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Old 09-01-2005, 02:17 PM
 
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I'd gladly pay $500 if that was 2% of my gross. :LOL

That said, I wasn't thrilled with the response I got from the last banner I did. I was planning another one in a couple of months, but oh well. I'll find some other way!
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Old 09-01-2005, 03:00 PM
 
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wow, I don't think I can type what I'm really thinking about all of this here without getting into trouble.
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We are raising the rates in keeping with our traffic and ranking as pricing our ads too low affects our credibility with other companies and sites. We hope to produce more revenue from the web in order to increase our web staff as is needed by our growth, to pay our current mostly volunteer staff, to step up to meet server needs to provide a website and forum that loads pages in reasonable time and can accommodate the 500-600+ members that login and browse MDC during peak hours, and to continue to help and contribute space to many of the major birth and parenting non-profit organizations such as Attachment Parenting, International, Commercial Alert, The Motherhood Project, The Green Guide, Lamaze International, Midwifery Today that we help support with in-kind contributions. The even bigger vision is to create a Mother's Retreat and Educational Center with a free meeting space for family groups, an archival research and lending library and a Mother's Motel for moms in need, plus many other projects and services we have dreamed about for so long. That's the thing. They are dreams. Big dreams! And big thing holding Mothering back from making them come true is having the financial means to make it possible.
Well, at what cost will you be realizing those goals? I'm sorry, but no small business/mom and pop shop is going to be able to afford the new rates. What will that leave you with? Corporate ads that go against so much of what the very organizations you wrote stand for. Seems kind of ironic to me, if it weren't so pitifully sad and depressing. Watch out who you sell your soul to becuase in the end, you may wind up witht he funds to follow your dreams, but not the soul to guide it well.

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So yes, we are trying to increase revenue. We are trying to do that while maintaining our embrace and support of WAHMs as much as possible in offering you advertising that is affordable for your budgets.
Um, what plant do you live on where $500 is affordable for advertising in a month (if it even winds up being a month, since these rates will surely drop the number of advertisisers. With 7 million views a month, that works out to about 233K views a day. I doubt that 100K impressions will last longer than 10-14 days. So, $500 for two weeks worth of advertising- how can you honestly say with a straight face that that is "affordable"?)


I am seriously depressed and saddened by how corporate, bottom-line-sighted Mothering and MDC has become. At least at the mainstream parenting places you know what to expect, but mamas come here with the expectation that you might actually practice what you preach.
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Old 09-01-2005, 03:23 PM
 
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I was planning on running a banner this fall, but can't do it at those rates. My items are all individually hand made, and very rarely do I make two alike of any item, so I'm lucky to have $500 total inventory on my web site at one time. And now I'm working on a 2nd site with vintage items, but the nature of that is the same--all individual items.

I keep thinking that a cooperative/group ad or web site like LaLa and Erin have suggested would be nice to do (along the lines of Midday Faire--which I just love--or others like that), but I don't have time to do any more web work, nor is my web knowledge/html that great, IMO. But at least with something like that, the cost of ads would be spread among the members and it would be affordable, plus great exposure for each person's individual site...

For now, I guess I'll run a signature and see how the 'bidding' or left over ad space sells to see if that's worthwhile...
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Old 09-01-2005, 03:40 PM
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Well, at what cost will you be realizing those goals? I'm sorry, but no small business/mom and pop shop is going to be able to afford the new rates. What will that leave you with? Corporate ads that go against so much of what the very organizations you wrote stand for.
Do you view the large business ads in Mothering Magazine as such? Mothering has long run advertising for large companies that are natural family living focused, that can afford to pay these prices. But it has long sold its web advertising below its true value. That's the change here and we hope the increased revenue will help us achieve the goals we have. No soul selling involved. :LOL

Quote:
Um, what plant do you live on where $500 is affordable for advertising in a month (if it even winds up being a month, since these rates will surely drop the number of advertisisers. With 7 million views a month, that works out to about 233K views a day. I doubt that 100K impressions will last longer than 10-14 days. So, $500 for two weeks worth of advertising- how can you honestly say with a straight face that that is "affordable"?)
Let's please be civil here or the discussion will be closed.

