Oops (the perils of automation)
Of course, automatic placement of ads has some drawbacks, which is always of concern to editors. This example, which I stumbledupon this morning, is a perfect example:
This ad fails on multiple fronts, though I wonder if some of that some may have been intentional.
First, to create an ad which includes images of guns pointing left and right will lead to situations like this all the time on news pages. The layout of this ad should have been rejected immediately for this reason alone - the guns could have easily been depicted facing at an angle that would have prevented such juxtapositions.
Second, ad placement software is designed to search for keywords such as murder, rape, crime, homicide and so forth...and prevent ads like this one from appearing on pages containing sensitive material. If this ad appeared on the NRA web site, or a site geared toward gun collectors, normally that would be no problem. But a general-interst news site needs different guidelines. Local news sites might need even tighter guidelines for various stories.
Third, a clear method of accountibility needs to be present. At our local news sites, readers can always call the local editor or publisher to report situations like this one. But at a national or aggregated news site, the only feedback method is often a 'contact us' box which often warns readers that replies are rare.