There seem to be mixed feelings from the blog service providers in the region about the advertising potential of blogs. Mark Saunt of the Al Bawaba Group says it is “somewhat unethical and generally a waste of money for the advertiser.” whereas Jeeran’s Omar Koudsi claims that “Blogs, being one of the most powerful web tools by far, are offering endless opportunities in the advertising world. Soon we will see more large advertisers turning to blogs to increase sincerity of their campaigns.”
It is worth noting that Mr. Koudsi comes from a technical background, spitting a bunch of techie jargon in his interview on Campaign, while Mr. Saunt comes off as one who takes the moral high ground.
What both can’t seem to understand is that advertisers will never advertise with ‘random’ blogs. However, an advertiser may want to advertise with very popular blogs (Secret Dubai Diary comes to mind, for UAE blogs). There is no question that advertisers will sooner or later look into advertising on blogs seriously.
The question that no one seems to be asking is, how does this affect the legitimacy of a blogger allowing major advertisers to advertise there? Where do PR agencies stand on this? Currently, not a single PR or media monitoring agency has begun to even attempt to monitor blogs. For the most part, most folks in the media industry are still not taking blogging seriously enough. This is going to change as more quality and topic-specific blogs begin to surface. What do you think?