Nice Quickie by Dawn Anfuso: The Biggest Fear About Ad Networks

Nice Quickie by Dawn Anfuso: The Biggest Fear About Ad Networks.  I am actually just looking to post a couple of quick points that she brought up from previous articles including Mike Cassidy’s “Take the Risk out of Ad Networks and her own October 4th, 2006 Brand Marketers Weigh in on Ad Networks.


I thought there were some great contractual suggestion provided here regarding working with networks.  We’ve all been in the situation where we wish they would just disclose the ‘list’ of publishers so we could at least know where our ads would be showing up.  And god-forbid we could have the opportunity to go through a check-box and say yeah or nay to the sites we did and did not want to be on. Hmm, there is a new network model, category CPMs for sites within a network.  Betcha advertisers would go for it.


Anyway, here were the highlights that I thought came out – for someone who is a hard-ass when it comes to contracts:


  1. Have a clause that states your ads will only run on sites that are listed with ComScore MediaMetrix
  2. Have a clause that states your ads will not run on sites that categorized as user-generated media or social networking
  3. Have a clause that states your ads will not run on sites with “hate” or other “violent” content – and be sure to have some standard cited.
  4. Have a clause that states the repercussions of a violation of any of these practices such as free impressions, a public statement by the network or permanent removal of that site from all future rotations


You know Dawn commented in her article that Mike Cassidy “…adds the caveat that if you have a good working relationship with your ad network and have not experienced inappropriate placements, you may not need to request such language.”  However, its this very kind of language that protects a relationship from ever going awry. 


Better to be safe than sorry.  I understand why networks don’t want to share the list of sites in their network – it would probably devalue 80% of their inventory.  But you should certainly CYA before getting started.  The bigger the budget, the bigger your stick of course.  And as an agency, you have much more to lose – as your butt will be on the line if something goes wrong.


Nice follow-up Dawn.

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