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This Just In: Sex Sells

In the shadow of the KeenSpot Newsbox controversy, a different discussion sparked by ads is happening in a number of threads in the Talk about comics forum. The reason for this discussion is that several recent ads have contained nudity.

Talk about comics uses the Open Ads Network, which is Modern Tales own advertising network currently under construction. OAN will be available for use by cartoonists outside of MT as well and ways to deal with controversial ads will be available, as explained by Joey Manley in one of the threads:

The OAN code requires artists uploading ads to specify whether or not they contain nudity (or violence, vulgar language, or animation) -- and allows webmasters to filter out ads with nudity (or any of those other flags) from appearing on their sites. (And there's a way that they can officially report those scoundrels who lie and say their ads don't contain nudity, when they actually do).

So I'm glad that some of our currently-running alpha test ads contain nudity: that will give me an opportunity to test the filtering feature later.

It is interesting to note that the ads featuring nudity has a notably high click-through rate. The ad for Mikael Oskarsson's Flick has an impressive 10% click-throughs and the ad featuring the nude backside of Killroy, a blue alien in the webcomic Killroy and Tina, has 4,05% as opposed to an "ordinary" Killroy and Tina ad, which has a rate of 0,68%.

UPDATE: Reinder Dijkhuis points out that the Killroy and Tina ads comparison is flawed as it compares a horisontal ad with a large skyscraper ad. Posts in this thread also seems to indicate that the current "anti-nude" ads that are running are getting high click-throughs.

Re: This Just In: Sex Sells

It is interesting to note that the ads featuring nudity has a notably high click-through rate. The ad for Mikael Oskarsson's Flick has an impressive 10% click-throughs and the ad featuring the nude backside of Killroy, a blue alien in the webcomic Killroy and Tina, has 4,05% as opposed to an "ordinary" Killroy and Tina ad, which has a rate of 0,68%.

That last comparison, between the blue backside ad and a generic KNT ad is based on outdated information (the backside ad is now under 3%) and meaningless without taking into account the difference in performance between vertical sidebar ads and traditional 468*60 banners. Banners, for the most part, have very low clickthrough rates (just like they have everywhere), but do get displayed more often.

The Flick ad is an outlier. I think it has as much to do with it being a very good, simple graphic and a slight annoyance factor as it has with the nudity.