I don't think you have read my previous posts or tried to understand what I explained in them. 100 K impressions take about a month to run and that is based on current stats. Sometimes it's a bit longer than a month. During very high traffic times it may be 25 days or so. It depends on our current traffic and ad load. House ads will also be used as will dontated space for organizations.

A couple of points to clarify things and shake off this "Omigod! WAHM ads are now $500 at MDC!!" thing being cried everywhere:

1. There will always be space held for WAHM ads. If a WAHM wishes to reserve an ad she will pay the small business price to do so and must reserve and pay on the 15th of the month prior to the month she wishes to run her ad. That is the general ad model now: Ads will be sold for the coming month and advertisers will need to place their ad requests and make payment two weeks prior to the month in which the ad will run.

2. All ad space left after that date (after Sep 15th, for example, for ads to run in October) will be remnant ad space and sold at a lower price. It will either be a set price or it will be offered for bidding or some other way of “make an offer” sales. This applies to ALL ad space, not just the left over ad space guaranteed WAHMs. But please understand that nothing is final and we will do what we can to support and work with WAHMs to make advertising possible for them.

I have sold ads to WAHMs for over three years now. Very rarely has it been a "this ad must run this week" situation. So I think the remnant ad purchasing will be fine for most and if it is decided to be offered through bidding then the price can be very very reasonable. In some cases you may even manage to grab an ad run for less than you have been paying. But that is *if* bidding for remnant ad space is approved.

I hope that explains it a bit more.

Now I ask that you please respect the standards we have for posting here. This is not a place to accuse, insult or bash anyone or Mothering or MDC. You may choose to use your own resources to do that but it's not acceptable here. We invite and welcome polite and civil discussion. But this sort of posting, Knittin' in the Shade, is not polite or civil.

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Old 09-01-2005, 05:35 PM
 
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So I think the remnant ad purchasing will be fine for most and if it is decided to be offered through bidding then the price can be very very reasonable. In some cases you may even manage to grab an ad run for less than you have been paying. But that is *if* bidding for remnant ad space is approved.
When will the bidding vs set prices on this be finalized. Where will the bidding take place, will it be an auction set up like ebay or more like a tender? Personally being told that i may have to bid on advertising prices offends me.

I am not being snarky in the following, I just don't know how the online world of magazine companies works.

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We are raising the rates in keeping with our traffic and ranking as pricing our ads too low affects our credibility with other companies and sites.
What kind of companies & sites are you talking about? Do they have any participation(advertising, marketing, articles, etc) in Mothering Magazine? Why is thier opinion so important?

Quote:
We hope to produce more revenue from the web in order to increase our web staff as is needed by our growth, to pay our current mostly volunteer staff, to step up to meet server needs to provide a website and forum that loads pages in reasonable time and can accommodate the 500-600+ members that login and browse MDC during peak hours, and to continue to help and contribute space to many of the major birth and parenting non-profit organizations such as Attachment Parenting, International, Commercial Alert, The Motherhood Project, The Green Guide, Lamaze International, Midwifery Today that we help support with in-kind contributions.
The first half related to the website I can understand. Paying advertising at the forums so Mothering can donate my money to other organizations I don't. I haven't heard of half of them.

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The even bigger vision is to create a Mother's Retreat and Educational Center with a free meeting space for family groups, an archival research and lending library and a Mother's Motel for moms in need, plus many other projects and services we have dreamed about for so long. That's the thing. They are dreams. Big dreams! And big thing holding Mothering back from making them come true is having the financial means to make it possible.
If this is true, I have a huge moral problem with this. If this is true and I was not made aware of this before, then it is my own fault for not questioning what my advertising money was going to. I was under the blind assumption that money I paid for advertising at the forums was going to running the forums and mothering.com, not towards outside projects.
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Old 09-01-2005, 06:10 PM
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Much of what you ask Carrie I really can't answer. I am trying to answer what I can but the WAHM advertising concerns are something I've expressed and it's being taken into consideration and discussed and that's why There are no specific answers yet. As I said in a couple of posts back, once the decisions are made I'll post here to let you all know. The other questions you have about companies and sites should be directed to the advertising department. You can contact them at [email protected]

Advertising revenue from MDC ads has been going into running the forums and mothering.com But it has never been sufficient to cover expenses much less provide the means to pay our volunteer staff.

