A Word of Advice on Pinterest Ads

OgilvyEntertainment's Doug Scott weighs in

Pinterest shouldn't let agencies come in and mess with its nascent ad formats.

That's according to OgilvyEntertainment president Doug Scott. "I would just recommend that they don't accept any advertising from any agency, and it all happens in house," he said Monday morning at Advertising Week's "Visual Revolution" panel. "They understand their users best. They understand the visual medium better than anybody."

In other words, it shouldn't "go and adopt an analog ad model for a digital platform that subsequently potentially could really hurt its own brand," Scott said, citing the adoption of traditional ad units like broadcast spots for online video. "Nobody wants another another ad—a 30 second ad in front of a 2-minute video, a 15-second ad in the middle of a 5-minute video," he said. 

Scott's comments came in response to a prompt from the panel's moderator John Cantarella, president of Time Inc.'s digital news and sports group. Cantarella asked participants what advice they would offer Pinterest in the wake of last week's announcement that it would experiment with ads on its site.

Panelist Ari Lewine, chief strategy officer of visual ad startup TripleLift, which has repurposed Pinterest images from brands as ads elsewhere online, said he sees Pinterest as a roadmap for the future of Web advertising. "Their ads are going to be beautiful relevant content that people like you and I actually enjoy, and that is what we're all trying to move towards."

"Then it becomes a meritocracy," Lewine added. "Before, it was, whoever had the biggest budgets got the most eyeballs. Now it's, whoever has the best content gets the most eyeballs, because you'll share it."

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