18 Apr 2010

New performance ads regulations in Romanian online advertising

Agencies & People, Display Advertising, News, Online Advertising posted by Digital4 Romania

This week the biggest 10 sales houses in Romania issued a joint statement regarding the rules of performance campaigns using display ads on premium positions (leaderboard, box, wide skyscraper). The act is targeting the habit of using premium display advertising ad spaces with performance campaigns prices without properly adapting the creatives.

Why that?
Because since 2009 more and more media agencies and clients started to (ab)use a simple system: „instead of paying CPM prices for display ads let’s pay CPC prices for the same display ads, with the same messages, with the same creatives, with the same targeting characteristics as the awareness campaign; if anybody asks something we’ll say that this is a performance campaign”.
This flaw allows the media buyers to achieve their awareness/branding results by paying CPC prices and the financial crisis started in 2008 made it possible.

AdEvolution, Apropo Media, ARBOinteractive, Digital Ads, F5, Intact Interactive, InternetCorp, Neogen, Sanoma Hearst Romania and Splendid Interactive decided that they don’t want anymore awareness campaigns with CPC prices on premium display spaces without following some simple rules.
The target of this statement are the media companies and the clients who use this system and tried to hide the display campaigns under the appearance of performance campaigns.

The guidelines proposed by the sales houses in order to set up an appropriate performance system included:

  • the exclusive use of text link ads plus an image, the display ads being used only for awareness/branding purposes
  • the image used in such a display is recommended to be an image of the product or service to be advertised (not company logo) along with a call-to-action message
  • the buying will be made available only in run-of-network or run-of-channel mode – meaning that no targeting will be made available, except contextual or demographic

The guidelines will be used starting the 1st of May 2010, but someone belonging to the Romanian advertising market can understand that the date is a little too close (many such campaigns are running at this point and probably many orders have been placed already for the next months). Therefore is hard to believe that we will not see such campaigns so soon (some players made themselves a way of living by selling awareness campaigns with CPC prices).

The main reason why this join statement is important is because it’s ONE OF A KIND! The Romanian market never saw a unique speech from the main players in order to set up some ground rules in online advertising. The industry associations (IAB, SATI) never released any guidelines regarding the way the advertising should be sold/bought through the online channel.
Some of the media agencies employees already expressed their position regarding the guidelines:
Marius Pahomi of MEC Global
Anca Radulescu of McCann Erickson

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