PBS Online has announced that, starting October 1, it is making additional inventory available for online advertising. For all of you direct marketers who successfully rent the mailing lists of public TV stations, this should be good news. For here is another way to get at the more highly-educated, well-off and engaged Influentials who typify both PBS' viewing audience (a skew that probably becomes even more pronounced amongst PBS' broadband-equipped online audience) and progressive donors.

But not so fast.

The published PBS Online guidelines, mimicking the broadcast advertising & sponsorship groundrules of parent PBS, expressly bar “political material” (defined as lobbyists and advocacy groups) and apply a “Strict Review” policy to “controversial topics” (not further defined). Further guidelines suggest that advertisers probably cannot target their messages on web pages that contain content that's actually relevant to the advertiser.

What this means in practice is that a corporate advertiser like BP, for instance,

Continue reading “PBS Online – They Giveth & They Taketh Away”

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