Advertisers were not happy about the fact that their ads through AdWords could end up being displayed on error pages and parked domains, and they sued Google for not disclosing this fact. As of 2008, Google updated AdWords to allow advertisers to opt out of having ads show up in these places, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that clients felt they were being charged at a higher CPC than they should have been based on the ad location.
A lower court had ruled that the advertisers would not be given class action status, allowing them to sue Google as a group, but a higher court recently overturned this ruling. The Ninth District Court of Appeals also noted that lost sales were not the issue with ad placement but the perceived value of where ads were displayed.
In a fairly surprising turnaround from the norm, Viacom, the network which owns Comedy Central and MTV, has decided to reduce the amount of time commercials air during their prime time broadcasts. They’ll be dropping from about 15 to 17 minutes of commercials in an hour to around 14 or 15 minutes. The network, along with many others, have been increasingly in the habit of re-airing commercials over and over in an effort to reach promised viewership levels, but they have decided to try some new things, which includes ad “billboards” that display the company a show was sponsored by. It is also likely that commercials will cost more to cover the reduced inventory, something I’m sure advertisers are really going to welcome.
I’m not entirely sure that there was a question as to this point, but a recent study done by the Video Advertising Bureau indicates that there’s a nearly one to one correlation in traffic to websites in terms of TV advertising. Companies that increased their TV advertising by 22% saw an increase in web visitors of 24%. Correspondingly, a drop in advertising spend of 10% saw visitors drop by 9%.
This is in an effort to point out that TV advertising does drive sales, but I don’t know anyone arguing that point. It seems to me the mass exodus to digital advertising has been mainly due to the lower costs and in some cases better tracking, so I’m not sure the study is going to change many minds.
Forbes states that they were victims of a malvertising scheme, which ran infected ads on their site between September 8th and 15th. The ads were basically the same as all of these types of ads, in that they used the Neutrino and Angler exploit kits and redirected people to sites that downloaded malware onto their computers. All of the ads were coming from a single advertiser, and only four older articles showed the ads.
Google is now expanding their hotel reservation service and making it affordable to non-chain establishments. Individual hotels will now be able to advertise and have people book through Hotel Ads on a commission basis rather than a potentially more expensive CPC basis. This is only available for small and independent hotels.