Almost every major news outlet now invests in buying search keywords through online auctions, according to the Wall Street Journal. The practice has received renewed attention in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, with search terms like "Virginia Tech shooting" and "Virginia Tech massacre" climbing to a cost of $5 per click before settling in at less than 10 cents per click the week after. The Journal also reports that some news organizations are buying search keywords to highlight features on their sites that produce more revenue, like video.

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An elaborate Procter and Gamble marketing campaign that included ads in dozens of alt-weeklies is a sign of the rapidly changing advertising philosophies at blue-chip companies, reports the New York Times. The slick and subtly tongue-in-cheek $1 million campaign, "Men With Cramps," quietly rolled out in September and ultimately generated enough buzz to rate a mention on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.” The Times notes that other corporate heavies experimenting with non-traditional marketing include American Express, Cadbury Schweppes, Coca-Cola, Ford Motor, and General Electric. The P&G campaign was crafted to highlight the company's ThermaCare line of heat pads, which helps menstrual pain.

Continue ReadingMajor Marketers Take Risks With Online Campaigns