Advertisers prefer a sterile environment for their ads

George Simpson is one of my favorite writer/observers, and he scores a good read today with How The Real World Works. He tells the story of a client who pulled its advertising from a site that featured content the advertiser didn’t like. Name-calling and cries of “free speech” followed.

New-world editorial, please shake hands with old-world media economics 101. This is a battle that has been fought on every front of traditional media for decades. It will be no different for new media.
It’s a great read for anybody new in the publishing game that thinks advertisers should ante up just to get near their readers, regardless of their content. It doesn’t work that way.

And this was one of the key factors in Walter Lippmann’s creation of “professional” journalism. He and other publishers wanted to create a sterile environment in which to sell advertising, because they saw that the multiples for advertising were far greater than the multiples for subscriptions. And so it goes…

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