Sunday, April 20, 2008

Insulting the public, ripping off advertisers

When Monetizing ISP Traffic Goes Horribly Wrong
In seeking to further monetize Web site traffic on their networks, a number of major Internet service providers may be inadvertently exposing their customers to a greater risk of online attack from identity thieves, according to research released today.

Many ISPs have already adopted the controversial practice of serving advertisements when a customer tries to browse to a Web site that does not exist. But a growing number of providers also are serving ad-filled pages when customers request a subdomain of a Web site that does not exist, such as This practice, which experts say potentially introduces new copyright violation claims, also potentially introduces security threats when ISPs outsource the ad-serving process to third parties.

Paying per click sounds like a great bargain until you start to consider all the negative associations that can arise from your company's name placed in negative context. When you lose control of ad placement, you lose control of your marketing message. The same companies who are adamant that their advertisement not appear opposite of a negative story about them or a positive story about the competitor, or their competitor's ad, are perfectly happy to buy paid search advertising that may place their company's name in the most appalling context. Sometimes a bargain is no bargain.

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