/context of the web
> site's information. They're easily caught because
> they're called from another source.
They support the site; they pay the bills. You pull the
ads, you are removing revenue from the site.
> The only ads replaced would be the "stock" variety, not
> related to site content, which are easily hooked, and
> filtered because of their link-through code. (Remeber
> that the Hub actually reads every single bit of data in
> ALL incoming web pages. It see instantly which are
> actually part of the content, and which are merely
> rotating extranious site-spam purveyed by a robot.
> Like the "Samuri Girls" Banner Exchange ad showing up
> on the Baptist church site.)
Nobody would have asked a Babtist church to join the
exchange; and most exchanges let you block by category.
WILLIAM HENNING SAID:
> Not true; geo-targeting is available; and if they can
> pay for expensive TV and print ads they should not balk
> at paying for geo-targeted advertising from the
> reputable agencies.
TO WHICH FRED REPLIED:
> Obviously Mr. Henning has not dealt with many local
> advertisers. He's too far up the food chain, working
> with the deep pockets of the big boys. He should play
> in the trenches a bit.
I wish! I am trying to make a living. Which means I
need the ad revenue. If people cannot afford to pay my
ad rates, they can't buy advertising on my site; and NO
ONE is allowed to take it upon themselves to replace
the ads that support my site TO MAKE MONEY OFF MY
> Yes, they can buy advertising. But not on the big sites
> -- mainly because of the high minimum, and LOW exposure
> time. (on the big sites, 10,000 links are used up in
> just a few minutes. AND the site has no idea if a real
> human used the banner or if it was a banner-surfing
I wish I could get 10,000 impressions in a few minutes.
Bots are reasonably easy to detect; and most do not
load ads. Before you start, that is very different from
someone else substituting ads; bots index the content,
no human looking at it, and a third-party ISP does not
profit at my expense.
> How can you prove to the local drug store that they had
> 10,000 page views? You show them your server log. So
How does a newspaper ad prove itself? Do they have a
log of what IP's the ad was displayed to? I think not.
Ditto for magazines, radio and TV.
> What if you paid for 10,000 views, and 9,000 of those
> were robots or merely page refreshes? Ever notice how
Almost impossible; a small fraction of impressions (I'd
guess 1%-3%) are due to bots and browser
> the ZDnet pages refresh TWICE before fully loading???
> There goes THREE exposures, right there. Those people
> aren't stupid!)
Actually those are normally caused by bugs in Java or
> Now, tell me... why would a local drug store want to
> buy into a program like ZDnet or About.com when they
> have to buy minimum thousands of click-throughs, yet
> vitrually "0" % of those seeing the ads would live in
> the drug store's neighborhood?
They should buy advertising on a nice local portal.
Note that @Home has nice community portals, as do most
major ISP's; where they are more than welcome to sell
advertising. The problem? You would actually have to
generate your own content instead of piggybacking on
other people's hard work!
> It would be an insanely tough sell. I wouldn't buy it.
> I know the web is still new, but I would think that
> many of you have been in advertising before.
I am sorry; but you are NOT ALLOWED LEGALLY to sell
advertising to be run on my site without (a) my
permission and (b) paying me for the priviledge.
Incidentally, if I have not been clear enough, YOU MAY
NOT SUBSTITUTE ADS ON MY SITES.
> However if they could buy ads that would appear in the
> ZDnet site ONLY when a LOCAL dial-up customer surfer
> arrived at ZDnet -- customers who could actually drive
Geo targeting is available through Flycast, DoubleClick
and others; they use the same info you have (the
physical location of IP's). If you can't afford their
rates, then don't buy geo targeted ads.
> over to the drug store -- then that's an intelligent
> buy. "Hello, I saw your ad on the web." Who could argue
> with that?
The content provider who loses revenue. The ad networks
who lose revenue.
> The local advertiser now doesn't even have to care
> about views. Page views??? Who cares. End of
> discussion. He knows that EVERYONE in his local target
> market area will see his ad NO MATTER what web site the
> customer surfed to. Now the ad sale is a no-brainer.
THEN MR. HENNING SAID:
> If someone wants to put ads on MY site, they will
> have to pay me for the priviledge. Period.
FRED RESPONDED WITH:
> Granted. I don't want to take that away from you.
But you do. If you substitute your ads on my site, you are:
a) removing revenue from me
b) profiting from my work
c) breaking my copyright
d) removing revenue from the ad networks
e) removing ad exposure from the original advertiser
whose ad would have run
> However, what if I said: "If someone wants to put ads
> on MY server hub, they will have to pay me for the
> priviledge. Period."
Your dialup customers have already paid for you. You
are just trying to make additional profit from content
you have no rights to. Period.
> or... if YOU to plan to make a profit off MY bandwidth
> then I get a commission. (Then I'll let your salesman
> in the door.)
Your customers already paid.
> It's my belief that subscribers are not paying for the
> ADS. They are paying for the content the site offers.
B.S. They are not paying me anything; the ads I run
support the site. The surfers get to view my content
FOR THE MONTHLY FEE THEY PAY TO YOU. Maybe I should be
charging you for traffic from your IP's.
