A mammoth financial services marketer is taking the idea of human oversight on its ad runs to heart and to the bank. Recently, JPMorgan Chase began restricting the ads it runs on YouTube to a “human-checked” list of 1,000 channels, due to discovering its marketing was appearing next to videos promoting hate speech and terrorism, reports the New York Times on March 29.
“JPMorgan started looking into preapproving sites, a strategy known as whitelisting,” reads the Times article, “this month after The New York Times showed it an ad for Chase’s private client services on a site called Hillary 4 Prison. It was under a headline claiming that the actor Elijah Wood had revealed ‘the horrifying truth about the Satanic liberal perverts who run Hollywood.’ ”
On April 5, I wrote again in Target Marketing about how marketers may want to add human oversight to their retargeting and programmatic ad efforts because of these automated technologies’ problems on sites ranging from YouTube to Breitbart.com. This appeared to be especially necessary, because one of Google’s main cures for YouTube’s ad placement woes was yet another machine-learning technology. This idea from Google and Facebook of technology solving all of its woes rather than human oversight got a cruel wake-up call from top advertiser Procter and Gamble earlier this year, when the CPG giant decided to take its business and run if Facebook and Google didn’t allow third-party oversight and accurate ad measurements.
So, even though my first thought when I saw the Times headline for this change to the FinServ marketer’s ad placement strategy was that it was going to be business as usual — reducing ad spend through efficiencies based on analytics and testing — I saw quickly that my assumption was wrong about: “Chase Had Ads on 400,000 Sites. Then on Just 5,000. Same Results.”
Instead, the article detailed the marketer’s effort to have human oversight over its placements, down to the last site.
“Of the 400,000 Web addresses JPMorgan’s ads showed up on in a recent 30-day period,” the Times article says, quoting Chase CMO Kristin Lemkau, “only 12,000, or 3 percent, led to activity beyond an impression. An intern then manually clicked on each of those addresses to ensure that the websites were ones the company wanted to advertise on. About 7,000 of them were not, winnowing the group to 5,000.”
Despite majorly slashing the ubiquity of its Internet presence, LemKau tells the Times that Chase isn’t seeing much of a difference in its ad visibility and cost-per-impression.
Smaller businesses may not be able to devote the time to looking at ad placements, so the low-cost option of placing ads on sites throughout the Web may be their marketing routes.
But for Chase, those days are gone.
Lemkau tells the Times: “At some point, a human is going to take a look.”
What do you think, marketers?
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