WSJ reports on jittery advertisers whose ads are being displayed next to risque content on platforms like MySpace and AOL, via ad aggregators and advertising networks such as Advertising.com. Some examples are:
Last month, Verizon Communications Inc. was surprised to find one of its Internet ads on a MySpace.com page with photos of scantily clad women. Walt Disney Co. was unaware that its ad was next to an article about male sexual performance on About.com. Jobs Web site Monster.com
didn’t realize its spot was on a site that appeared to be offering
unauthorized downloads of copyrighted music and videos. Once they found
out, all three yanked their ads.
My guess is that we’ll see less and less of this type of complaint as companies eventually learn that the association between editorial and advertising content is not as strong on the internet as TV and print. If a TV set is tuned to ESPN at a strip club, and you see an ad on TV for Toyota, you don’t think of Toyota as sponsoring (or condoning) strip clubs. (I am not suggesting that this will happen very quickly, though.)
The ad networks are making advertising (or getting attention) more efficient, so they will increase in volume. It’s fun to see old media (read: WSJ in this case) take jabs at the forces looking to eat its lunch.