Archive for October 6th, 2010

Ad revenue high on medical marijuana

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Alternative newspapers and mainstream metropolitan dailies are cashing in on medical marijuana, the New York Times says.

“It is hard to measure what share of the overall market they account for, but ads for medical marijuana providers and the businesses that have sprouted up to service them — tax lawyers, real estate agents, security specialists — have bulked up papers in large metropolitan news markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver,” the newspaper said Tuesday.

The Obama administration said last fall that it would not prosecute users and suppliers of the drug as long as they complied with state laws. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia make legal allowances for medical marijuana, the Times says.

Demand is so large that newspapers are publishing supplemental guides to medical marijuana with titles like “Chronic-le,”  which had 48 pages for its summer issue,  “The Rolling Paper” and “ReLeaf,” also 48 pages last week

Scott Tobias, president and chief operating officer of Village Voice Media, which publishes alternative weeklies across the country, said that in Denver, money from advertising for marijuana-related businesses has totaled 15 percent of the weekly Westword’s revenue this year and nearly 40 percent of its classified advertising revenue.

At The Missoula (Montana) Independent, medical marijuana advertising now makes up about 10 percent of the paper’s revenue.

Advertisers set up opt-out on behavioral ads

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Some 5,000 advertisers led by the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the American Advertising Federation have agreed to offer an opt-out device to thwart behavioral marketing, or the practice of sending ad messages based on the user’s online searches.

Behavioral advertising opt-out icon

Behavioral advertising opt-out icon

“The program promotes the use of the Advertising Option Icon (right) and accompanying language, to be displayed within or near online advertisements or on Web pages where data is collected and used for behavioral advertising,” the group’s statement says. “The Advertising Option Icon indicates a company’s use of online behavioral advertising and adherence to the principles guiding the program. By clicking on it, consumers will be able to link to a clear disclosure statement regarding the company’s online behavioral advertising data collection and use practices as well as an easy-to-use opt-out option.”

“The industry initiative is based on guidelines recommended last year by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission,” Bloomberg says. “The FTC’s proposals stemmed from the agency’s continuing inquiry into how companies tailor their advertising to individuals and whether practices based on consumer Web browsing intrude on privacy.”

Behavioral targeting is the cornerstone of such online marketing as Yahoo’s Newspaper Consortium, which includes such publishers as McClatchy, Cox, Belo, Scripps and Media News Group.

Addendum: Our original post about the FTC’s regulation of behavioral targeting slipped our mind this morning.