Contextual advertising gone wrong

One of the reasons we think that the "Australia" strategy works is this: although scalable systems cut costs and add efficiency, unless you have someone who can look at things on the micro level occasionally, you’ll almost always get some regrettable results.

Here’s a Google ad pulled up by the recent SPCA discussions:


The ad actually links to bowls, toys, and other items sold by rescue organizations as fundraisers.

And the Austin American Statesman has a truly regrettable contextual ad on a story about a child who died in a lawnmower accident. It’s tasteless enough that I’ll put the screenshot in the continuation.

The question is: can you scale and have human oversight in a way that makes sense? We think so.


Mike Orren is the Chief Product Officer of The Dallas Morning News; President of Belo Business Intelligence; husband to Crystal Orren; and a Mungarian at Munger Place Church in Dallas, TX. All opinions herein are mine alone.