Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

AdSafe Report: User Generated Content Can Harm Brands

Posted by Tom Foremski - February 3, 2010

AdSafe Media, which monitors online advertising, reported that in Q4 2009, that about 27 per cent of online display advertising on sites with user generated content was inappropriate for brand advertisers due to problem subject matter.

Problem content included hate speech and invisible traffic. AdSafe said that about 25 per cent of all display ads were on sites with UGC content.

David Hahn, VP of Product for AdSafe, said he was concerned about "the large percentage of invisible, UGC and hate speech associated inventory we observed in Q4. Without full visibility of display inventory, brands and agencies are unable to understand the quality or brand appropriateness of inventory."

Foremski's Take: As many media sites add user generated content to their publishing mix, to generate additional pageviews, they could face problems from existing brand advertisers.

They will need to moderate their UGC content, which will add to their costs. But this could also be an important point of distinction, since moderated UGC will be of higher value to advertisers and should result in improved advertising rates.

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