Monday, October 22, 2007
The internet. Don't count on it.
The gray lady, i.e. The New York Times reports today that websites don't know how to count how many hits they get. That is, how many eyeballs advertisers are being charged for. As Johnny Friendly might have said in "On the Waterfront," such lack of accountability is "bad for business all around." The article claims: "the growth of online advertising is being stunted, industry executives say, because nobody can get the basic visitor counts straight.
“'You’re hearing measurement as one of the reasons that buyers are not moving even more money online,' said Wenda Harris Millard, president for media at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and, until June, chief sales officer at Yahoo. 'It’s hugely frustrating. It’s one of the barriers preventing us from really moving forward.'” Read the entire exegesis here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/22/technology/22click.html
The online side of the advertising industry is still swaddled in diapers. It is a side of the industry that has yet to mature. Much of the "creative" is crap, reliant on asinine tricks to gain attention like a gyrating silhouette in an ad. There is more imitation in work than innovation. And there has been a failure of the large online agencies to assume the mantle of thought leadership--there is so much money to be made just being a channel executor.
That being said, let me not come down too hard on online. Television ratings, newspaper and magazine readership measurements are equally spurious. Those folks, however, represent the establishment, so their analytics are more widely accepted. It all underscores Ad Age's contention that the analytic and metric side of the advertising industry has not kept pace with the technology side. Maybe because most media people went into the business in the first place for free lunches and sky box tickets to the Knicks. Well, it looks like the Knicks will suck this year. So someone should have time to fix this mess.
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 7:17 AM