TheStranger.com pushes Seattle ads in markets like St. Louis.
SeattleWeekly.com has learned from credible Midwestern sources that if you log onto TheStranger.com in St. Louis, you will be served ads for the 5th Avenue Theater, Eyes on Fremont, and other Seattle establishments of little interest to St. Louis residents and Stranger advertisers.
This news comes just a week after The Stranger's expose that shocked audiences around the region with word that SeattleWeekly.com and other Village Voice Media properties have received pageviews from the social media site, Digg, and as Erica Barnett notes: "...driving up traffic via Digg artificially inflates the value of VVM's web sites to advertisers."
After a few Denver hiptards discovered that Nectar isn't in the Rockies, locals began to ask: "Why the fuck am I looking at Seattle ads? I'm in Denver, bitches!"
The scandal indeed brings into question how random out-of-town readers of TheStranger.com benefit the site's advertisers. And how much of The Stranger's traffic comes from outside the Seattle Market? With all of Dan Savage's columns archived on The Stranger's site, we're guessing more than a few.
Meanwhile, the folks at SeattleWeekly.com, still licking their wounds after the lashing from their old friend Barnett, were informed that their nameless, faceless corporate overlords had launched something called "geo-targeted ads." This means that when you're in Seattle, reading SeattleWeekly.com, you get ads from advertisers in Seattle, and you see ads for performances at Seattle Rep and such. When you're reading Krist Novoselic's musings on the music industry from St. Louis, Denver, New York, San Francisco, or any of the 15 markets VVM has a news organization, you're served ads from advertisers in those cities.
Bill Jensen, VVM's Digital Media Manager says, "Call me crazy, but I'm glad people around the country are reading Duff McKagan, Uptight Seattleite, and Dategirl. We had an inkling that folks outside the city would be interested in them. All the more reason for us to launch geo-targeted ads and better serve our readers and advertisers."