Last week USA Today posted a story with the headline: "Woman jumped from ship, boyfriend followed." Oblivious to the content, an ad singing the praises of Norwegian Cruise Lines has been served directly beside it for days now.
Evidently, programmatic buying — the practice of serving web ads via automatic platforms — has some kinks in it. The ad was probably triggered either because the buy was targeting content on cruise ships or because the buyer was targeting USA Today's audience generally.
George Parker, writing on AdScam, noticed the screwup. "What the hell ever happened to human beings making decisions about stuff like this?" he asked.
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