The advertising model is changing and the prices are changing. With the increased revenue we hope it will create, some of that will go toward those projects. If you feel strongly against supporting that through your advertising dollars then I suppose the answer is to just not advertise here.

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Old 09-01-2005, 06:57 PM
 
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Cynthia, can you give us an idea of what the historical click-through rate for a banner ad might be? I realize that every site is going to get different traffic, but what is the average for example on a top banner? It's really not the CPM that counts, but how many people actually make it to your site out of that 1000, IMO.

Thanks,
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Old 09-01-2005, 07:14 PM
 
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the increase in rates is huge and i find it very disappointing. no small home based business could afford $500 a month. sure, we could hold out for a remnant spot, but there's no guarantee that will even be available. it's sad, but unfortunately they've already made their mind up and in my experience, our feedback here seems to have little impact on the outcome. not trying to be hostile, just stating my opinion.
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Old 09-01-2005, 09:46 PM
 
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Back when I was pregnant with Emily, a friend told me to subscribe to MOthering Magazine. I was so amazed at this magazine.... and have to admit that I have never even seen it before. In all of my years of shopping at whole foods, I never saw Mothering magazine on the shelves.

So, here I was.... getting a copy and being just amazed at how this magazine seemed to make so much sense. And I noticed all of the small companies advertising... and thought that this is what I stand for... supporting the small guy when you can. (and yes, whole foods is big, but it was the only HFS close enough for me to shop at other than a tiny herbal store that I got what I could from).

At this time, our income was above $70,000 and I could afford to pay for all of these neato hand made items.... so I became addicted to the ads more than the magazine. It was amazing. A whole pool of mother owned small family businesses all at my fingertips.

I have to say that I was impressed.

Fast forward.... I left my job and decided to become a stay at home mother myself. It just seemed so right... being able to hold my baby all day and nurse her full time, etc. It was a great decision for us. But, I was the breadwinner. So, it cut our income in more than half, so I decided to become a work at home mom and start a business in order to supplement this income a bit and be able to follow my dreams of being this stay at home mother that my son didn't get.

And my first paid ad was with mothering.com forums. Why? Because they supported the small work at home moms, of course. I was so innocent and wet behind the ears. I felt that it was like supporting the guy who supports the small guy.... meant so much to me.

I have to tell you that the more I learn, the more it breaks my heart.

It's like all this time I thought I had a puppy from a rescue and it turns out it was from a puppy mill.

That's all I'm gonna say on this subject... I'm done.

Teri
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Old 09-01-2005, 10:31 PM
 
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I'm not here to take sides, but it occurs to me that we should be supportive of Mothering's endeavors to increase their income. Why? Because if they don't make enough money to support the costs of running thier business, they will fold. And then who will champion natural parenting?

I think it's unfortunate for the small WAHMs who cannot afford to place a banner ad, but I don't think the people at Mothering were in any way trying to hurt them.

Maybe this is a sign from the spirits that you shouldn't be placing a banner ad anyway. Why not see this as an opportunity to try other types of advertising, perhaps even in different places.

I've asked twice but never got a response... those of you who currently have a top banner ad, what is your click through rate? Do you even log in to your account? What if we're all fighting to get access to something that doesn't even work?

I suspect that the banner ad click through rates on the Mothering Forums are close to 0%. For one, message forums tend to be the worst place to place an ad because people are intent upon reading their messages. The best place to put an ad is within the content. That's why I firmly believe in the power of the advertising signature. Because a person's eyes have to go past it to get to the next message in the thread.

Until someone can prove to me that their banner ad is actually generating sales, I'm not sure we've lost much of anything. KWIM?
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Old 09-01-2005, 10:53 PM
 
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Hi Erin,

I think you have a terrific point about the sigs. Up until Mothering I have never seen sigs that you pay for... but the more I think about it, the more beneficial I think it is to women who post here often.

