May 7, 2012
If you’re not pissing someone off, you’re probably not innovating

“If you’re not pissing someone off, you’re probably not innovating.” Philip Auerswald

We launched fakepreroll.com to raise awareness of auto-play preroll – video ads that auto-play on a web page where the viewer has shown no intent to watch the ad or the content after the ad.  These ads are typically run within banner units or in small, syndicated players below the fold.  In many cases we believe that bad actors bundle auto-play and user-initiated pre-roll (without disclosing such) to fulfill campaigns. 

You can say that we hit a nerve.  We received multiple frantic calls and emails and two cease and desist letters.  One letter claimed that we don’t know what was actually sold, which is true.  It is possible that an in-banner auto-play video unit was sold.  This seems highly unlikely in most cases as the units aren’t formatted like rich media units and have content playing after the ad to simulate a pre-roll experience.

There’s an industry panel at least once a week where industry pundits debate why more TV money isn’t flowing into digital video.  Usually someone says there’s a lack of standards followed by another comment on lack of premium inventory.  Neither of those assertions are relevant.  The only reason the floodgates are not opening is that when making digital video buys the buyers don’t always know what they are buying – and when buying TV they do.  It’s as simple as that and this site was meant to be part of the solution - and not solely a site to call out competitors.