Practice What You Preach

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Don't choke on your cappuccinos folks. You will be surprised to learn that William Greene doesn't practice what he preaches ("The Coming Net Advertising Shakeout," Sept. 21).

In his column, Greene wrote: "If my allowable is around $6.25 per order, then it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the most I can afford to pay for banner advertising is about $1.50 per thousand impressions. One dollar and fifty cents CPM? Most Web site publishers would choke on their cappuccinos if you asked them to buy at that rate. ... Balderdash. It's been well reported that more than half of all banner ad inventory goes unsold (some sources say as much as 75 percent). The top-name sites that gobble up most of the online advertising dollars are setting the standard by artificially inflating the ad costs. ... So what does this all mean? It means that very soon the direct marketers, who are already in the process of taking over online advertising, are going to drive those traditional advertising models into the sea of forgetfulness (and drive those prices down to $1 CPM and $0.01 CPC)."

However, if you visit Greene's Web site and want to do a banner advertising campaign on the Grizzard Network (, you're going to have to pay on a CPM basis, $15 CPM to be exact. If you want to advertise on one of its newsletters (, you pay a flat rate of $150 per insertion. And if you want to advertise on Direct Marketing Online, you will pay $20 CPM. His e-mail list ( goes for $30 CPM.

He's got a great line in there: "Cost is $20 CPM, with a minimum purchase of 20,000 impressions; this means that you can have your banner ad shown a minimum of 20,000 times for only $400!"

Apparently, Greene believes there is some value in repeated exposure to a highly focused, desirable audience! Is he perhaps a Closet Branding Guy?

Hmm ...

If cost per action is such a compelling model, why doesn't Grizzard price all of its Internet advertising vehicles on that basis?

In the article, Greene addresses the numerous benefits of CPC for site publishers: "Publishers will be happy because they've sold their entire inventories and finally have positive cash flow to show for it. Their shareholders -- stock or otherwise -- will be happy, because they won't have to keep screaming, 'Show me the money!' Advertisers will be happy because they're actually getting a solid return on investment in their Internet marketing efforts (for a change)."

I'll say this for the record: I want Greene to be a happy guy. I want his shareholders to be happy. And I want to get a solid return on my investment. So, Mr. Greene, I'll offer you $.01 per click for all your inventory. Do we have a deal?

Don't choke on your cappuccino!

Andrew Bourland


The ClickZ Network

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