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Beware malware online ads served via DoubleClick platform

Malware attack

It was only a matter of time…

Via /.

The worst-case scenario used to be that online ads are pesky, memory-draining distractions. But a new batch of banner ads is much more sinister: They hijack personal computers and bully users until they agree to buy antivirus software. And the ads do their dirty work even if you don’t click on them.The malware-spiked ads have been spotted on various legitimate websites, ranging from the British magazine The Economist to baseball’s MLB.com to the Canada.com news portal. Hackers are using deceptive practices and tricky Flash programming to get their ads onto legitimate sites by way of DoubleClick’s DART program. Web publishers use the DoubleClick-hosted platform to manage advertising inventory.”

Is this DoubleClick (or Google’s – the parent company) fault for accepting the ads with the malicious code (my opinion is: yes to both Google and DoubleClick)? The website’s for accepting questionable ads on their property? Our ad-based, get it live now, society?

If you were doing public relations for DoubleClick or the online destinations, what would you advise your client?

It also appears that, based on some of the comments on the post, ad-blocking software is not fool-proof against this type of attack.

btw – all comments are set to go to moderation now… been under heavy spammer attack recently. Apologies to legit folks, I’ll try and approve as soon as I can!

[photo credit: KOoLiNus via Flickr]

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Simple steps to optimize your corporate tagline online

 maximize corporate taglines online

Taglines have always played an important role in distilling a brand’s essence into a short and memorable phrase that hopefully resonates with consumers. The tagline is utilized across all mediums – print, TV, radio, OOH, website, etc. to provide cross-channel reinforcement. As search engines become the norm for distilling information online and social media use becomes more widely adopted, brands would do well to revisit how effectively they are maximizing the reach of their ‘essence’ on the web.

The following tactics will help consumers find your content in ways that are intuitive to them (i.e. not all people remember the brand; many will only remember the tagline or key phrase and conduct a search using that terminology), as well as continuing to reinforce your brand message across a wider platform.

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1. Your website

When looking at your website keep in mind the potential ways you can ensure that all the offline advertising dollars spent on establishing the tag in the consumers mind aren’t wasted by neglecting to continue that reinforcement, not just for the front-end user of your site (the consumer), but with the back-end user as well (the search engine crawler).

A few easy ways to ensure your tagline is integrated:

- Ensure your tagline is readable by the search engines: don’t embed it in a graphic or header without using an image alt tag and description.

- If your tag is an important part of your brand ID (ala: Just Do ItTM) use it within your title tags – this is both front-end branding and back-end context for the engines.

- Don’t stray in your copy from your brand essence. If you are claiming to be extraordinary, make sure your website reads like it. When possible, and when contextually relevant, integrate your tagline within your website copy.

- Incorporate it into your footer information in text format (e.g. © Widget Co.: Make it happen).

2. Social media tagging and optimization

- If you have a blogging, forum, photo-sharing, video-sharing, podcasting, social tagging, or similar social media strategy incorporated into your communications mix, it’s a good idea to decide on a list of terms you’re going to be using regularly as tags for consistency and add your tagline to the folksonomy as appropriate.

- Use it in your RSS feed title if relevant to the content.

3. Search engine marketing

- If search engine marketing is part of your advertising mix, you may want to consider bidding on your own tagline if it is too generic to optimize fully organically. Oftentimes the ROI on this type of bidding can be well worth it. A non-profit client of Wildfire’s used this tactic to successfully drive long-tail conversions for a campaign where the cost to optimize would far out-weigh the benefits.

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Companies who neglect to incorporate their tagline into their search engine optimization, social media optimization and search engine marketing efforts are potentially wasting valuable market equity and failing to maximize the full spectrum of their marketing communications budget, when with a well-developed strategy the tagline can build further resonance and extensibility in the digital space.

Do you have any additional tips for keeping a tagline top-of-mind online? Leave a comment!

[photo credit: dontaylor on Flickr]

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The Internet Becomes Cable…

The Internet Becomes Cable - EFF

Or why the EFF is good. Nice illustration of the battle over Net Neutrality.

[H/T - kevin via Corrente - view larger size]

Speaking of Cable… A new YouTube product placement agency out of Montreal: BrandFame.

Youtube product placement

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Off to SES Toronto

I’m spending the next two days at Search Engine Strategies Toronto where I’ll be part of the “Site Clinic” panel today and the Get Dugg WOM panel. If you’re in the neighbourhood stop by and say hello! The conference appears to be rock solid this year and has something searchie-goodness for everyone.

I’m not one for live blogging, but hopefully we’ll have a few bloggers on hand to provide summaries as we go for those not attending this year.

;

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Does social media = online media?

In an article on ClickZ today about building great brands, Tessa Wegert conflates social media (i.e. blogs, social networking sites, etc.) with online media buying. Something here doesn’t sit right with me. Is social, conversational, media in the same relm as banner ads, email, search, etc.? Is it a commodity that can be bought and sold within traditional media departments? The purpose of social media is to engage in a conversation & share things you are passionate about with the world – is that something that can be achieved with an I.O.?

I’m not convinced it could or should. It’s an art and one that is best suited to a partnership between marketing strategists, PR, tech, and media folk… and it’s not “online media” except in the loosest sense in my opinion. What do you think?

[photo credit: The Department on Flickr]

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