Confession Of A Patch Ad Salesman: 'I Can't Do This Any More'

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Photo: Flickr/Sbrimbillina

The staunchest defender of AOL local news blog network Patch we know (other than Patch president Warren Webster and Patch PR, perhaps) is the ad sales person who emailed us a couple weeks ago to say “screw BI and go Patch.”Well, now he’s quitting.

In an email to Business Insider, he says he’s quitting because clients figured out a way to get ads on Patch – and get lots of impressions for them – at 1/10th cost.

The trick is to buy a Google ad and target it to a Patch zip code.

The email:

While I still think what you don’t think is right, I’m looking to leave.

Someone who used to work here is out telling my local advertisers that they can sign up on google’s self serve ad thing and to advertiser on along with their keywords.

The worst part is my client is getting ads at a $2 CPM and getting impressions. I saw his dashboard. The whole point of Patch was that it was local but Google just has you put in your zip codes and then your ads launch.

My client did the maths and they paid $20 for a cpm when I sold it.

I don’t know how Google gets Patch ads cheaper than I do but I can’t do this any more. It isn’t fair to the clients that pay the whole amount from me.

I have heard Warren is going to get reassigned or resign or something. I don’t think they can take the negative PR.  

We’re sceptical about Patch because it gets so little traffic (10 million unique visitors per month) despite employing nearly 1,500 people.  

The only way Patch was ever going to justify that kind of cost structure was if the local nature of its ad inventory allowed for a huge premium over normal Internet ad rates.

According to this anecdote, at least, that does not look like it will happen.

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