And the most facepalm-worthy (and accurate) web ad prediction for 2017 is...

In the news:

Want to get a little more info on the brand-unsafe ad problem? Two minutes, easy experiment.

  • Get a fresh browser, not one you normally use. If you're on Safari or Chrome, try this in Firefox, or vice versa. (Don't pick a browser such as Brave that has a built-in ad blocker. This is about the ads.)

  • Go to your favorite—or least favorite—jihadi, white nationalist, or shitlord site.

  • Look at the ads.

That's the kind of thing I get based on the above site's ability to get ads based on its content. Crappy ads from advertisers that will settle for any impression, anywhere, whether brand-safe or not.

I don't see any reputable brands showing up when I do this with a fresh browser. How about you? LMK on Twitter which seems to be the place to talk about this stuff.

So why is the Sleeping Giants campaign even a thing? Why are people finding real brand ads on brand-unsafe sites?

The problem is that browsers have old bugs, some left over from the 1990s browser wars, that let information leak from one site to another. "Your ad on a site we know is crap" is pretty much worthless to an ad agency, but they will pay for "your ad to a known user" and pretend the brand safety issues don't exist.

But putting brand safety last, and trying to hack around it when people complain, can't work when the other side just has better hackers.

Here's the most facepalm-worthy but also totally accurate 2017 web advertising prediction so far:

Really? A brand-new service rushed out the door, by companies that never cared about shitlords before, is going to have a chance? When shitlords consistently have better skills, and out-hack the entire Lumascape, without even mussing their "dapper" outfits? Good luck with that.

Maybe there's a better way. Brands, legit sites, and users can stop playing a losing game, and it starts with a few lines of JavaScript.

Bonus link: Without these ads, there wouldn't be money in fake news

Don Marti · #

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