Huffington Post Blows It in France

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June 12, 2010 by  

Advertising blunder raises interesting questions about ad sales and content farms.

Observed from France, where ads are localized, the Huffington Post’s homepage recently hosted what appears to be a gigantic advertisement featuring the rump of a nude cartoon.  The product being sold here was (drumroll please…) a flatulence application for the iPhone. Indeed.

The ad, clearly not of the Rolex-variety, illustrates a blatantly poor choice from HuffPo’s ad sales team, but also seems to highlight what Paris-based writer and media consultant Frédéric Filloux says “demonstrates a tragic inability to understand the true power of the Internet, i.e, making contents globally accessible to a solvent population.”

Filloux goes further in his critique of HuffPo, aggregators and content farms (like Demand Media, a Web company creating upwards of 4,000 pieces of niche content per day) writing, “By allowing such a degradation in its premium advertising space (a home page is supposed to be just that), the HuffPo acknowledges that its content is, in fact, cheap. It therefore admits that volume, rather than targeting or relevance, drives the value of its content.”

For more Filloux (and a peek at the now-infamous la machine à pets) see the Monday Note.

Kate Nacy is the first EJO Fellow to participate the European Journalism Fellowship program at the Freie Universität Berlin. Kate Nacy works as a journalist, writer and editor. Her work has appeared in news publications as well as in literary and arts journals. She served as the European Journalism Observatory’s English Web Editor from 2008 – 2012.

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