Earlier this week, I wrote about the frustration I felt finding Bell TV advertising on websites which had stolen content from Digital Home. I also it found it quite shocking that Bell was advertising on sites advocating satellite piracy.

Since that article was written, I have been contacted by Bell Canada and Cossette Media, the media buying shop responsible for recommending where Bell Canada places their advertising.

In emails and phone calls, Cossette Media has informed me that Bell does not "purchase sites pertaining to satellite piracy" and a Bell representative has condescendingly asked me if I really believe that Bell would advertise on satellite piracy sites. This despite the fact that my blog posting clearly showed two screen shots from two sites advocating and/or selling the knowledge of how to steal encrypted television signals destined for Echostar satellite receivers.

After being admonished by the Bell representative, I asked how the Bell.ca ads found their way on to ftatalk.com and totalfta.com. The Bell representative, who had not read the Digital Home article but had only been informed about It from another source, told me that these ads were likely purchased by a Bell "dealer" and that Bell would thoroughly investigate any dealer advertising on such sites.

When asked if a Bell dealer would purchase advertising that would link to bell.ca/moving, the Bell representative admitted the advertising was a corporate advertisement purchased through Cossette Media, however, it was likely purchased through a "web network."

According to the Bell representative, the company has no control over which sites the ads actually appear on when purchased through a "web network."

Upon further investigation, it appears that Bell's "web network" is actually Google adwords and according to the folks at Google, advertisers do have the ability to control where the ads run.

It seems the Google adwords network has several methods for managing the placement of ads. The first approach is a top down approach where Bell could run a report called the "URL Report" which would allow them to see all the sites they are advertising on and simply eliminate those which don't meet their criteria. The second approach is a bottoms up approach where Bell could make use of a Google adwords feature called managed placements, which Google says allows advertisers to only run ads on hand-picked sites.
Whatever approach is taken, control of where the ads are displayed is certainly possible.

-- Hugh Thompson Digital Home Blog
Discuss Bell's Direct-to-Home satellite television and IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) services in Digital Home's Satellite Piracy in Canada and the U.S. in 2010 discussion thread in our Bell TV forum.