HubPages Blocked From MySpace MyAds As Too Competitive

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MySpace has an embarrassing situation today involving their new MyAds self service advertising product – they’ve repeatedly rejected ads from a startup called HubPages as competitive to MySpace, despite the fact that the site isn’t a social network.

Ryan Hupfer from HubPages (who coincidentally is the author of MySpace For Dummies) writes:

This is a follow-up for these 2 posts (here and here) that you guys have written on the new MySpace MyAds advertising platform, which I was initially excited for and now wish that I’d never seen due to it being a complete waste of my time. I thought that you might enjoy hearing a first-person encounter with the system and from a business that actually utilizes these types of campaigns as a way for new member recruitment. I will give you a brief overview and if you’d like more information, I’d be more that happy to talk more about it.

Who I am:
My name is Ryan Hupfer and I’m the Communicator of Awesomeness! (marketing manager) at HubPages.com, a US top 250 website that focuses on helping writers monetize topical content. I believe that Mike knows one of our founders, Paul Edmondson pretty well and you wrote about our launch back in 2006. You last wrote something about in May of 2007 when we changed our look and added some text ad optimization to the site.

Why I’m contacting you:
Part of my job is to keep new writers coming into HubPages and we do all types of CPC campaigns and other online partnerships to help with this. Well, I have been using Facebook ads for quite a while now and have been very pleased with the results. It’s super easy to use, targets well and is very easy to create, update and manage as the campaigns progress over time. Well, when I heard that MySpace was coming up with the same type of self-service ad system I was pretty excited to try it out. I even had one of our designers come up with 2 versions of 5 ads that I wanted to start running. Well, as I started creating the campaigns, I first noticed a few things:

1. The targeting isn’t nearly as good as Facebook (I couln’t even target Finance or Autos topics)

2. The platform is very Flash heavy and super slow/clunky compared to Facebook

3. The campaign setup was fairly confusing and it seemed like I could only add one ad to a campaign, which dictates the ad budget (which had to be over $25). So that’s a daily spend of $25 per ad.

Despite these slowdowns, I still continued on and entered in each of the ads, with 2 versions of each (300 square and 728 banner). But, as I began to enter them in I noticed that they were starting to get rejected just as quickly as I was adding them in. I wasn’t really sure why they were getting rejected until I received an email from MySpace with a reason. This is where it gets interesting, too due to the fact that I received several different reasons for rejection for the same ad after I resubmitted it again. Also, 5 out of the 10 ads made it through, no probem so I have no idea why the some were rejected and some weren’t. Here are some screenshots of the rejection from the platform and here are a few quotes from the email that was sent to me (2 of them are different and they were for the same ad):

Rejection #1 (same ad as Rejection #2, but with different reason)
Dear Advertiser:

The Write 300 advertisement in your campaign(s) MySpace Writing 300 was reviewed to ensure that it complies with our editorial guidelines. We would like you to know that your ad was not accepted for the following reason: Other – Not accepting this type of business.

Rejection #2
Dear Advertiser:

The Write 300 advertisement in your campaign(s) MySpace Writing 300 was reviewed to ensure that it complies with our editorial guidelines. We would like you to know that your ad was not accepted for the following reason: Other – Promotion of a Myspace Competitor.

Rejection #3
Dear Advertiser:

The auto 700 advertisement in your campaign(s) auto 700 was reviewed to ensure that it complies with our editorial guidelines. We would like you to know that your ad was not accepted for the following reason: Other – Myspace competitor, cannot promote.

So, not only did they continue to reject my ads (and my money), but they did it in a very inconsistent way, not to mention that I would never view HubPages as a competitor to MySpace in the first place.

Anyways, I thought that you and the rest of the TechCrunch crew would find all of this pretty interesting and I would be curious to see if anyone else is having the same issues with the new MyAds platform. As an advertising platform it’s not even in the same ballpark as Facebook’s system, but maybe other people would say otherwise. If you’d like to post something about this, feel free and if you’d like more information, just let me know.

I contacted MySpace and they said the rejection is an error and will be reversed. They did confirm that they reject ads from “direct competitors,” and point out that Facebook does the same. In this case, though, they said that their customer service representatives were overzealous in rejecting the ads.

MySpace also says they now have 10,000 advertisers on the platform. Earlier this month we reported early revenue numbers for the product.

Update: MySpace emails to say:

- You can target Autos…car tuning, muscle cars, trucks, motorcycles. Finance is coming next week.
– Facebook only allows text ads – MyAds gives you complete creative control which is why there is an ad builder.
– There’s no daily budget. You set the start and end dates and the amount. Min $25 total budget.
– Yes you can only have one ad per campaign but you can have up to 100 campaigns.

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