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Kraft kills search ads after landing on racist site
this is an issue in the any site "in" strategy
howiejs




msg:1396635
 7:43 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is a big issue - and why I believe Google will pre-approve sites before allowing them to run Adsense (within an active publisher account)

Kraft Foods Inc. yanked its Google paid search campaign after its ads began appearing on a white supremacist site. After hearing complaints about Kraft’s contextual ads showing up on a racist site, Google pulled the ads, but not before Kraft decided to end its search marketing campaign. Kraft executives noted they may continue with search advertising when they can be assured that their ads will not appear on hate-group or pornographic sites.

 

Macro




msg:1396636
 7:48 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

huh, does Kraft not know they can turn off content?

alika




msg:1396637
 7:51 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I really do hope that this will be Google's next step. I can understand getting as many websites to run Adsense initially without prior fact checking, but now is the time for Adsense to tighten its quality standards. They may have QC control in their staff checking the sites, but we all know -- and this case proves it -- that G is waaaaay behind in doing checks.

loanuniverse




msg:1396638
 7:53 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

It is a matter of PR for the big firms, better safe than sorry.

They do not want for someone to come back and say "but even after this happened, you continued to buy advertising from this provider"

Imagine someone saving a couple of screen shots and using them as further ammunition in a case of racial discrimination. A yellow school journalist {and there are many} could make make a statement about an X company supporting "racism" and be technically correct.

walkman




msg:1396639
 8:33 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

"huh, does Kraft not know they can turn off content?"

they did turn it off, completely. It's up to Google though to make sure that Kraft and other advertisers is helping neo-nazi groups spread their message. They have to be some standards and you can't expect the advertisers to block sites one by one.

europeforvisitors




msg:1396640
 8:59 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I remember saying more than a year ago that mainstream corporate advertisers and ad agencies expect more control over ad placement than they can get with AdSense.

A number of other WW members said, "Big advertisers are like any other advertisers--all they care about is ROI."

Welcome to the real world of advertising. :-)

I expect we'll see a lot more options for advertisers in the coming year. The Krafts of the world spend too much money to be ignored.

Macro




msg:1396641
 9:05 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

You can't turn it off "one by one". If you turn off content then no publisher's page will show your ad.

It's impossible to check content on every page every time you serve the ad. An algo can't make judgement calls on ambiguous text/jokes. An algo can't make judgement calls on images.

Did Kraft not read the terms and conditions? Did they not know that content on content sites can vary (Duh, my two year old son knows that!)?

Looks to me like Kraft screwed up. If they valued their brand so much they shouldn't have enabled content.

[edited by: Macro at 9:07 pm (utc) on Jan. 12, 2005]

ken_b




msg:1396642
 9:07 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

This kind of thing could hurt some publishers in the short run.

Still, I think it's probably a positive move, both for Google and publishers, in the long run...

IF...

it gets Googles attention and they give advertizers more control over ad placement and/or Google exercises more control over which sites display adsense.

Might take a few more big spenders pulling out before Google really gets the message though.

europeforvisitors




msg:1396643
 9:14 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

Looks to me like Kraft screwed up. If they valued their brand so much they shouldn't have enabled content.

Yes, but it also shows why Google needs to provide solutions for advertisers who want content ads but aren't willing to take potluck. (Assuming, of course, that Google doesn't want to leave billions of advertising dollars on the table for competitors to grab.)

Macro




msg:1396644
 9:16 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

The competitors would need to have a better system if they wanted to do any grabbing.

In principle, I agree. Quality of publisher sites is a often a problem. It would be not only in Google's interest but in yours and mine if they did some screening.

Marketing Guy




msg:1396645
 9:29 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google have a responsibility to protect the brands of their clients. ANY advertising organisation in the world whos actions resulted in what happened with Kraft would see the same reaction - the client would be offski.

Google are selling a product and it only makes good business sense to make sure the end product is satisfactory for the market they are targetting or attracting. Failure to do so will just result in someone else coming in and offering what they cannot or will not offer.

Looks to me like Kraft screwed up. If they valued their brand so much they shouldn't have enabled content.

Actually that says more about the quality of Google's publishers than the credibility of Kraft IMO.

IMNSHO, Google should cut out all additional (non-approved) domains and start reviewing them before Content Publishing becomes a complete no go area for respected brands.

Scott

HughMungus




msg:1396646
 9:32 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's impossible to check content on every page every time you serve the ad.

Isn't that what the bot does? Seems like it would be easy to filter out sites that have certain words or phrases on them, no?

walkman




msg:1396647
 9:44 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Isn't that what the bot does?"

