Are you supporting terrorism?


Reading the news the other week (initially reported by the Times), the story was that Waitrose, Mercedes Benz, Jaguar and various large charities had unknowingly appeared on ‘Hate’ sites and Youtube videos* courtesy of Google’s banner placement service[1].  Of course, these type of internet advertising schemes rely on the good faith of clients who expect their banners to be shown in ‘appropriate’ places.  I suppose this graphically demonstrates that our faith in the internet giants can be severely misfounded, especially if all it takes is a video which is “not properly categorised”.

If you’ve undertaken a banner advertising campaign, you have to question where your banners are appearing and why, so often I’m browsing a website only to be presented with a banner from a website I visited 6 months ago – too late, I’ve already purchased the product, so wasted money for the advertiser, but of course the internet giants won’t mind as it boosts their revenue and you’ll never be able to track where your money has been wasted.  Additionally, it’s difficult to know whether or not the results you are seeing on screen are actually correct: Facebook recently admitted some of it’s numbers from the second half of 2016 did not show a true result[2].

It’s worth taking stock of internet marketing offerings – these days we’re fed on a digital diet of Google, Facebook, Twitter and suchlike, and naturally, our clients wish to ensure they’re exploiting new emergent digital marketing avenues.  It’s certainly worth keeping an eye on what your competition is doing, but equally, your marketing investment needs to provide a positive return.

Fake News

Another of the internet stories hitting the press recently are those of ‘Fake News’ –  essentially a news outlet/website will host a false and sensational headline (quite often backed up by an equally sensational story) that may generate massive traffic if it goes viral.  Why bother you may ask, well, any banners on this site will generate the website owner large amounts of revenue – commonly known as ‘clickbait’ – so once again it’s worth being aware of the amount of rubbish being generated by the internet[3].

Certainly in terms of news, the internet generates huge amounts of dross and essentially much of the platforms rely on you creating the content so they can get the traffic (and subsequent advertising revenue). What the internet has done is to denude our press of many income streams, which is a great pity as our press do much good work to expose information that would otherwise be hidden from view.  A free press is essential to our democracy, it’s an area where the giant internet companies do not contribute.

*Corporate and charity banners were shown on content generated by supporters of ISIS and Neo-Nazi groups, such as Combat 18, (which apparently receives massive traffic), therefore directly funding terrorism!
[1] Major brands and charities appears on terrorist supporting websites:

[2] MRC in Talks With Facebook About Auditing Its Metrics

[3] Examples of clickbait

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