My Advertising Pays (MAP’s) – An Ad Exec’s Opinion

So apparently there’s this amazing new advertising platform on the block. According to its CEO and Chief Communications Executive it’s actually “tomorrow’s advertising today”. So at this point you’re possibly thinking, wow, it must be able to target potential customers for advertisers based on some incredible algorithms that mean it knows before the customer does what you want. You also might be thinking, there must be some serious advertising and/or tech heavyweights behind this – maybe some Facebook or Google alumni? Either way, this sounds like the sort of company that the VC’s down Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley would be fighting each other to be the lead investor in for the Series A fundraise.

You’d be wrong on every point.

My Advertising Pays that genuinely does bill itself as “Tomorrow’s advertising today” has none (zero, nada) of the aspects of what you would potentially anticipate. Before I get into what the business is, let’s take a look at who is behind the business. The truth is it’s not entirely clear – there is a CEO named as Mike Deese, but he has no experience or background in either advertising or technology. He is not Googleable (my word), not accountable for what he actually has done in the past, and doesn’t have any connections to the advertising or technology worlds. Sure, but maybe he has a top team of industry veterans around him? Nope – there is no other discernible exec team around him, bar a UK based couple (that are closer to retirement than they would care to admit) that appear to do nothing other than promote this service.

So what is it that MAP’s brings to the table? Well apparently if you spend $50 on advertising on their site and you are happy to click on other people’s advertising there (10 others to be precise), every single day,  then you will qualify to have all of your money back with a cherry of $10 on top three months later (divvyed out every 20 minutes apparently). So your advertising is only being clicked by other people who want to qualify for their 20% returns. Brilliant – I can just see the CMO at General Motors planning how he can max out his $500million+ annual digital budget on MAP’s so he can pocket the $100mill back to show off to his CFO. “But did we sell many cars?” he’ll ask, “no, but look how much money I brought back in” he’ll reply. Hopefully your sarcasm detector is beeping for all its life right now.

The believers in MAP’s will try and have you believe that traffic = sales. Any marketer worth their salt know this not to be true, which is precisely why billions of dollars is spent on understanding who an advertisers real potential market is , and then to target them in the most efficient way possible. Having people click on your ad and visit your site because they pretty much have to is a wasted exercise for all involved.

From a purely advertising perspective this could not really be any worse; the site looks terrible, the rest of the advertisers are appalling, there is zero creativity, the users are only clicking on your ads because they have to and other than that have zero desire to engage or buy what’s on the other side.

So if it’s not really advertising what is it? Money in, more money out…… Oh, that’s right it’s an investment. SO why not just come out and say that? Why the smoke and mirrors? For now, I’ll let you make your own mind up about that…..

Jon Walsh, Partner

Media Ventures (Europe) Ltd