Today I stumbled on a new term: Bative ads.
First, I thought the term is quite funny. Second, I realized I finally found the term to describe the sad reality of modern Internet. Bative Ads is a term to describe click-bait advertisements from publishers that take users to valueless content to pull ad dollars, or direct-response ads that mask themselves as content to misguide users.
Bative publisher content
Often found on social media or in content discovery widgets, Bative publisher content masks itself as a social story or relevant content. Once user clicks through, they often end up on pages cramped with ads. Remember last time you saw some 'Top 10 celebrity' list and every item on the list is on a new page? That's Bative content.
Big guys like Facebook are catching on to it by suppressing posts and ads that are click-bait-y by measuring how long users stay on the site after clicking the link, and the level of engagement they show with the post. Here is an example of what Facebook is trying to stop:
Bative ads are ways to abuse the concepts of native advertising and push direct-response message masking it as content. At this point I think we all have accidentally ended up on a fake news sites that preach the miracles of health supplements that they coincidentally suggest you buying at the end of an article. Here is an example:
The unfortunate reality is that these ads are everywhere. Companies take advantage of consumers that aren't savvy to distinguish real from a fake publisher that advocates a certain product.
Companies using sneaking advertising techniques do not build sustainable repeat business from consumers. Publishers that help spread this message lose trust in the eyes of consumers which leads to deterioration of their audience. It's easy to follow the immediate dollars without regard for the future. But let's all agree that to build a sustainable, long lasting brand-consumer or publisher-reader relationship what needs to be put on the forefront is quality and transparency.
This is a call for all advertisers, publishers and technology companies:
Start saying No to producing and spreading Bative Advertising.