When you should Drop an Advertiser
The discussion at Brad Waller’s post “Reason #4837 Why This Industry Needs an Association” from Friday about the Hydra Network/Vista Print incident and publication of the incident at MediaPost.com sparked two separate discussions that were not exactly related to the subject of the post.
I want to talk about one of them and maybe about the second one in a separate video post.
Jonathan (Trust) suggested pulling the Hydra Network ads on ReveNews.com, although Hydra Network responded and indicated that they don’t want to pull their advertisements, even though the post about them was not exactly talking in their favor.
Angel Djambazov pointed out the
“separation between editorial and advertising”
“… Let the advertiser know that negative content will be written about them and allow them the opportunity to remove their ad.”
“This allows editorial and advertising elements to be balanced while eliminating reactionary mob mentality.”
Kelly Stevens also pointed out that
“it’s an ad not an endorsement. As marketers, we all should recognize that.”
“normal economic principles need to dictate. …… business decision of bringing targeted advertisers to the readers.”
“… there is no response to the ad. It becomes an unproductive campaign for them. …… Advertisers who fit with the demographics of the ReveNews.com viewership have successful campaigns.”
She also said that in case of her own website, AffiliateFairPlay.com, companies approached her to advertise on it, who she exposed as being unethical and that those advertisers obviously didn’t do their homework well and checked in more detail, what Kelly’s website is all about. She rejected such advertisers because
“it would undermine what my business is. So that trumps the ethics considerations.”
I agree completely with Kelly and Angel. I spend some time thinking about this dilemma myself.
Since I consider the advertisement on my own site Cumbrowski.com editorial content, except for the ads where I do not have editorial control over, such as Google AdSense, I call them Sponsorship instead of Advertisement and associate my name/brand with the advertisers brand (and vice versa). I made this clear in the editorial note on my website, which can be accessed from virtually any page on my site.
But this is because the site uses my name, which is my brand. Cumbrowski.com is not business publication with a brand name that is not associated with a person and a publication that tries to be fair and balanced overall, even if the individual bloggers express their own personal views. For this reason ReveNews.com tries to get as much different types of bloggers as possible, to be able to represent the different views and opinions of people in the affiliate marketing industry.
ReveNews.com did the right thing in case of Hydra Network and provided the ability for Hydra Network to make an official statement, provide comments and/or publishes a separate post, even with comments off, if insisted, which wasn’t the case with Hydra Network, but in another case that involved a post of mine here at ReveNews.com.
I think that a publication like ReveNews.com should separate advertisement on its website from the editorial content and should put a border between them, that advertisement will not influence content and vice versa, because it would take away the means for an advertiser to respond to the allegations and do damage control, send a message that changes were made, if the allegations were just, clarify facts, fight misconceptions or correct false information that were stated like facts.
All this could be done via an ad campaign that is visible beyond the one post about them, because some people might hear about this, but did not read the posts themselves. They might develop an opinion that is less favorable for the advertiser and maybe that is something the affected advertiser would like to correct or change. If ReveNews.com would refuse ads from that Advertiser, he wouldn’t be able to do that.
My video rambles in more detail about this. It is about 8 minutes long.
Here is the backup link to the video at YouTube.
You can also download the video in higher resolution and AVI format at MediaFire.com.
Back to the original question, when you should drop an advertiser? … If it makes business sense to do so. If an advertisement causes more damage for your business and/or brand than you gain from it, because of loss of readership and/or damage to the reputation of your brand, then it would be the right choice to pull an advertisement. I dare to speculate that most publications don’t get into the position very often where they have to consider this question seriously, because the advertiser himself tends to answer this question much quicker and clearly before it comes to that.
Internet Marketer, Blogger and Entrepreneur
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