When advertisers hurt your brand

June 26th, 2006


The other day when I was on whitepages.co.nz I kept getting this tasteless banner ad:

Not only did I find the ad irritating and gross, I thought less of the White Pages brand after I saw it. It is an animated GIF banner, where the piece of poo actually flies across the ad from left to right and then hits the spinning fan, making the whole banner go brown. Nice.

Whoever at the White Pages approved that banner ad for publication should be fired.

I have also seen plenty of ads placed in email campaigns that hurt the brand. Here’s an ad in an internet.com newsletter that cheapened the JupiterMedia brand while simultaneously flagging the email for spam filters (the Alt tag associated with this banner ad was “Work From Home” — a terrible thing to say in an email campaign if you want your campaign delivered):

It always amazes me how email ads get approved when it’s so obvious that they are going to cause the campaign’s deliverability to tank. Like this one:

Some people think email marketing is horribly expensive. If only they knew about VerticalResponse. We give you the power to create, send, and track your email campaign, right from your web browser — for less than 1c an email! NO set-up fees, NO contracts, NO hidden charges. And it’s easy, too! See for yourself by creating your own test mailing — FREE. Get started today!

Some big no-no phrases in the above email ad, including: “no hidden charges” and “see for yourself”.

In short, your website and your email campaigns are a reflection of your brand. The advertising you accept for display on your site and in your emails is also a reflection of your brand. So think carefully before you take on an advertiser or accept a creative that isn’t “on message.”