No. Google should approve EACH domain where the ads will show.

Macro




msg:1396648
 9:36 am on Jan 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Er, I thought it would be understood from my earlier post but...

Google approving domains does not solve the problem. Content on individual pages changes. For a solution to be effective the algo will have to check for racist/offensive material everytime it served the ad (or check for a "not changed header"). Algo's are very fallible here. A picture of Bill Clinton may not be rude. A picture of a cigar may not be rude. Put them next to each other and a certain act is implied.

Quality of publishers is not the main issue, it's quality of individual pages. An otherwise good site may have a page of material that "sits on the fence". Should Google examine every page? Even if they do, pages do change (at the expense of being repetitive).

And it's quality of relevance. A page talking about nazis may mention the word "jew". Would serving ads of products targeted at the jewish community offend? They'd most certainly offend at least a few.

europeforvisitors




msg:1396649
 10:08 am on Jan 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Quality of publishers is not the main issue, it's quality of individual pages.

Well, the problem would be solved for the most part if entire domains like crackpot-neo-nazi-party.org were blocked from carrying AdSense ads because they hadn't been approved.

The occasional page might slip through, but there's a big difference between Kraft's ad showing up on one page of a blog and the same ad showing up on the aforementioned crackpot-neo-nazi-party-org.

But the issue really goes beyond things like racism or religious hatred. Big mainstream advertisers are often sensitive to where their ads appear for other reasons, too, such as brand image or not wanting to get flak from the boss or the board. A company that deals in luxury goods might not want its ads on a junky-looking shopping site; a national distributor of fine wines might not want its ads on spring-break-vomitfest.com; a purveyor of medical enema supplies may not want its products being advertised on racy-watersports.com. Publishers have blocking filters, and it's only reasonable that advertisers (who are paying the piper) should have comparable controls or better.

Macro




msg:1396650
 10:26 am on Jan 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

As usual, your examples are worth occasionally disagreeing with you :)

ken_b




msg:1396651
 3:43 pm on Jan 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Approving every site individually might not completely fix the problem. But I believe it would go a long way in the effort.

Doing nothing hardly seems like a fix.

howiejs




msg:1396652
 3:59 pm on Jan 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Approving sites one by one is the best fix they can make.

It will make publishers THINK before throwing up scrapers and junk.

I agree - if there is a "bad seed" page - it happens. Look at traditional magazine advertising (or TV) sometimes there is an editorial piece or a show on TV that the advertisers DON'T link - and they complain to the network (or mag publisher) and then they make a decision to pull the ads moving forward.

But you know what - the ads run that first time.

My original post from last month was for Google to manually approve sites (14 days) and have a speedy approval (3 days) that we pay for.

The real sites will pay for the quick review.

And junk publishers will think twice.

HughMungus




msg:1396653
 3:54 am on Jan 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

No. Google should approve EACH domain where the ads will show.

Well, I didn't ask what Google should do but on second thought I can see how Adsense ads could show up on a racist site even with a word filter (say, on part of the site that doesn't have racist content).

edit_g




msg:1396654
 4:00 am on Jan 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I remember saying more than a year ago that mainstream corporate advertisers and ad agencies expect more control over ad placement than they can get with AdSense. A number of other WW members said, "Big advertisers are like any other advertisers--all they care about is ROI."

Welcome to the real world of advertising.

Sorry, late to this.

The two factors (control over placement and ROI) are closely related... I'd venture to guess that the majority of advertisers don't get a good ROI from the content network anyhow.

Aside from that it's worth noting that advertisers like Kraft probably aren't measuring ROI.

suidas




msg:1396655
 7:01 am on Jan 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google's lack of screening is also a *protection*. If machines do everything, they can't be at fault. The more human control they add, the more they can be accused of negligence.

Imagine if Google used a hybrid person/algorithm process for their SERPS. Such a process might still have the top site for "Jew" be a racist one. Instead of posting a note about how they deplore it, but can't change it, they would have been in the hot-seat for sure. The same goes for libel and trademarks.

Powdork




msg:1396656
 4:43 pm on Jan 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Kraft has a problem with this?
Do they know who owns them?

whoisgregg




msg:1396657
 10:31 am on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wouldn't a savvy list of negative keywords solve this for now? At least until better solutions are found?

-racial_epithet1
-racial_epithet2
-racial_epithet3, etc.

walkman




msg:1396658
 6:41 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Google's lack of screening is also a *protection*. If machines do everything, they can't be at fault. The more human control they add, the more they can be accused of negligence."

true, but they can still do a lot of checking and add a clause to their 41,614,862,656,548 page agreement to say that ultimately it's your responsibility to block sites you don't want to display your ads.

