If you’ve advertised with Blip before, you know that your design has to go through an approval process before displaying on one of our digital billboards. In order for your design to be approved, it has to follow our billboard design rules, which you can view here!
One of our design rules is that we do not allow negative messaging to display on any of our billboards, including negative political advertising. In this blog post, we will go more in depth on why Blip doesn’t allow negative messaging on our billboards.
Our mission at Blip is to create an ecosystem that causes the best products and ideas to win. To reliably maintain this ecosystem, we must preserve two key characteristics: access and civility.
Access to the public audience via media is a strict prerequisite for any idea to be discovered, spread, and evaluated by the public. In the absence of civility, messages focused on truth and relevance get overwhelmed by sensationalism and hype. While a negative ad, political or not, could theoretically remain civil, we have yet to encounter an example of such. One negative ad would almost certainly precipitate reciprocation and escalation, resulting in a self-reinforcing cycle of even worse behavior.
Allowing advertisers to tiptoe the line between acceptable and unacceptable would require vast resources. Diverting those resources away from Blip’s core product would make the platform less valuable for every communicator and for the audience.
Blip has thousands of advertisers to every one television advertiser. The sheer scale at which we operate requires that we establish and adhere to policies that can be applied universally. It would be impossible for our moderators to evaluate each and every negative ad in order to determine whether it crosses some threshold of negativity. The only viable solution is to establish and hold firm to a bright line– for example with political ads, we only allow ads that promote a candidate or initiative.
Millions of people see ads on the Blip network every day, and nearly all these people feel passionate about something, from quilting to beekeeping to, yes, even politics! Negative ads are popular with political campaigns because they provoke a strong emotional response–positive or negative. However, when people feel like they (or their candidate) has been publicly attacked, they tend to pursue every path possible to not only respond with an attack of their own, but also to censor their opponent.
In our world, this means that if Candidate John runs an ad denouncing Candidate Jane, many of Jane’s fans call/email to shout at Blip about how their civil liberties are being threatened by that slanderous John. This consumes valuable time and attention, and–in the most extreme cases–legal expenses that we have to deal with.
We wanted to provide you with a little more context on why Blip doesn’t allow negative messaging. If your ad has been disapproved, whether it was for negative messaging or a different reason, feel free to check out our help article, My Artwork Wasn’t Approved, What Do I Do Next?
As always, we want to see the best products and ideas win, and we hope that our design guidelines and advertising platform ensure that process. We encourage you to continue advertising through Blip so that we can continue to help businesses, organizations, and voices be heard!