Ricochet Ads Are an Intriguing Idea

The New York Times (which I just blasted in my previous post for elitist language use) is pioneering a new kind of online advertising I find intriguing. It’s called “ricochet” advertising and here’s how it works:

  1. Advertiser chooses an article that has appeared in an online publication.
  2. Publisher creates a custom URL link to that article, to which it affixes an ad from the advertiser.
  3. Advertiser pays a fee (or share of proceeds) for a specific time period of association with the article.
  4. Advertiser promotes the article custom link to its social network.

As a rule, and as an old-fashioned news guy, I look askance at tight linkages between editorial and advertising. But this one seems, at first blush at least, to be innocuous and perhaps even mutually beneficial. It may point the way to a whole new approach to content-driven Internet marketing.

Advertisers who choose this approach will have to be very careful in choosing articles to attach to, though, because inevitably this will come to be seen as something of an endorsement.

What do you think?

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