With 8Bit, bloggers unite for scale, ad spend

by Herman Manson (@marklives) An innovative sales network is emerging to ensure the sustainability of South Africa’s smaller independent publishers and bloggers. 8Bit, started by Tom Kennedy and Richard Hutch, combines the inventory of a number of popular blogs and indy websites in a bid to grab a bigger piece of the online advertising pie.

The Ad Contrarian: Fake traffic could cost advertisers $9.5 billion this year

by Bob Hoffman (@adcontrarian) On 17 June, we published a piece called The $7.5 Billion Ad Swindle. It was about the massive fraud that is being perpetrated on advertisers by criminality within the online advertising industry.

A new report by Solve Media indicates that the fraud is growing at an alarming rate. According to an Adweek piece last week, in just 3 months the size of the fraud has jumped to about $9.5 billion this year (by the way, kudos to Mike Shields of Adweek who won’t let this story go away.)

In the first quarter of 2013, Solve reports that the amount of suspicious web advertising traffic has risen from 43% to 46%. That means that 46% of the viewership reported by websites seems to be fraudulent. It is not people. It is computer programs (bots) pretending to be people to drive up the numbers and screw advertisers out of billions of dollars.

The Ad Contrarian: The five dumbest ideas about online advertising

by Bob Hoffman (@adcontrarian) The phenomenal rise of the internet as a medium of communication, information, and entertainment has given rise to some equally phenomenal conceptual flops about advertising. Today, we take inventory of these dumb ideas. We have selected our five favorites and we present them to you in one neat little bundle, in no particular order, but numbered to keep you on track.

Online Advertisers Getting Hosed

by Bob Hoffman (@adcontrarian), San Francisco Bay Here at Ad Contrarian Worldwide Headquarters, one of our axioms is that there is no bigger sucker than a gullible marketer convinced he’s missing a trend.

We’re starting to think that the same can be said of the entire advertising industry.

Our industry has been desperately trying to convince itself that the web is a fabulous advertising medium. We share each others’ anecdotes about the handful of meager successes (amid the thousands of failures.) We go to conferences and listen to case histories that are two standard deviations from normal and try to convince ourselves that they are typical.

But we can’t erase the facts. And the facts are dismaying.

Click-through rates are abysmal. The odds of breaking through on YouTube are in the million-to-one range. Facebook is a big fat turd that seems to have a new ad scheme every week. QR codes are a cruel joke. Content and social media are sounding more like religion, and less like business.

And now we’re starting to get a peek at massive advertising frauds being perpetrated on the web.

The Ad Contrarian on in the murky world of online “ghost publishers”

by Bob Hoffman (@adcontrarian), San Francisco Bay I have to admit that I get a great deal of deliciously perverse pleasure from reading reports that online ad hustlers are picking the pockets of marketing morons and their clueless but oh-so-fashionable agencies.

Apparently there’s a lot of hanky-panky going on in the “murky” world of online ad exchanges. An article in Adweek last week had this to say…

“Indeed, while the Web has never been short of tricksters…a new breed of cheat is fast becoming a plague in the exchange world: the ghost publisher…very little of these sites’ audiences are real people. Yet big name advertisers are spending millions trying to reach engaged users on these properties.”

When a click doesn’t pay

South African publishers are facing increasing pressure from advertisers to adopt a pricing model based on the clickthrough rate on banner ads, rather than the more traditional CPM (cost per mille or cost per thousand), pricing model, which is based on a fixed price for every 1000 impressions served.
CPC, or cost per click, is a performance-based pricing model, in which the advertiser is charged only for the number of clicks an ad delivers. The model was popularised by search engines such as Google.

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