We have often heard about pay per click advertisements being displayed at inopportune times or on inopportune news stories, but it is mostly the case of PPC managers who don’t react quickly enough when a bad news story hits their market area – such as cruise ships advertising on Costa Concordia news stories or Porsche dealerships with their paid ads being displayed on news stories about the Paul Walker tragedies. However, it isn’t too often that we see pay per click advertisers targeting disasters for predatory advertising.
Clearly from the ad copy, this company targeted the disaster (and the many people who would search for it in order to find the latest news on the airplane crash) to sell their life insurance policies.
The company also created a custom landing page for their Malaysian Airlines targeted pay per click campaign as well.
“We were made aware of the ads and immediately contacted our overseas partner and ordered it to be taken down,” said Warren, an employee of Lisa Group who declined to reveal his surname before putting down the phone on Mumbrella’s Australian site.
A search of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) revealed the holder of the Lisa Group ABN as Warren Grant Lazarus.
“I apologise for any distress this has caused,” Warren added. “We have removed the ad.”
He refused to name the SEO firm or comment on whether it would continue working with the company.
While having your ads run on disastrous news stories can be an unfortunate part of the pay per click business, doing something as this goes well beyond poor taste and hopefully we will not see more of this happening in the future.
And as for the search marketing company the Lisa Group hired, a quick look at their website’s blog spam backlinks reveals a lot about the quality of the search marketing company who would try and capitalize off a disaster.
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