• The ANA Is Adding Insult To Injury
    For the past few days I've had the pleasure of participating in the Advertising Research Foundation's 2016 Audience Measurement conference. While my overall experience has been great, the conference was off to a bad start for me. The closing session on Sunday afternoon, titled "Ad Fraud & Blocking: The Industry Update from the Front Lines," featured several industry luminaries, including Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). During that session, Liodice managed to rankle me -- not once but twice.
  • The Hypocrisy Of The Transparency Debate
    After a few months of relative quiet, the issue of transparency is once again rearing its ugly head, thanks to a recent report by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) titled "An Independent Study of Media Transparency in the U.S. Advertising Industry." Not surprisingly, the report has generated a lot of noise in the industry, and advertisers are once again up in arms about what they perceive to be shady, if not outright illegitimate business practices on the part of agencies. While I would not condone illegitimate business practices, I find the outrage to be highly hypocritical and, frankly, pretty ...
  • Fixing The Pricing Problem Behind Private Exchanges
    When people hear complicated communication, they nod their heads so they don't seem confused - but inside, their gut is pushing the "someone is trying to sell us something" panic button. The words used to describe private exchanges are still unnecessarily complicated.
  • How To Understand And Target Reader Behavior
    Online publishers capture amazing amounts of data about their readers. As a student of consumer behavior, I see a great opportunity to use the data in a novel way: try to identify and categorize patterns of behaviors, and then use a combination of performance data and possibly some neuromarketing experiments to figure out when and where readers are most likely to be receptive to advertising.
  • The Data Tsunami Is Coming
    The premium publishing business online is an unequivocal disaster because we operate it as if consumers will always visit our sites regardless of how badly we treat them. The mentality from the very beginning was, don't worry about this month's audience returning to the site. There will be a brand-new group next month. So let's call them unique monthly users, and let's use them back however we see fit.
  • Not Tonight, Honey, I Have A Headache
    Timing, as they say, is everything. This age-old saying appears to have been completely forgotten in today's digital world: If you ask online publishers and advertisers when is the best time to reach a reader with a promotional message, the answer seems to be "any time." And this, in my opinion, is the most egregious mistake that publishers are making in the way they treat their readers.
  • The Online Digital Video Myth Soars On
    Headlines are bursting with praise this week for the growth of this segment of digital advertising: "Online Digital Video Soars" according to some guy named Joe Mandese. There was also a commentary piece in Adweek that sources a study commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (conducted by Advertising Perceptions) diving into the reasons behind this soaring growth.
  • The Future Of Video Ads Starts Today!
    A few months ago I wrote a post in which I argued that 30-second and 60-second video ads, especially when they cannot be skipped, are a terrible idea because they are considered the most annoying ad format, and because I don't believe you need that much time to get your point across. This should be of great concern to publishers, because ad annoyance causes readers to leave and to be annoyed with the publication, not with the brand. Since that time, three things have happened that give me hope that I am not alone in my views.
  • Why The Ad-Supported Model Will Destroy Online Publishing
    The online publishing industry is in a state of major turmoil; the relationships that bind advertisers, publishers and readers are increasingly tense and adversarial. I believe that the ad-supported business model is the root problem of online publishing, which will destroy online publishing as we know it today.
  • Of Wolves And Sheep
    In a recent post, I jokingly referred to consumers, publishers and advertisers as populations of predators and prey. The analogy reminded me of an area of mathematics known as system dynamics, which studies the behavior of complex systems over time. One of the best-known system dynamics models is the predator-prey model, an example of population dynamics models. The idea is simple: imagine a world in which only two species of animals exist: wolves and sheep. The wolves need other wolves to reproduce, and they must eat sheep to survive. The sheep need other sheep to reproduce, and in order to ...
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