I think this kind of blog post is dangerous. Maybe it’s because I work for an advertising technology company, but using one specific example is not really an accurate way to make a point.
Shmuly Tennenhaus points to JPost.com who is using an ad network to fulfill their unsold ad inventory and points out an ad that isn’t really professional enough for their site and audience.
These ads tend to exist in most ad networks. Publishers generally don’t like them, but the obnoxious ads are often the best at driving conversions for advertisers. And you’d be surprised how many publishers actually do like these ads to be on their sites.
What Shmuly neglects to point out, is that almost every ad network provides creative control that can keep these types of ads from showing up on your website. So, is this mistake an example of the “dangers of ad networks”, or is it an example of a publisher not banning the ads they don’t want?
In a perfect world, publishers wouldn’t have to be responsible for banning the types of ads they don’t want, but it’s also very hard for a network to just predict what ads will be acceptable on a publisher by publisher basis.
What ad networks need to work towards is improving banning control and creative auditing on the network side so that it’s not a cumbersome process and ends up doing the job. I know we’re working on this daily at Right Media, and I hope other ad networks are doing the same.