If Google needs to prosper, they can't ignore these Fortune 500 companies. If a few people from a religious group complain they will cancel the contract becuase they fear boycotts. If you think people are spending money on online advertisig now, imagine how much it would be if a larger share of McDonald's, Pepsi, Gatorade etc. etc. advertising went to Google? That's where the money is!

Macro




msg:1396659
 6:57 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>41,614,862,656,548 page agreement

I can assure you I haven't read it. Yet, I know that ads shown on content sites are shown on all kinds of sites. And that content sites can be blocked.

Did Kraft know this? If they did, they should stop whining. If they didn't they should sack the employee responsible for such a c*ck up.

HughMungus




msg:1396660
 7:18 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yet, I know that ads shown on content sites are shown on all kinds of sites. And that content sites can be blocked.

I'd bet they never would have believed that Google would have allowed their ads on those types of sites...

europeforvisitors




msg:1396661
 7:44 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you think people are spending money on online advertisig now, imagine how much it would be if a larger share of McDonald's, Pepsi, Gatorade etc. etc. advertising went to Google? That's where the money is!

I don't think mass-market advertisers are Google's primary audience, except in a limited way. For example, McDonald's could pitch a fundraising program by purchasing keywords like "youth hockey" or "PTA," and Kraft could market new foodservice products with PPC ads that are geared to B2B restaurant and hospitality sites. But for getting millions of people to eat at McDonald's or buy Kraft macaroni and cheese, PPC advertising isn't likely to be cost-effective unless the ad network is foolish enough to run unlimited numbers of minimal-CTR ads.

That doesn't mean Google should ignore the needs of corporate advertisers and their ad agencies. A company like 3M, for example, markets everything from Scotch Tape to industrial products, many of which are advertised in thousands of special-interest trade, hobby, and craft publications. If you're a 3M employee who's trying to harvest qualified leads for pavement-marking tapes, bowling-alley sanding belts, or fireproofing compounds for use around pipes in skyscrapers and nuclear power plants, Google AdSense might work very well for that purpose--but because you value your job and don't want to get into trouble with corporate when your ad for "nuclear plant fire safety" turns up on arsonists-and-terrorists.org, you may not be willing to buy ads from Google unless you have some control over where the ads appear. Exclude filters would provide a measure of reassurance, but in some industries, an advertiser might prefer to specify the domains where its ads could appear--and it would be willing to pay a premium for that privilege.

Powdork




msg:1396662
 11:44 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

But for getting millions of people to eat at McDonald's or buy Kraft macaroni and cheese, PPC advertising isn't likely to be cost-effective unless the ad network is foolish enough to run unlimited numbers of minimal-CTR ads.
But as online use of PDA's, cell phones, etc grow there could be a market for at least McDonalds on a PDA local search around lunch time. Recipe searches can bring up Mac n Cheese if someone searches for casserole or something. Lots of folks do lots of searches for recipes involving kraft products.

I'd venture to guess that the majority of advertisers don't get a good ROI from the content network anyhow.
Varies greatly by industry. On one of my directory sites, at least, the vendors are the same (or in the same exact business) as I those am selling listings to for that category. I'd be hard pressed to tell you how much each adsense client spends for total clicks on my site but I do know that it costs each of the three paid listings in each category $200/year. Having a decent idea through my adsense stats and the stats from my site, I would say the ROI of my listing and being in the adsense box are roughly the same if were figured on an apples vs apples basis.

europeforvisitors




msg:1396663
 1:14 am on Jan 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'd venture to guess that the majority of advertisers don't get a good ROI from the content network anyhow.

I see many of the same advertisers month after month, and some have been around almost since the beginning. So I have to assume that at least some of those advertisers are doing well with content ads.

Also, my site's "Ads by Google" advertisers range from mom-and-pop businesses to major international airlines. I have the impression that the advertiser pool is growing larger, and that more long-established big companies from the "bricks and mortar" world are getting into PPC advertising.

Macro




msg:1396664
 9:27 am on Jan 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

"huh, does Kraft not know they can turn off content?"

they did turn it off, completely.

Did they? And where did you hear that?

Kraft's exploiting this by playing it for pulicity. I'm afraid the news sites are falling for it. It's not news at all. Any idiot who's spent a few minutes surfing the net knows that Google ads appears on lots of different sites. If Kraft's executives didn't know this they must be a rare breed of stupid.

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