Easy question with too many wrong answers
13 January 2018
Content warning: Godwin's Law.
Here's a marketing question that should be easy.
How much of my brand's ad budget goes to Nazis?
Here's the right answer.
And here's a guy who still seems to be having some trouble answering it: Dear Google (GOOG): Please stop using my advertising dollars to monetize hate speech.
If you're responsible for a brand and somewhere in the mysterious tubes of adtech your money is finding its way to Nazis, what is the right course of action?
One wrong answer is to write a "please help me" letter to a company that will just ignore it. That's just admitting to knowingly sending money to Nazis, which is clearly wrong.
Here's another wrong idea, from the upcoming IAB Annual Leadership Meeting session on "brand safety" (which is the nice, sanitary professional-sounding term for "trying not to sponsor Nazis, but not too hard.")
Threats to brand safety arise internally and externally, in your control and out of your control—and the stakes have never been higher. Learn how to minimize brand safety risks and maximize odds of survival when your brand takes a hit (spoiler alert: overreacting is as bad as underreacting). Best Buy and Starcom share best practices based on real-world encounters with brand safety issues.
Overreacting is as bad as
underreacting? The IAB wants you to come to a
deluxe conference about how it's fine to send a few
bucks to Nazis here and there as long as it keeps
their whole adtech/adfraud gravy train running on time.
I disagree. If Best Buy is fine with (indirectly of course) paying the occasional Nazi so that the IAB companies can keep sending them valuable eyeballs from the cheapest possible sites, then I can shop elsewhere.
Any nationalist extremist movement has its obvious supporters, who wear the outfits and get the tattoos and go march in the streets and all that stuff, and also the quiet supporters, who come up with the money and make nice with the powers that be. The supporters who can keep it deniable.
Can I, as a potential customer from the outside, tell the difference between quiet Nazi supporters and people who are just bad at online advertising and end up supporting Nazis by mistake? Of course not. Do I care? Of course not. If you're not willing to put the basic "don't pay Nazis to do Nazi stuff" rule ahead of a few ad clicks, I don't want your brand anyway. And I'll make sure to install and use the tracking protection tools that help keep my good data away from bad sites.
Good "dog bites man" story. Investigation: DSPs Charge Hidden Fees – And Many Can’t Afford To Stop
Important: attribution fraud is hard to find, and most of the people who are best-positioned to reveal it have powerful incentives not to: Ecommerce Sites Have A New Form Of Fraud To Fear: Journey Hijacking
Does the "C" stand for "creepy"? Move over DMP, DSP and SSP: CDP is ad tech’s hot new acronym
Why publishers don’t name and shame vendors over ad fraud (Hmm, I can think of some other parties who do have an incentive to name and shame...)
Criteo Cuts Their Revenue Projections for 2018 by 22% (Less retargeting, more ad money for search, right?)