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October 25th, 2002

Referrer Advertising

Taking a look at Mastodonte, you might just think that they’re a typical marketing company, albeit one that operates primarily in French. They throw around lots of “e”s and have a moderately cool logo, but it’s too bad that one of their own “viral marketing” products is incredibly lame and hurts the very structure of the web.

Mastodonte Referrer Advertising allows people to advertise their site through referrer information. So, the target audience is webmasters of personal sites that obsessively check their referral logs. Now, in place of an actual referrer, they may see a link to a site that has no actual link or mention of the user’s site anywhere: it’ll just be an ad.

This is a stupid idea on a number of levels. First, it degrades the value of referrer logs. Webmasters don’t look at their referrer logs to be hit in the face with ads, they look to see who’s linking to them so they know who to thank or link back to. Secondly, it has to be massively ineffective. With a target audience that’s likely to be acutely aware of when they’re being bombarded with ads, they’re the types (like me!) that will be more likely not to buy something from someone who invades their logs.

Huh, huh… “invades their logs”… so dirty sounding…

But, if the idea of advertising in an invasive fashion to a group of people that will likely avoid your product simply because of your marketing tactics sounds like a good idea for your company, it can be yours for only $1000 (US).

And, by the way, these people can’t even spell “campaign.” Stupid dumbheads.

Posted in Miscellaneous

FROM: Paul [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday October 25, 2002 -- 8:16:33 am
I have actually seen this. Lots of referrers (well, not lots - more like 6) from pure porn sites. That's fun to click on! Er, wait.

I don't like it.

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday October 25, 2002 -- 3:43:54 pm
I've never understood the obsession with referrer logs. I look at mine very occasionally. But, I can't see this working as an advertising method. Most likely it really piss off a lot of people and lead to Mastodonte being 0wn3d by some hax0r

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