Sifting through blanket criticisms
Mention ad networks to someone who doesn't work for an ad network, and you're bound to get an earful -- and chances are most of it won't be positive. Publishers, many of whom use ad networks, often bash the business model because it doesn't generate enough revenue to support quality content. But the low prices for advertisers aren't always met with high praise.
Media buyers, nearly all of whom use ad networks on a regular basis, frequently give mixed reports. On the one hand, many media buyers say ad networks represent a great way to make a targeted ad buy across a lot of sites without going over budget. But those same media buyers often criticize ad networks for a lack of transparency, and in some cases they point to specific instances in which a campaign ended up on the entirely wrong site with disastrous results.
But criticizing ad networks en masse is about as useful as saying you don't like weather -- any weather. In other words, blanket criticisms of ad networks just don't make much sense.
As with any vendor, due diligence is critical. There simply is no substitute. But given the wide-ranging criticisms leveled at ad networks, we wanted to give the industry a chance to rebut some of the more common "lies" as they see them. Here's what some ad networks told us they regularly hear, and here's what they had to say about those complaints.