Do We Blame The Algorithms When Advertising Goes Wrong?

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When things go wrong in advertising, it looks like brands are throwing the algorithms under the bus.

And you thought it was just the agencies who took the brunt of the damage when mistakes are made? It is not. Look no further than Internet Radio to see how this is unfolding. Internet radio has consistently been an area of high growth in advertising spend (and based on the success of podcasts, connected speakers, voice platforms and the troubles of terrestrial radio, it doesn’t look like it is going to be slowing down any time soon). Still, Internet Radio is not podcasting. In fact, it works almost exactly like terrestrial radio. It has scheduled programming, measurable audience, and time slot ad buys. The big difference (or value for brands) is the simplicity of digital insertions (the publishers can drop ads in and out with ease across multiple shows over date and time). But, there’s one fatal flaw that many brands haven’t considered: it’s largely a wild west on the content front. Without knowing it, many brands are unwittingly sponsoring some fairly unsavory shows including those supporting racism or even terrorist thinking. So, is this a wake up call about the medium or another example of marketer laziness with programmatic buying? How should brands proceed? Is it easier to keep making the same mistake over and over again (while blaming the algorithms) or do we have a deeper problem going on here?

You may want to listen to this: Beancast – Episode #476 – So Very Gassy.

This week, I discussed this topic along with Emily Binder (Beetle Moment Marketing), Kate O’Neill (K.O.Insights) and host Bob Knorpp on the very excellent BeanCast Podcast (which I’ve been fortunate to be a guest on in the past). We didn’t just tackle the current problem of Internet Radio advertising. In this episode, we also discussed brands and their inability to truly be friends in social media, ads.cert and what this means for the digital advertising business, and Facebook‘s new Messenger For Kids apps. 

Take a listen and jump into the fray…