A week of thinking out loud … #1 Trafficking

I thought I’d run a theme this week of 4 areas I’ve been thinking about over the past 2 weeks. Almost as a way of cleansing my brain of them before I head off for a few days break at the end of the week …

The first area is an element of trafficking that has always irked me …

When was the last time you saw a Ford ad run next to a Holden ad on TV. Or in a Magazine? Or on radio? You probably can’t remember as it rarely happens. Why? Because the networks and traffickers of these mediums code up advertiser categories to make sure competitors aren’t lumped end to end.

Outdoor is a little less diligent around this, and newspapers are guilty of it within specialist sections (like cars, homes, real estate).

Anyway, TV/radio/magazines do this because they realise that running competing advertisers next to eachother reduces the impact each advertiser receives from their investment with the network or publisher.

Digital publishers don’t seem to really want to address this.

For this reason you often see 4-5 credit card offers on the one page, and competing automotive and technology advertisers running on the same page.

So yeah, you could be viewing a page on ‘Technology site A’ and see 3 ads – one for Sony laptops, one for Toshiba laptops and one for Dell laptops.

Or reading a Business article on ‘Finance site’ and see ads for Ford, Lexus and VW on the same page.

Kids sites will run ads on their homepage for 2-3 competing theatrical titles.

Advertisers and agencies don’t want this – it irks them but they’ve tolerated it probably through a mix of laziness and naivety.

Publishers don’t seem to see the issue.

What needs to happen is a commitment that we will stop this practice and stop it quickly.

Want to position yourself as premium – offer a basic level of service that doesn’t place the advertiser next to their competitors.


5 responses to “A week of thinking out loud … #1 Trafficking

  1. And the advertisers are all willing to pay a premium for this, that is worth more in revenue for an individual publisher then having two or three advertisers “competing” for attention??

  2. Surely this is standard practice for all publishers? If not, how on earth are they getting away with it? Surely clients are demanding that they be the exclusive on page?

    Interestingly I’m also flabbergasted by how many sites don’t offer domestic only targeting as STANDARD (not just if they’re pulled up on it).

    Ben, you’ll pleased to know that we’re offering both exclusive to page and geo-targeting standard with every campaign AND a large trafficking team dedicated to looking at measuring a campaign to best practice at every point to ensure it’s performing beyond expectations (and making changes to suit if necessary).

  3. Publishers do this because they need the revenue. But if they took some care they could diffentiate and probably command a premium for such placements and scheduling , moving away from commoditised media sales (which will only lead to further reduced CPMs).

  4. fanaticads

    Not really trafficking and not really publisher driven.

    Contrary to your comments, most if not all major publishers offer exclusive sponsorships and roadblocks (inc by CPM), targeted any way an advertiser wants to buy. The brutal truth is agencies do not want to pay for for the exclusivity and advertisers like to have a presence in the same locations. A car site isn’t going to turn away one car company because another has a single ad running on the page (unless they want to pay for the other 5 ads of course). Your credit cards example is a fantastic example of why you have multiple advertisers. As you well know, credit cards run a vast majority of campaigns on remnant inventory. Hardly premium…

    As for the experience on TV, I have seen many car ads on free to air on most programs even when the main sponsor is another car company.

  5. Ben, from my experience this happens mainly with performance buys. Because most performance buys are a blind run of network the technology that optimizes and allocates impressions to campaigns based on their performance merits.

    Also, performance buys generally achieve such low CPM’s that it’s not in a publishers interest in investing in being able to block this from happening.


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