Black Friday Ads Get Advance Look Online
Several websites have cropped up over time, featuring scans of advertisements big retailers like Wal-Mart and Target plan to put out for the day-after Thanksgiving. Those retailers, and one in particular, are not especially thrilled with this.
Why wait until Thanksgiving Day for the morning paper with all of the advertisements for crazy deals on Black Friday, when you can visit a selection of websites to see them in advance?
Plenty of people have done so already. Hitwise research director LeeAnn Prescott said, “Consumers have clearly caught on to the idea of planning their Black Friday shopping by using the Black Friday websites to find the best deals for holiday gifts.”
As evidence, Hitwise noted visits to the top five Black Friday ad websites jumped 167 percent for the week ended November 11th, when compared to the same period in 2005. Visits to those sites led to plenty of downstream traffic to retailers whose ads were posted online:
|Rank||Name||Domain||Market Share||Percent of Downstream Traffic to Shopping & Classifieds Websites|
|1||Black Friday Advertisements||www.bfads.net||37.65%||50.88%|
|2||Black Friday @ GottaDeal||blackfriday.gottadeal.com||27.90%||65.61%|
|5||Black Friday Ads||www.theblackfriday.com||6.96%||54.31%|
|Note: Data based on market share of visits for the week ending 11/11/06 from a sample of 10 million US Internet users|
Big box electronic retailer Best Buy does not appreciate having its ads placed on display ahead of time. Boing Boing blogger Cory Doctorow posted the news that the company sent a DMCA takedown notice to BlackFriday.info for placing its advertising on the site.
That’s an inappropriate use of the DMCA, said Doctorow:
That abuse comes from the “safe harbor” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. If an Internet service provider promptly takes down content challenged under DMCA, it receives safe harbor protection under the law.
Abusers of this provision can use it to suppress expressions of free speech they find distasteful. As Doctorow wrote, a list of prices isn’t copyrightable because it isn’t an original creative work.
Meanwhile, people will continue to enjoy these leaked postings, until the retailers get wise to the advertising potential behind this consumer interest and take advantage of it themselves.
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.