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Microsoft adCenter Content Ads Pilot Program

7:09 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is completely ridiculous. I received an email this morning notifying me that my campaign will AUTOMATICALLY go into a Content Ads Pilot Program.

Let me first start by saying that with my company's area of business, Content Match is a total waste of money.

The email stated that my current settings will be changed and I will HAVE to start using the new Content Beta. With NO option to opt out, just stating that it is going to happen on 1/25/07.

I contacted AdCenter support who were no help at all. They tried to show me how to opt out, but had no clue themselves. I am 'supposed' to get a call back in one week (the day before the account will switch over).

Does anyone else see what is wrong with this picture? Forcing me into a campaign setup that I do not want and especially have NEVER agreed to! I am just being stuck in there. How can this possibly be good business practice.

If this issue is not resolved by the end of the week, I will be permanently canceling my AdCenter campaign. I am still baffled.

8:11 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Got the same email.
You are right.
11:50 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tropical_island is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I also got the same e-mail however my search volumes are so low that even if they add content it won't have much affect.

I might add that my AdWords content ads consistently convert better than my search ads at a much lower cost.

I do not have content activated at Yahoo due to all it's bad partners.

If MSN can just keep control of it's partner network it could be a good change. The fact we are being told that this is automatic is not a very good business practice.

2:19 pm on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It looks like the only places your ads will appear are on MSN sites like Encarta (didn't even realise that still existed!) or MSN Travel. Also, it's US only, meaning the literally 7 people who use Adcentre in the UK can all breathe a sigh of relief.

Info here. [advertising.microsoft.com]

4:19 pm on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hmmm, I'm in the US and haven't received the e-mail. Yet.
6:22 pm on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tropical_island is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Hmmm, I'm in the US and haven't received the e-mail. Yet.

They say it's a BETA program.

That in itself is a little scary considering all the other problems they have had.

8:36 pm on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am still getting over being impressed by this. I agree that I could use the extra search volume, but I would perfer it to be on better network sites.

I do not see MSN keeping their network sites in check. I can see them adding a ton, due to the low amount of searching being done, to make up for the lost revenue.

I am still baffled as to how they could even being to think that adding their customers to something like this without asking them first or not giving them a way to opt out, is a good idea? Who makes decisions like that? If a decision like that was made at my company, that person would find themselves being out of a job.

I am really debating to just cancel my campaign out of principle. I am doing extremely well on Yahoo and Adwords, that MSN is just chump change. I mainly wanted to try it for the experience. Anyone want to guess how the experience is going so far?

1:24 am on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am on the content program and would love to get off of it, please adcenter, tell me how to get off. I have errors constantly, included many "unexpected errors." I have been unable to upload and download my account keywords for over 2 weeks so I must change every bid manually, which is a lot harder to do on MSN vs the competition. How much time and money would those snafus cost you?
3:01 am on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I haven't got this e-mail, but this is bad. Real bad. I certainly hope we can opt out, or I will be very disappointed with MSN.
5:21 am on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi everyone –

I wanted to respond to your questions about the email some of you have received indicating that you will be migrated to the adCenter Beta Site and that your campaigns will be expanded for Content distribution.

A select number of adCenter customers are being migrated to the beta site so that we can expand our Content Ads pilot and gather feedback on the next version of the adCenter User Interface. All advertisers selected for migration will be given access to the beta site and an improved set of campaign management tools, reporting tools and navigation. We selected advertisers based upon their match to the MSN inventory we have available and to provide access to a sampling of advertisers.

I also wanted to clarify that you can modify your content ads distribution – so if you don’t want to participate in content ads, you don’t have to. Once you have migrated to the beta site, you can turn off content ads. We'll be posting detailed instructions with screen shots on our blog on Monday.

I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any questions.


2:22 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The unrequested migration is totally unacceptable. Not giving a client the option to opt out of something that is being used for MSN's internal purpose to get feedback is ridiculous.

What is sounds like is that AdCenter is not making enough money from clicks since I am getting a 10th of the impressions/clicks than I do with Adwords or YSM, so they now want to 'STICK' people in a content match to generate more clicks for them (which does not result in more sales for us) in turn generating more money for them.

I have spent the last few days thinking it over and I will be cancelling my campaign later this afternoon. I find this business practice unbelievable. I am sure that me being just one client does not make a big difference to MSN at all, but I promise that if these types of practices are continued, their client list will start to diminish. Thanks for listening to my rants. Back to Adwords and YSM.

