Earlier today I was alerted to the post where The Trichordist found Mini Cooper and Ford advertising on a pirate site called Neil Young Exploited by Ford, Cooper Mini, Target, State Farm, Adobe, Alaska Air, ATT, Boy Scouts, DIRECTV, LG, Princess Cruises, HP, Westin, Charmin, RapidShare. I shared the link of the screenshot on twitter, and was soon chit-chatting away with an ad-man (I'll use this word since I don't know his title) about the difficulty of finding a "clean" network to advertise on.
This then turned into a rather interesting discussion about "clean" networks and how difficult it is to find a networks where the buyer has control.
@Musictechpolicy ended the thread, with this blow to advertising-on-the-web-as-we-know-it:
— Editor Baker (@MusicTechPolicy) August 29, 2012
Yes. This is all part of The Facebook Fallacy.
Facebook has convinced large numbers of otherwise intelligent people that the magic of the medium will reinvent advertising in a heretofore unimaginably profitable way, or that the company will create something new that isn't advertising, which will produce even more wonderful profits.
Sometimes we forget the past. Advertising is information in the right context. There's no shame in paying to be seen in the right place, rather than shotgunning the same sum to spread banners over a kabillion sites you have no idea what they are.
So if Coke can be good guys, why can't MINI USA, Ford and others? When will Amex stop supporting human trafficking and child pornography? When will the people who place the ads admit that some of this responsibility does lie in their hands, and they should demand better controls from their ad networks?
...and when will this cheap house of cards that doesn't know which eyeballs it hits and where collapse under it's own weight?
Another bit from The Facebook Fallacy:
Oh, yes ... in its Herculean efforts to maintain its overall growth, Facebook will force the rest of the ad-driven Web to lower its prices, too. The low-level panic the owners of every mass-traffic website feel about the ever-downward movement of their CPM is turning to dread. Last quarter, some big sites observed as much as a 25 percent decrease, following Facebook's own attempt to book more revenue.
You see where this is going. As Facebook gluts an already glutted market, the fallacy of the Web as a profitable ad medium will become hard to ignore. The crash will come. And Facebook—that putative transformer of worlds, which is, in reality, only an ad-driven site—will fall with everybody else.