March 25, 2008
Yesterday was one of those fun days in the blogosphere where alot of attention was drawn to seemingly contradictory news.
While paidContent reported news of Forbes and Viacom launching ad networks for the finance and male lifestyle verticals, ESPN’s announcement that it was pulling the plug on 3d party ad networks also got alot of play. MediaWeek’s Mike Shields gave a nice summary of the debate raised by the ESPN moved:
“ESPN’s decision crystallizes a philosophical debate in the online ad sales industry that has intensified since the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual meeting last month when during a keynote address, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia media president Wenda Harris Millard gave her now famous warning against selling Web inventory like “pork bellies.” Two sides have formed—those who want to protect traditional, direct selling of premium content brands and the math-loving crowd that favors automation and data. The math lovers make the traditional sellers nervous.”
Since I’ve got portfolio companies on various sides of this debate I will refrain from opining, except to say that there should be ways to address the objectives and concerns on both sides of the table.
Can’t we all get along??