• Know Thy Reader
    If someone exploring earth from a distant planet were to peruse the last year or so of articles related to digital advertising in preparation for her visit, she would conclude that there are three distinct species inhabiting our planet. Landing her spaceship in Manhattan, she would look around, expecting to spot the fanged carnivores known as advertisers, the laborious omnivores known as publishers, and the meek herbivores variously called readers or consumers (these terms being akin to the words cow or beef, depending on whether you are describing the grazing animal or the juicy steak you are about to consume). ...
  • The Trumping Of Adblock Plus
    I met the executives from Adblock Plus at a roundtable gathering in New York a few months back. They came across as well-intended people, authentic in their defense of the consumer. They came across likable - if that should even matter. What does matter: They came across as smart. They are, however, guilty of being a bit nave about the online advertising industry they have commandeered. That will get adjusted over time as they gain more ground between advertisers and publishers.
  • Dear Online Publishers: How About An Advertiser Directory?
    It used to be that virtually all print magazines included an advertiser directory: a list of the advertisers whose ads appeared in the magazine, along with a way of contacting the advertisers. In some cases, the magazine even included a tear-out card that you could mail in, checking off the advertisers in whose product you were interested. A superficial scan suggests that this practice is no longer common even for print magazines. And I can't say that I have ever seen an advertiser directory in an online publication. But why not?
  • It Happens Faster Than You Think
    My father's birthday was this past Valentine's Day. He would have been 80. My father was never going to be 80. When he was 67 - soon after hearing the term "stage 4"- he went to see the movie "Bad Santa" with me and one of his closest friends, Rob. When the movie ended, I went to the parking lot and pulled the car closer to the entrance. While my car idled, I saw through the theater's glass doors that my dad had fallen and Rob was helping him up. I saw Rob a few weeks later at my father's ...
  • Less Is More: Long Video Ads Are Lazy And Disrespectful
    In 1994 the FIFA World Cup was played in the U.S. That was the first time that I was able to watch quality soccer on TV without having to find one of the foreign-language channels. However, I was horrified that the broadcasters chose to insert regular ad breaks during the matches. This was idiotic: Unlike typical American sports, soccer does not have regulated breaks, and the action can happen at any time. As a matter of fact, during the final match between my home country (Italy) and Brazil, a crucial goal was missed by viewers because of a commercial break.
  • Programmatic TV: Don't Adopt The Mistakes
    The ability to deliver sight, sound and motion is the first reason why TV rules the media stage. The enormous advantage of having less supply for greater demand is the second reason. The third reason is content. Consumers don't binge-watch Web sites, radio or magazines. Only television content can cause that. To their credit, television broadcasters are looking at ways to get even better at selling ads, and programmatic technology has caught their interest. Here is some advice on how to strategically embrace programmatic without adopting the mistakes that can come with it.
  • 7 Reasons Why It Sucks To Be A Publisher
    These days, online publishing has become a tough business. Competition for the reader's attention is fierce, business models are falling apart, trust is eroding -- the list goes on. If you feel like commiserating with fellow publishers at your next networking event, or if you want to explain to your loved ones why you are losing hair prematurely, here is a handy-dandy list of reasons you can cite.
  • VF: Letters Of Betrayal
    Ari Rosenberg revisits a love from his past: Vanity Fair. "I began to read you as if it were the first time all over again. Only this time, it was immediately clear how impossible it would be to ignore the impact the Internet has had on you and on me."
  • Digital Baksheesh
    Ten years ago almost to the day, I had the pleasure of traveling to Egypt with my daughter in celebration of her 16th birthday. Our trip took place well before the Arab Spring unrest, so we had no concerns about safety and had a really enjoyable time.The only annoying aspect of the trip was that, whenever we went someplace that catered to tourists, we were constantly approached by all sorts of people who were looking for ways to make us part with our money. I came to realize that, to the average Egyptian, tourists are nothing more than wallets with ...
  • Another DUI For The IAB
    In 2013 the Interactive Advertising Bureau published its "Native Advertising Playbook" to help drive this growing segment of Internet advertising. The playbook stated, "It is clear that most advertisers and publishers aspire to deliver paid ads that are so cohesive with the page content, assimilated into the design, and consistent with the platform behavior that the viewer simply feels that they belong." Two weeks ago, the Federal Trade Commission pulled the IAB over for driving the industry under the influence of self-delusion. It turns out running ads that "assimilate into the design" - so much so that "the viewer feels ...
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