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August 11, 2005

Advertisers Fear Lack of Control Over Blogs

In today's Advertising Age, one will find this article that discusses Advertisers' fears that their products will sullied if they appear on blogs with objectionable content.

Is it safe to advertise in places on the Internet that are essentially run by consumers and cannot be controlled? How can they protect themselves and their good names when blog and chat-room users are liable to say and post anything? It’s not just pornography or off-color language that worries them. What if consumers got angry about something involving a marketer’s brand, and their remarks got linked to across the Internet? Maybe advertising in such open spaces is not worth the risk.

That’s certainly true for toy marketers, said Rick Locker, of law firm Locker Greenberg & Brainin, who represents the Toy Industry Association. “Most would view that guerrilla approach as not suitable for their products because they can’t control what goes on there.”

What does this say about advertising and its effects on more controlled media, such as newspapers? If advertisers fear the lack of control of blogs, does that not suggest that part of writing a newspaper is exercising control that will attract advertising dollars?

But technology is coming to the rescue of concerned advertisers:

…Scott Rafer, CEO of Feedster, a blog and RSS search engine and ad network…is building technology to monitor and filter blogs. The other major difference is that because the postings are predictable, the content can be monitored and controlled by automation or by human beings. If something objectionable is posted, an ad can be pulled within minutes, he added.

What does this mean for bloggers? Will they feel compelled to censor user comments or brand-specific criticism in order to continue to attract ad dollars?

Posted by chris at August 11, 2005 02:59 PM


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