> Read the GVU survey and you'll learn that the vast
> majority of surfers find banner ads of little interest
> or use. In our ongoing survey we have yet to find one
> single subscriber who is willing to pay for banner ads.
Incorrect; AllAdvantage and others are paying people to
look at ads; same difference.
> Period. That's not what they use the web for. Nor can
> we locate anyone who admits to actually clicking on a
> BANNER EXCHANGE ad, and subsequently buying anything.
It happens. Years ago on another site I was part of
LinkExchange, and I saw the stats; .7%-1.2% CTR's on
average back then; now down to .2%-1%
> However they do admit to buying local services and
> products from local businesses.
As they should; as do I.
> I'm going to take a poll and see just how many of our
> local dial-up customers ...
> A) would be willing to pay to see your banner ads,
Not their choice, if they want to see my content they
have to view the banners I am paid to serve; otherwise
they may not view my content.
> B) would rather have LOCAL advertising for LOCAL
> business, and
So instead of trying to get a free ride on other
people's content BUILD YOUR OWN LOCAL PORTAL! More
power to you if you do!
> C) would rather have ALL banner ads stripped from
> their dial-up account, all together.
Guess what? I am also a "techie", and I am quite
capable of writing the code to detect banner stripping,
and am quite capable of blocking such IP's from my
sites and serve such a notice in place of the content.
As a matter of fact I think I will write some scripts
to detect such banner ripping, and ban the IP's that
rip banners automatically; and probably serve a static
text page instead of the normal content informing the
viewer that their IP (and probably the whole ISP) has
been blocked due to illegal banner stripping, and that
they should contact their ISP's customer service/tech
support and get them to stop the banner stripping if
they want access.
If I end up writing the scripts I'll offer the same
code to a few hundred other content web masters I am in
contact with; and send it along to the ad networks, and
heavily publicise it. I wonder how many support calls
that will cause for the ISP's? Don't support calls also
Also note that unlike your banner substitution scheme,
detecting banner stripping, blocking IP's and sending a
such a static message page instead are all perfectly
legal; I do not have to give access to my content to
> (It might just be a good subscriber service to offer
> banner ad stripping. A service few other ISPs offer
> their customers. Could be a goldmine upcharge
Thank you for motivating me. I will probably write
banner stripping detection code RSN, and if I do I will
offer it free under the GPL, and send it to a few
hundred other content providers...
> Thanks folks... this is an interesting thread, and one
> that seems to be flushing out some interesting views on
> the way people think about advertising.
I am delighted to discuss the topic, but the fact
remains that you are not legally allowed to modify my
pages. I will admit that it was an interesting idea
from a technical point of view; but I wish you applied
such creativity to creating a nice local portal for
your customers, from which you could probably make
considerable advertising revenue.
> PS: Interesting also, that we have received over a
> dozen inquiries from web companies who want to "share"
> or help us "test" the code that replaces ads....
More IP's to block, more tech support calls for their
> PSS: Don't you think it would be interesting to see how
> many readers of this list are:
> * companies wanting to learn how to advertise better, or
I can always learn, you can count me in this category
> * advertising firms wanting to sell more, or
I do sell advertising directly, so I probably count here
> * web site owners wanting to learn how to sell more, or
I can always learn more, another count
> * web designers looking for new things they can upsell, or
> * ISPs and/or service providers watching what happens
That's where you come in, I think.
IN ANOTHER POST...
HAVAH HOPE SAID:
> How would you figure out what the surfer's locale
> is? I mean I would love to know that.
AND FRED RESPONDED WITH:
> We know absolutely who will see the local ads that
> would replace other stock banner ads in web sites,
> because they are displayed ONLY to our dial up
> See what I mean? For me, the current ad model simply
> doesn't work. I think now you're beginning to suspect
> WebTrends for the same reasons I suspect all of those
> type of services.
Not your place to replace ads. If you knew what IP
range belonged to, for example, AOL dialup lines in
Washington, DC then you would know that those people
are from Washington DC.
> No, you can't get demographic profiles (age, sex, etc.)
> HOWEVER You can tell where they came in from. Sure.
> It's all in the server log if you can get your hands on
> it. It tells you in no uncertain terms, where each of
> the originating link came from: which page they looked
> at, where they went next. (That's what I like about
> owning my own servers and ISP.)
And you and I agree here.
> You'll find it's a lot of trouble, believe me. I sift
> through hundreds of thousands of lines of text each
> month learning where my readers come from.
I write scripts to automate most of that for me.
> You even see who has linked to your site. I make a
> policy of contacting those people (if they're not a
> big scalper site) who send a sizable number of readers
> into my site(s) ... I thank them and offer to return
> the favor by sending readers to their site!
That is decent of you.
> This, I think, is one of the nicest aspects of the web.
> That you _can_ find kindred spirits, and cross
> pollenate in the original ideals of the web.
I agree; and I wish you all success *as long as you
give up your scheme to replace ads*.
Received on Fri Jan 07 2000 - 02:34:57 CST
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