2:46 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

The unrequested migration is totally unacceptable. Not giving a client the option to opt out of something that is being used for MSN's internal purpose to get feedback is ridiculous.

I don't think you took the point. With Google Adwords there is ONLY the system with content management - whether you use it or not is not the point - the point is that it is a system upgrade - increased functionality if you like.

You can argue whether or not you should have content on by default when you move to the new system - and you can argue whether it is approproate to move from a system out of beta to one IN Beta, but all you are doing is moving to the next level of the system.

You can't join a Yahoo system or Google system that DOESN'T have content match functionality - all you can do is turn it off.

[edited by: Receptional at 2:47 pm (utc) on Jan. 19, 2007]

3:48 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I do agree with you. I think more of my irration was coming from the fact that when I called and spoke with a rep there, I was told that I would not be able to turn off content match, and if there was a way, she did not know how. That it was going to be a trial for them to see how it works.

If it is as simple as Adwords or YSM to turn off the content match, that will not be a problem (although I think that when the migration takes place, I should not be put into the beta with Content match turned on. If they want to switch me over into the beta with content turned off, that would at least give me the option of selecting the content match feature of their 'upgrade.')

The email I received from AdCenter, originally got caught in my Spam filter. If I had not seen that email in Spam, I would never have known about the update. No where in my AdCenter account does it say anything about the migration or upgrade. I would have come into work on the 25th without being the wiser to the changes that had been made. That is where I see the poor business practice playing a role.

3:57 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The day I'm forced to run my ads on MSN's AdCenter content network is the day I shut them all down. It's further aggravation I don't need.
5:38 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

In theory, you can shut off the content ads distribution, but I get a ton of errors when I try to. What I do not like about the content beta is the multitude of errors that are not occurring in the stable version. It has real money costs. Adcenter, please explain to me how I can revert my account back to the adcenter.microsoft.com login as my company cannot afford to beta test the beta.adcenter.microsoft.com for Microsoft without being compensated for all of the errors, bugs and snafus.
12:37 am on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi everyone,

Here are the instructions for those of you who would like to turn off ads on the content network entirely. After your account is migrated on Jan. 25, after signing into your account:
1. Click the Campaign you want to edit.
2. Click the ad group you wish to modify.
4. Click the Ad Group Settings tab.
4. In the Targeting section, locate "Select a distribution method for this ad group."
5. Uncheck the box labeled “Content” and Click Save.

Rstein68, once you're in the beta environment, you won’t be able to return to non-beta adCenter. Over the next months we will be migrating groups of customers to the new environment, and eventually all customers will be migrated to the beta environment later this spring. I am working with the support team to investigate the issues you’re seeing when using the beta environment and I will keep you posted here. In the meantime the adCenter PM team is interested in your experience and would like more detail from you- if you'd like to speak with them please contact me and I will arrange a call.


5:05 am on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

> AdCenter 411. So you are saying I have to go into every single ad group inside each campaign and turn the content option off one at a time? Can I please recommend a global option so that I can turn off ALL of the content ads at once. It is really tedious for us to have to go and do it once for every single adgroup. I have hundreds of adgroups and this will take me all day to do.
6:35 pm on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Adcenter, I really do not have any time I can invest in discussing all of the current snafus with MSN Adcenter.

I think the beta program is inferior to the current interface in almost every way as if Microsoft is using very old code on the beta platform or put this beta together in haste.

I have PM'ed you with my specific problem. Thanks.

7:50 pm on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi rstein68,
I am sorry about the frustrations you've been having with the adCenter beta site. Our development team has isolated the issue you're seeing and is working to deploy a fix - I will keep you posted here.

Thank you,

1:08 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

thank you!
2:56 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Best alternative is to be able to enable/disable content network at Account, Campaign or Ad group level.

Second best alternative is to default to content disabled and allow advertisers to go into each ad group to enable content.

2:18 pm on Jan 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I wanted to start by saying Thank you. Even though I was supposed to be called back by 2 separate Ad reps (which I was not called back by either of them), when the Ads were switched over to beta, they were not set with Content Match as default. All of my settings stayed the same.

Thank for for taking our advise. This has made my Friday easier. I was planning on spending all day manually switching everything off Content Match. Now, the world is my Oyster!

4:24 pm on Jan 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I just found out I was volunteered into the beta. Not too happy about it. I never asked to be the guinea pig and was never contacted by MSN to gauge my interest in it.

Time for some remedial customer service classes, Microsoft.


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