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NONE: Re: ONLINE-ADS>> Controlling Content with Third-Party Ad Servers

Re: ONLINE-ADS>> Controlling Content with Third-Party Ad Servers

Murfnbish_at_aol.com
Tue, 25 Aug 1998 09:19:34 -0500 (CDT)

In a message dated 8/24/98 9:04:44 AM Eastern Daylight Time, Heidi Kay of
Flycast writes:

><< We are in frequent contact with both our advertisers and websites to make
>sure that the goals of both parties are aligned. In this manner, we bring
>advertisers and websites together to develop content they both find
>acceptable.
>
> Our second line of defense is an intelligent banner blocking solution we
>have coded into our server. When registering with Flycast, our affiliate
>websites create a Blocking Profile by toggling the categories, companies,
>products, and, if desired, the specific banners they would like to block from
>their site. Banners "blocked" in this manner never are displayed on the site.

Heidi, that's a good start at ensuring that publishers retain control
over the advertising that appears on their sites. But we also need
solutions for the following situations:

1. A publisher reviews equipment--technology, say, or sports gear. One
review is negative about a certain piece of equipment. How do you
block a run-of-site ad for the equipment that is getting a poor
review? In print, an editor will normally alert the advertiser to a
potential conflict. Editors don't reveal actual content before the
on-sale date; they simply suggest an advertiser might not want to be
there. The advertiser can then decide whether to run the ad or move it
to another issue or simply kill it. This is a common courtesy in the
print world and on those occasions when an editor fails to alert the
advertiser (it happens but it's almost never the editor's fault, of
course), the advertiser justifiably gets ticked off. How is this
situation averted online with ROS banners? Remember, the ad is
normally fine wherever it runs, except on the page where a negative
review might be published on short notice. You could steer away from
equipment reviews in general, but what if the advertiser is getting a
good review? That would make the page prime sales territory.

2. How does an online editor screen an ad for legal problems prior to
insertion? We can assume that most advertisers are reputable and know
the legal drill. But we can also assume that inevitably there will be
an unintentional problem that only editors, in their infinite wisdom,
can divine. Suppose, for example, that an ad links to a page
soliciting demographic information and the link is from an area
specifically appealing to children (although the site itself may
appeal to a general audience). And for some reason the demo form
doesn't warn kids off. Typically a print editor will alert an
advertiser to this situation, which could cause them both problems
(the comparable print ad might involve a coupon). Either the demo form
will be child-proofed or the ad will be moved or pulled. How does this
happen with third-party ROS ad insertion?

3. Suppose a site is publishing breaking news of an air crash--how
does an editor know there's a ROS ad for the airline involved so that
it can be blocked from that particular news page (again, doing both
himself and the airline a favor)?

Third-party ad insertion is a godsend to publishers strapped for cash.
It's one of the Web's advantages over the print world. It eliminates a
lot of overhead. But it also raises problems that both publishers and
third-party ad servers like Flycast need to address.

One solution is to provide an area where publishers can review all
ads--and their linked pages--in advance of insertion, and leave it up
to the publisher to determine suitablility. Ideally this area would
allow the publisher to toggle the ad out of specific areas of the site
instead of just rejecting it outright. In-house ad servers permit
this. Any chance of this happening with third-party servers anytime
soon?

Patrick Murphy
Bishop Publishing Options
murfnbish_at_aol.com

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