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Google Stops Running AdWords on Orkut

Google’s social network Orkut pulled ads from their site after getting complaints about questionable content on the site. A Wall Street Journal article last week said Google ran ads on just 1 percent of Orkut pages and they ran the ads as a test. The ads haven’t been running since August. A nonprofit group in Brazil named SaferNet says Orkut that some people using the service have child pornography and other illegal content on their pages.

Google says they remove offensive or illegal content. Google is not the only social network facing this issue. There has been a lot of negative press about pedophiles on MySpace and Facebook. Advertisers, especially big brands, are rightly concerned about the content of the ads. They’re afraid of offending their mainstream users. Plus, their advertising often doesn’t perform well.

The Most Enticing Banner Ad Ever?

It seems that banner ads continue to get a bad rap. But if you have a great offer–and clever message–you can still attract attention.

Endless.com is ahead of the pack with this banner ad running on Amazon.com.

endless

(Actual ad is animated)

I’m online all day, which means I’m conditioned to ignore ads. I also have no interest in women’s shoes. Still, credit to Endless for getting my attention with their offer to pay me $5 to ship their shoes overnight.

Have you spotted any great ads recently? 

30% Increase in Online Advertising in 2008

As I noted in a previous post, forecasts say holiday spending will be down, except online. The US housing market is affecting advertising spend too. But again, online advertising is the bright spot. This is according to ZenithOptimedia. They downgraded its 2007 forecast for offline advertising which was already in the single digits. Online advertising is projected to rise 30% in 2008.

The upside is TV advertising sales globally should be at a record high next year because of the Olympic Games in China. You can see how markets outside the US are still growing, especially Central & Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Here are some other findings:

  • The drop in ad prices isn’t a freefall, but it has been downgraded to 2.5 percent growth in 2007. It was estimated to 3.3 percent, before the housing market woes.

Netizens Trust Each Other for Product Recommendations

Nielsen has released a survey of 26,486 web users from around the world and discovered that we all prefer the recommendations of others over advertising. Shocker! ;-)

  • 78% of survey respondents trust recommendations from other consumers.
  • Newspapers came second with 63%, and online opinions third with 61%.
  • Search engine ads (34%), banner ads (26%), and mobile text ads (18%) made up the least trusted.
  • American’s trusted blogs more than any other country, with 66% of us trusting blogs for product and service recommendations.
  • The countries most likely to trust advertising? The Philippines (67%), Brazil (67%) and Mexico (66%).
  • Meanwhile the Danes don’t trust any advertising (28%).

Read the full report for more juicy stats.

Hat-tip E-consultancy.

Rumor Mill: IPO for AOL’s Advertising Platform A

Last week, AOL announced that it was restructuring its online advertising holdings to create a new ad division, Platform A. Ten days later, TechCrunch has rumors that Platform A will be destined for an IPO of its own:

One knowledgeable source tells TechCrunch that the decision has been made internally at Time Warner to try to spin off Platform A through an IPO sometime early next year. (AOL declines to comment). A lot needs to happen before that plan is put into action, but the writing is on the wall. . . . An AOL spokesperson confirms to me: “The introduction of Platform A marks a significant change in how we operate—putting AOL’s overall network in front of our advertising sales strategy.”

Microsoft on the War Path

The New York Times today covers Microsoft and their pending battle against Google/DoubleClick. No, not the legal mess they’ve been pursuing—the fight for advertising dollars. With aQuantive‘s and DoubleClick‘s acquisitions earlier this year, Microsoft and Google are now in direct competition in the online advertising arena.

The Times article leads with three of Microsoft’s past endeavors which have enjoyed “varying degrees of success”: Internet Explorer, Windows and the Zune. Internet Explorer sucks (just ask the 100+ people who’ve commented on that post!), Windows is okay (I don’t mind it, at least, but I haven’t “upgraded” to Vista yet), and the Zune thus far has been too little, too late. Not a precipitous way to begin discussing a new business.

If Twitter and Yahoo Answers Mated You’d Get Attendi

SEM is so powerful, so successful, that there’s a relentless quest to find the “next search.” Attendi, a startup that launched today at the Demo conference, applies search to instant messaging conversations.

To join Attendi, you create a profile that can include blogs, keywords, favorite web sites and your social networks; the idea is to position yourself as an expert on whatever you want — cooking, motorcycles, SEM. Automatically generated tag clouds attached to profiles show what else you’re up to speed on.

Other people can come to the site and search for experts who are logged in, then request a chat. Your profile is rated as more relevant to a topic, the more people chat with you. In addition, Attendi indexes all the chats and makes them searchable. So, even if someone isn’t online, you can read what they said to someone else.