Presidential Candidate Blog Advertising

Amy Shatz has an interesting piece in today’s Wall Street Journal on the fact that presidential candidates are already buying advertising on political blogs, including this one.

“There’s a blog primary going on right now,” says Henry Copeland, founder of Blogads, a North Carolina-based advertising service which automates the process of placing ads on blogs in exchange for a 30% cut of the revenue.

Apparently, this is causing some controversy:

But this year’s campaign Web pioneers are already beginning to run into uncharted zones. Some online activists get offended if they think a candidate is paying for ads on Internet sites of the wrong political stripe. And some smaller, locally influential blogs have gotten miffed at being passed over.

When Sen. Clinton launched her bid for the Democratic nomination, her campaign purchased ads on a number of popular political blog sites, inviting people to participate in a three-night series of video Webcasts. But the Clinton team offended some Democrats by purchasing ads on at least four conservative blogs and originally passing over some smaller local bloggers. In a conversation, “you invite people who don’t necessarily agree with you,” says Mr. Daou. “We tried to reach out to as many blogs as possible.” The campaign also created hurt feelings among some more thinly read Democratic bloggers who didn’t get an ad.

In Nevada, which hosts an early primary in 2008, some local bloggers groused that the Clinton campaign focused its advertising dollars with Las Vegas-based blogs and ignored the rest of the state. “Where’s my ad?” huffed one Nevada blogger, Taylor Marsh, who wrote on her site on Jan. 22 that she found it “a little annoying that Clinton’s team thinks that people like me don’t merit advertisement, simply because our numbers don’t reach the one-hundred thousand mark.”

According to the BlogAds order page, Marsh’s blog generated 21,575 page impressions last week. She charges $65/week for ads. That’s about $3/thousand views. [Update: The Gun Toting Liberal, who’s asking $150 for 4,882 page impressions, or a whopping $30.72/thousand, has similar complaints.] During the same period, DailyKos had 4,021,511 page impressions and was charging $2,900 for a non-premium ad. That’s a mere $1.39/thousand for a much more coveted audience. That’s simple economics at work, not size discrimination.

This is amusing, too:

“I’ll take ads from pretty much anybody short of Nazis and Communists,” says Glenn Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor who runs the popular conservative site Instapundit.com. “If you only take ads from folks you agree with, people will start to think your opinions are driven by the ads rather than the other way around.”

Ditto. PETA has been renewing the same ad for weeks, which I’ve continued to accept despite my objections to their platform and complaints from my wife about how disgusting the image is. That’s capitalism, folks.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. how seriously we bloggers and the blogosphere in general are being recognized as “players”? And that makes our commenters “players”, too, by the way; so come on, y’all… let’s “play“. ***** MemeOrandum has linked to this post ***** Outside The Beltway has linked to this post Technorati Tags:  2008, Bill Richardson, Bloggers, Blogging, blogosphere, Current Events, Headline News, Headlines, Loretta Nall, News, News and Politics, Newt Ginghrich, Politics

  2. madmatt says:

    A pity the same can’t be said of the so called liberal media that somehow manages to deny liberal and anti-discrimination ads. Guess they aren’t so liberal after all.

  3. Steve Verdon says:

    I despise PeTA, but if their ad gets people here to read my low opinion of Ingrid Newkirk then all the better. And if I get to use some of that ad money to buy dog food for my pit bull (which according to PeTA’s official policy should be euthanized) that is outstanding!

  4. James Joyner says:

    And if I get to use some of that ad money to buy dog food for my pit bull (which according to PeTA’s official policy should be euthanized) that is outstanding!

    Absolutely! And I figure any money PETA pays us is money certainly going to be put to better use. Really, it’s a humanitarian service.

  5. Triumph says:

    One issue the article doesn’t touch on is how many surfers use ad-blocking software on their web browsers to block ads entirely.

    I’m sure that it is relatively small, but I would guess that people who spend a lot of time getting political information from blogs are relatively sophisticated web users and employ ad-blocking software extensively.

    I dont think that there is a way for sites to know if a user has Ad-Block or a greasemonkey script enabled, so the numbers of site visitors is probably overcounting people who actually see the ad.

  6. James Joyner says:

    numbers of site visitors is probably overcounting people who actually see the ad.

    Well, BlogAds and Google are counting actual ad impressions, not page views. I’m not sure how the filters work, though, so it’s possible they’re being “served” but not seen.

  7. Ask a woman if she will have sex with you for a million dollars. If she agrees, ask her about a blow job for a quarter, because you have already determined that she will exchange sex for money and are just determining a price point.

    Bloggers who are upset because they “didn’t get their share and someone else did” are saying they want money from the campaign and they will write unpleasant things about the campaign if they don’t get the money.

    From the campaign’s perspective, this really should be a cheap date. I don’t know what Edwards was paying his two former campaign bloggers, but apparently for $65 and $150 per week, he can make two liberal bloggers think highly of him. He’s has the price point and now just needs to see if it is worth it to him. I suspect buying some liberal blogs at these rates would be cheaper than even one campaign blogger.

    James,
    I don’t want to threaten your rice bowl, but while I see ‘ADVERTISERS’ and ‘Premium Left’, I don’t see any ads. So even if I wanted to ‘be nice’ to you and click through, I couldn’t.

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  9. James Joyner says:

    yaj,

    Premium ad sales have been slow of late but I’ve been advised to actually raise prices. Since the non-premium ads, Google, and whatnot are doing well, I’m holding out for now.

  10. Show me the money.

  11. carpeicthus says:

    Tempest, meet teapot.

  12. carpeicthus says:

    One issue the article doesn’t touch on is how many surfers use ad-blocking software on their web browsers to block ads entirely.

    Good point, Triumph. I keep forgetting the Web has ads. But I do the same with TV.