WSJ's Utterly Oxymoronic Take On Pre-Roll Ads

  |  October 3, 2006   |  Comments

In a none-too-enlightening piece examining the pre-roll conundrum in video advertising, The Wall Street Journal ( subscription required ) makes a statement today that sums up just how much ignorance there is out there regarding online advertising. "What makes pre-rolls attractive to advertisers -- but off-putting to viewers -- is that they don't allow fast-forwarding," says the Journal. Excuse me, but if pre-rolls are off-putting to their intended audience, what the heck is the benefit to advertisers, the very people trying to reach that audience? At least our own Dorian Sweet gets it (but then, he always does)

In a none-too-enlightening piece examining the pre-roll conundrum in video advertising, The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) makes a statement today that sums up just how much ignorance there is out there regarding online advertising.

"What makes pre-rolls attractive to advertisers -- but off-putting to viewers -- is that they don't allow fast-forwarding," says the Journal.

Excuse me, but if pre-rolls are off-putting to their intended audience, what the heck is the benefit to advertisers, the very people trying to reach that audience?

At least our own Dorian Sweet gets it (but then, he always does). "They don't have a channel flipper or a mute button, but they do have the ability to just completely ignore it and go to someplace else," Dorian told the WSJ.

It's not just the length of the pre-roll (often longer than the video segment a user is trying to get at). Frequency caps on all those pre-rolls would help, too, an angle the Journal story completely (and bafflingly) overlooks.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Lieb

Rebecca was previously VP, U.S. operations of Econsultancy, an independent source of advice and insight on digital marketing and e-commerce. Earlier, she held executive marketing and communications positions at strategic e-services companies, including Siegel & Gale, and has worked in the same capacity for global entertainment and media companies, including Universal Television & Networks Group (formerly USA Networks International) and Bertelsmann's RTL Television. As a journalist, she's written on media for numerous publications, including "The New York Times" and "The Wall Street Journal." Rebecca spent five years as Variety's Berlin-based German/Eastern European bureau chief. Rebecca also taught at New York University's Center for Publishing, where she also served on the Electronic Publishing Advisory Group. Rebecca, author of "The Truth About Search Engine Optimization," was ClickZ's editor-in-chief for over seven years.

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