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Advertising Offset Credits: Calculating the Cost of Ad Pollution

Redefining the ROI of Being Annoying

If we look at advertising like pollution, then here’s a parallel concept to explore: Advertising Offset Credits. In the terrestrial world, environmental polluters can purchase Carbon Offset Credits to compensate for the damage they’ve incurred. What if we did the same thing for the most annoying advertisers? Would that make a difference?

I explore this thought experiment here in Episode 116 of my podcast (listen to mp3 file directly).

Another thing that bugs me—when companies have a “not-for-profit” arm, doesn’t it contribute to profit in some way? Are these charitable programs and foundations legit, or are they just a form of Corporate Offset Credit? Wouldn’t it be better if the corporation just did some lasting good instead of being exploitative and then “covering” for it?

Ten Principles for Better Advertising — Inspiration to Do Better

This concept of Advertising Offset Credits was inspired by a quote from Andrew Essex’s Ten Principles for Better Advertising:

Measure what actually matters: How about calculating the real damage incurred by being annoying? Traditional ROI metrics put us in this predicament, so let’s fundamentally redefine ROI. It’s time for the industry to toss out our old reporting techniques and invent an entirely new measurement system rooted in hearts and minds and humanity. No one actually pays a price for making bad ads. Imagine if we could precisely calculate the long-term cost of your irritating people.

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SOURCE: The End of Advertising: Why It Had to Die, and the Creative Resurrection to Come by Andrew Essex, pp. 205–8. (Spiegel & Grau, 2017).

Aside from Apple Podcasts, my podcast is available in almost every player: Google Play, Stitcher, Overcast (my favorite podcast app), TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Player FM, Beyondpod, and dozens of others that draw their feed from my iTunes URI.

Originally published at by Michael Boezi.

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Writer, Educator, Musician. Trying to listen more than I speak.

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