Let ad revenue be your shepherd

If a guy can rent out his forehead for advertising, why can’t sheep rent out their torsos for the same purpose? That’s what the Web site hotels.nl must have figured when it decided to outfit a herd of sheep with blue blankets featuring the site’s logo. As one might expect, the move has caused some controversy, and the mayor of Skarstalen, the place in which the herd of ad-loving sheep resides, has threatened to sue if the ads/blankets aren’t removed by Monday. But so much of this story is not what it appears, despite the fact that, as this picture shows, the URL for the site looks so crisp and bright on the bodies of the sheep and that the campaign has been credited with increasing hotel bookings. For one, the mayor isn’t planning to fine for animal cruelty—actually, sheep in the area often wear protective blankets—but because there’s a local ban on roadside advertising. As for who he’s fining, it’s not the advertiser, but the sheep (or more specifically their owners). Hotel.nl’s director, indicating that he didn’t mind if the Euro stopped with him, said he’d happily pay the fine and keep right on advertising. "It goes up to a maximum of 20,000 euros, and that’s not so much." Guess he figures the controversial campaign still delivers a reasonable CPS (yeah, cost-per-sheep).

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor