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You Might Be Surprised to See Where Your Ad Is Displayed

June 28, 2017

Advertisers are convinced they need a digital campaign. All that many care about, including some of the largest advertisers, is getting the right eyeballs to see their ad as cheaply as possible. On the surface this seems to make sense. The solution is programmatic buying, which is presently being led by Google AdSense.

A recent Washington Post article proved that the devil is in the details. Many major and sophisticated advertisers, including Macy’s and IBM, went the route of programmatic advertising. The consequences of this decision had a negative outcome.

Macy’s mass appeal advertising found their message ran on the website MyPostingCareer, which described itself as a “white privilege zone” and offered a referral bonus for each member related to Adolf Hitler. Google AdSense programmatic also placed ads on a racially biased web site; when it talked about African Americans, it said “hang them all.”

The backlash that many unaware advertisers are feeling is massive, simply because they feel they need a digital presence and want it cheap.

Some believe that eventually computers will be smart enough to decide if they are placing their client’s commercial in inappropriate places. But as of today, they are not.

Where an advertiser’s message runs says a lot about that company.

Smart radio representatives need to make sure that advertisers of all sizes, if they want a digital presence, need to be aware of this pitfall. When they buy an individual radio station, or market cluster, they will have knowledge and confidence of the environment in which their commercial message will run.

-Charlie Sislen, Partner