LonelyPlanet.com To Accept Display Ads
The move to run ads marks such a shift for the Melbourne, Australia-based Lonely Planet that the Web site, starting today, is running a campaign specifically informing visitors that ads will soon appear.
"Because we haven't done advertising on our site before, and it's a change, we're letting people know that we're going to be doing this, and that it's really ok," said Cindy Cohen, Lonely Planet, Americas, public and media relations manager.
To date, the company has primarily monetized the site by selling guidebooks--which don't accept ads. LonelyPlanet.com also has a handful of pay-per-click sponsored text links.
Lonely Planet created the informational campaign appearing today in-house. One ad, a skyscraper, shows a man dressed in white holding a needle; above his head, the line reads, "Relax, this won't hurt a bit." At the bottom of the screen is a message telling visitors, "Advertising is coming to LonelyPlanet.com."
The marketers' ads that will appear next month were sold by the New York-based Travel Ad Network, which also places ads on the travel site IgoUgo.com. Cree Lawson, founder and CEO of the Travel Ad Network, said that international marketers particularly want to be in front of Lonely Planet's readers, who are viewed as globetrotters.