On the banner ads - I have one running on the bottom of the forum right now - and currently the ctr is at 0.03%. This is much lower then I see women do on my site - but Mothering gets more impressions in a day then I do in an entire month. I'm satisfied with the ctr actually. Sure I wish it were better but 106 clicks on a well targeted site makes me happy I don't think I'd pay more though. Unless I was selling a tangible product and had a history of successful ad campaigns with Mothering already. Then it would be worth it.

The sig is super because of it's seo value to your site. It's also much more likely to get clickthus due to the personal relationship you are developing with members on the website. I don't imagine you can see Mothering's stats for the sig like you do with the rotation -- do you track yours on your own?

Maybe I'll go that route also...

Lori
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Old 09-01-2005, 11:10 PM
 
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i have done signature advertising in the past and may choose to do that again. however, i want to point out one main drawback with it.....you have to be very careful with what you post otherwise your advertising could turn into negative advertising if you offend in your post. and i don't think i even get into really heated topics here, but i still feel i need to censor my posts if my business sig is attached.
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Old 09-01-2005, 11:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gardenmom
I was planning on running a banner this fall, but can't do it at those rates. My items are all individually hand made, and very rarely do I make two alike of any item, so I'm lucky to have $500 total inventory on my web site at one time.
same here ... i was ready to place a banner ad in October. a sig ad would do me no good, the detail of my work needs to be seen in a photo, you know? and now that hope for me is gone. i'm thinking group sites like Midday Faire are the way to go for us WAHMs with OOAKs?

there is "small business" as in a company with 50 employees, and there is "small business" as in one mama working her fingers off. guess which small business can afford $500 for the CPM. sigh.

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Old 09-01-2005, 11:52 PM
 
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Yes definitely with a siggy ad you need to watch how you post. It's a trade off for sure.

I set up tracking for my siggy ad so I can see sales. I don't care how many clicks I get or what my click through rate is, I measure an ad's effectiveness by how much money it generates for me. Like I mentioned before, I spent $50 and I made over $500. I don't care if I got one click or a thousand. I don't care if my click through rate was 5.9% or 0.03%... all I care about is the bottom line.

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is the mentality of thinking that an ad doesn't need to pay for itself. If an ad makes you money, keep running it. If an ad is losing money, pull it. It's that simple.

Do not waste money on ads that don't work. Period.

And if you can't track the effectiveness of an ad in terms of how much money it made you then you are wasting your time and money. I just can't stress this enough.

If an ad is valuable to you in terms of search engine rankings, that's great. Even if it doesn't actually bring you sales, increasing your ranking is wonderful. That's one of the reasons I have a few ad options on my site where people pay me for the space JUST because it puts them in the top three on their search terms. They don't care if the ad ever gets a click or not. The value is what is does for their ranking.

Also, ads that show pictures don't necessarily do better than ads that are all text. Google has determined that text ads outperform image ads by a wide margin. Learn from the company that makes it it's business to know which ads work and which don't. And trust them.

Also, for the record... a banner ad at the bottom of the page ... I mean really the bottom... is the least likely place to get a click. Avoid those spots like the plague.

Now, an ad at the end of content... like in an article... that is GOLDEN! Why? Becuase when someone finishes reading an article they don't know what to do next... and that text ad at the bottom tells them what to do. It screams "click on me if you want more of what you just read."
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:49 AM
 
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I don't have ethical problems with the reasons MDC is trying to raise more money, and I think for the most part the companies that advertise will be in keeping with the NFL/AP vision of Mothering. However, I do have to say that I think $500 is well beyond what most WAHMs will be able to do. I hope the remnant ad things works out. I also feel like I have to mention how surprised I was to see an ad for Vitamin D drops in the new issue of the magazine that clearly states "Vitamin D is the only thing missing from breast milk." I had been planning to give the magazine to an expectant couple I know, and I did not do it specifically because of the misinformation in that ad. I was especially shocked since it wasn't long ago that Mothering devoted a cover and huge article to the fact that supplementation is not needed in most cases.

