For many, the news has not brought much joy in the last year; it seems to have brought more controversy than ever before.That’s created a conundrum for advertisers and publishers alike. Advertisers, in particular, don’t like controversy. They don’t like the threat of a boycott because an ad from their massive programmatic buy turned up on right-leaning sites.
I respectfully disagree. There’s always been controversy. There have been wars and conflicts in almost every decade. There have been painful battles over social issues, and there have been unpopular men in the White House. There has never been an era, ever, where everyone agreed on everything and everyone was happy. And that’s OK; it’s always been OK.
Advertisers in the past have paid to have their products appear in newspapers, magazines, on the radio and on prime-time TV, regardless of the headlines. What’s different now is the media and the technology that drives it. In decades past, there were a handful of TV networks that accepted ads, fewer than 50 major daily newspapers, radio, magazines and, of course, no internet. Advertisers had limited options.
So while today’s social and political environment may feel unsafe, advertisers have more control than they’ve ever had before. The consequences may seem harsher because they’re no longer speaking into the void – consumers actually respond, sometimes loudly, to ads and where they appear.