Politicians have decades of experience putting ads on television, but they haven’t figured out this Internet thing, the New York Times says. Thanks to ad networks, banners are showing up in embarrassing places – Mitt Romney accidentally advertised on Gay.com – making politicians look like blunderers. “Corporate media consultants don’t make mistakes like this,” one advertising executive said.
Ad networks randomly place banners, then increase frequency on sites generating the most hits, a system ill-suited to politically sensitive campaigns. Even Barack Obama’s Amazon placement backfired when the Sun noticed his banner over a book decrying the Israeli lobby. Savvy web targeting however can pay off, as Ron Paul proved Monday by raising $4 million on a libertarian-minded site.