Publishers rethinking "related content" ads

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Promoted crap content

The clock may be ticking for related content ads like Taboola and Outbrain:

But now, some publishers are wondering about the effect these so-called content ads may be having on their brands and readers. This month, these ads stopped appearing on Slate. And The New Yorker, which restricted placement of such ads to its humor articles, recently removed them from its website altogether.

I thought hard about this, and I cannot remember a single time that I clicked on one of those ads and was glad I did so. The content promoted through them is almost universally shit.

If your business is dependent on revenue from them to sustain itself – it’s time to take a long hard look at its viability, because those things are rotting away your reputation.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.