Cynthia, you know I am not a stickler, and I really believe in the greater Mothering vision. But this rate change makes me feel like MDC does not have a realistic idea of what WAHMs and even other very small businesses can afford (I could never have done it even with Mothersville and that was an actual B&M store). That, combined with the recent problems with questionable ads and some craziness on the forums being taken to other boards, makes for a pretty bitter pill to swallow.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:55 AM
 
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I'm not here to take sides, but it occurs to me that we should be supportive of Mothering's endeavors to increase their income. Why? Because if they don't make enough money to support the costs of running thier business, they will fold. And then who will champion natural parenting?
I have no problem if the advertising revenue is going to support running the forums and mothering.com. Of course it makes sense that with growth the income needs to increase in order to support the growth and for service organizations that means increasing advertising rates. It's the other projects I object to and yes I will no longer be advertising here(banner, signature, etc) because of those other projects. If it wasn't for the other projects the raise in advertising wouldn't be as high. This will probably help my business more than hurt it because I won't be spending nearly as much time on the forums trying to keep my signature visible, I'll be able to spend more time on my site improving it and working on my projects(plus spending time with the family).lol
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Old 09-02-2005, 02:03 AM
 
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when they started to think a certain way. Not everyone is AP, nor should they be. A free society is just that, people should be allowed to make choices. Being a good mother does not mean you have to follow certain guildlines that certain people put out. Being a good mother involves something far deeper then whether or not you breastfeed or cloth diaper.
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Old 09-02-2005, 02:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Knittin' in the Shade
wow, I don't think I can type what I'm really thinking about all of this here without getting into trouble.


Well, at what cost will you be realizing those goals? I'm sorry, but no small business/mom and pop shop is going to be able to afford the new rates. What will that leave you with? Corporate ads that go against so much of what the very organizations you wrote stand for. Seems kind of ironic to me, if it weren't so pitifully sad and depressing. Watch out who you sell your soul to becuase in the end, you may wind up witht he funds to follow your dreams, but not the soul to guide it well.



Um, what plant do you live on where $500 is affordable for advertising in a month (if it even winds up being a month, since these rates will surely drop the number of advertisisers. With 7 million views a month, that works out to about 233K views a day. I doubt that 100K impressions will last longer than 10-14 days. So, $500 for two weeks worth of advertising- how can you honestly say with a straight face that that is "affordable"?)


I am seriously depressed and saddened by how corporate, bottom-line-sighted Mothering and MDC has become. At least at the mainstream parenting places you know what to expect, but mamas come here with the expectation that you might actually practice what you preach.
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Old 09-02-2005, 02:21 AM
 
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Just for your information. My dh and his brother own a trucking company and advertise in the yellow pages for $500 a YEAR. You heard me, a huge city too. MDC has lost a marble or two along the way me thinks.
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Old 09-02-2005, 03:21 AM
 
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I debated whether or not I should post to this thread with as disheartened as I have been with mothering and their advertising over the last 6 months. But a comment from you Cynthia has made me wonder where exactly some of these figures come from:
We are raising the rates in keeping with our traffic and ranking as pricing our ads too low affects our credibility with other companies and sites. Now because of my issues with mothering in the last 6 months I have decided to begin looking elsewhere for print ads. Yes this is a little different then the banners but not very different.
You Cynthia stated that the 10% discount was going to be removed for those who advertise in the magazine and also want to run a banner campaign. So it is all related.
Regarding your comment above, as I said I have been in contact with several larger magazines. As usual, when you contact them, the true ad price vs. the listed ad price is very different, typically much lower. Same with mothering. Now for an ad in a larger magazine, same size ad, the cost is the same as your listed price. I will receive premium position, no not promised premium position and then the promise is not followed through with, they will fulfill their promise. I will receive a FREE 480 x 60 ad on their message board. I will receive FREE Christmas gift guide ad.
Most importantly I will be treated like a human, I will not have things promised that are not followed through with. I will not have a ad/banner approved, put up, then told that "it doesn't meet our guidelines", even though it has already been approved, I won't be told to change it, who cares if you have to pay or stop running it.

