Topic for discussion....should Web sites (or any media channel really) turn away particular advertisers because of a risk of negative or undesirable association with the buyer's brand? How sensitive should they be to protecting their OWN image?
Not being directly involved in media buying myself, i'm not clear how widespread this behavior is...I assume that it's common for particular sites or media outlets to want to avoid the shady halo of pornography, alcohol, cigarette advertising etc....(and their flexibility is limited anyway.) We heard ad nauseum about GoDaddy's efforts to tone down their Superbowl advertising to something the network considered respectable, so we do see glimpses of media outlets exerting some kind of control over the messages they're paid to transmit.
But, what about when it's not just a matter of questionable content? What if a brand is a lame duck...and they want to advertise on a Web site that's all about cool? A recent article in New York magazine mentions Gawker's efforts to protect their image.... "Gawker even claims to turn away advertisers that are too low-rent; the site’s ad manager boasted to Mediaweek that it takes no Ford or Chevy ads because “we hate American cars” and no pharmaceutical ads because “our readers are healthy and beautiful.”
Do both the media outlet and the advertister deserve to benefit from association, even when one is compensating the other for the airtime?