Is Village Voice Media Geotargeting Their Ads?

A commenter by the name “One Who Knows…” claims to know that Village Voice Media actually is geotargeting their online ads. He/she explains in the comments of my previous post:

Ed, all of VVM geo-targets their on line ads. As such, a guy in Houston will see an ad for his city on the New York site. So there. Now what happens to all this imperical data you have displayed above? In short, VVM postings on digg help their local advertising base. And they have a national agency to sell the national impressions. Your story is well written so it makes people believe all kinds of silly accusations. But just because you blog on it, it doesnt make it true.

Sounds like I’m wrong.

Or am I?

Let’s test it.

Here’s a story on Digg that was submitted by an employee at the Houston Press / Village Voice Media (philostrato):

A Story on Digg

I clicked on that story, and here’s what I see when visiting the site from Minnesota:

Houston Press Local Ads Served Nationally

Do you see what I’m seeing? I see ads for two local Houston businesses (Killgore’s and Sandtrap Grill) while visiting from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

While Killgore’s Pub & Grille and Sandtrap Grill may be fine dining establishments, I’m not quite ready to hop on a plane to fly to Texas to find out based on a non-geotargeted ad served to someone in Minnesota who visited the through a Digg referral.

One Who Knows… either doesn’t really know what’s going on, is lying about Village Voice Media’s ad geotargeting, or two local restaurants in Houston decided to do a national ad buy.

8 thoughts on “Is Village Voice Media Geotargeting Their Ads?”

  1. And such a meaty article, eh? Really worthy being Dugg 1247 times. It is complete fluff, photos of burgers, 18 of them, meaning even if you had any interest in Houston burgers, you will have to click through 18 pages to see them; and let me guess…I’m guessing the ads change with each click, meaning if if I did care about Houston burgers, I’m here in MN, and I’m going to cost Kilgore and Sandtrap 18 times for nothing.

    At best, this is a betrayal of trust. These companies gave VVM a budget for advertising and yet hundreds or even thousands of their (just guessing here) .50 ads are being served up to people who mostly likely will never even go to Houston to say nothing of buying one of their (guessing here too) $10 burgers. That can’t be good for the old ROI on that ad campaign, can it, which means it is a double-dose of stupid.

  2. Well, I just visited the article for “14 worst valentines day gifts” at the Houston press site, and was shown adds for a Houston Futon store. I live in Cleveland, OH.

  3. Reading the Chicago Tribune today they had a link on “sauces.” I clicked and sure enough each sauce got a picture and one page and maybe a few lines of copy. And yes, the ads refreshed with each new page load.

    Funny how the ChiTrib usually holds me up for my registration data when I go to two straight pages there, but the sauce pages were, I guess, one the house.

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