Now, yes, I am truly disheartened with the advertising issues and Mothering. I remember a time when MDC started to allow wahms to advertise so that they could earn enough money to improve the boards. The wahms were wonderful then. If we were promised something it was followed through with.
It is unfortunate that because of all the changes at MDC I personally feel unwelcome here as a wahm. I have always had great respect for what the magazine provides to so many moms. It is just a shame that those who once were needed to help the boards are no longer needed so they will be slowly squeezed out.

When stating that you are increasing the prices so that this site is credible, that is just ludicrous. Why not just say we are increasing the cost because our costs have increased, because we want to hire more people, or just because we want to and we can so we will. That is the truth, it has nothing to do with credibility especially since some of these other boards are offering a heck of a lot more for the same price.
I have had a friend devastated at being told that her logo was no longer good enough for MDC. MDC was able to run a banner campaign that linked to a website with books that condoned corporal punishment. MDC stated they had to let the banner run out because the company paid for whatever their duration was. Yet, a wahm, who is running a banner here with her store logo, a banner that has been running for a period of time, a banner which was approved of by MDC in the beginning, was told she must remove the offending pacifier out of her baby logos mouth, she must change her banner or you will not run it period. So what is the difference, she paid MDC, her banner was approved, was the difference that she was a little guy and a little guy really has no say so?

When speaking of being there for the wahm, yeah half off is great but who decides who is a small business? So for the next month or 2 you have some left over spots, once the new guidelines catch on these spots will most likely be gone. But until then we will auction them off to the highest bidder.

I LOVE mothering, I LOVED MDC. I dislike who MDC has become. No matter how many times you (you because you Cynthia are the one who deals with this stuff) say it is not about money, really the bottom line is it is about money. You know, having it be about money IS ok but stop feeding us a line of BS and tell us that hey we just need the extra revenue. I promise this will be better received then if we are told things like "we are raising prices to make us credible" when that is just not the truth. Your price now for a magazine advertiser and MDC advertiser is much higher then their prices.

Now, I truly hope that I am not banned because of my comments. I have kept my feelings inside for the last 6 months. I am tired of promises that are not followed through with. I wish we could have the old MDC back, the one that cared about all of it's members not just a select few

Linda B.
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Old 09-02-2005, 04:46 AM
 
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Old 09-02-2005, 07:19 AM
 
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Old 09-02-2005, 10:49 AM
 
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I doubt that there can be much more explained by Cynthia in response to some of the last page questions and repeat questions so I'm locking this before the tone gets worse BUT I strongly urge you to do the following

1) organize a collection of WAHM voices and form a written petition of your concerns and hopes for the future of WAHM advertising at MDC. Have each participating wahm contribute what she would be hopeful of and agree upon and when you have organized, send it to the Advertising Staff and Peggy. The people who are responsible for making the final Advertising decisions are not likely to read this thread. It may do no good, but then it may!

2) READ ERIN'S POSTS!!!! She has put out some really valuable points and interest, but some of the anger is clouding the issue. Some who are so upset are not upset about their personal ad price changes because some don't even participate in the said banner ads, or have and decided it was not worthwhile. I must agree with so much of what Erin has posted on this subject and there are better directions for you to invest your ad dollars, most likely, or joining those Congo shops who are paying for the high ticket ads out of your sales!

3) For those still asking for clarification from Cynthia, go back and read the email a member posted as well as the 2-3 follow up posts by Cynthia. You will see she has done her best to explain how this new setup will work.
If you still have questions, email the Advertising department of Mothering

4) Feel free to start a new post to further discuss and share advertising strategy and ideas!!!!

Let's keep this as positive as we can. What we can learn from each other is golden
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Old 09-02-2005, 05:20 PM
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Just posting to add that we will continue to sell advertising at the usual MDC banner prices to WAHMs for now and probably until the new ad model is fully active and the new design for the website is in place.

I will discuss the future of WAHM advertising with Peggy and the ad staff, sharing your concerns about the big increase in prices and the other feelings you have expressed here.

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