Vatican helps launch church-approved ads for Catholic Web sites

VATICAN CITY — An Italian startup is launching a web advertising platform that aims to provide Catholic websites with Catholic-approved … Continued

VATICAN CITY — An Italian startup is launching a web advertising platform that aims to provide Catholic websites with Catholic-approved advertisements.

The platform, called AdEthic, will be presented on Thursday (Sept. 20) at a press conference in Rome, as part of a wider Catholic project to engage in social media.

According to Andrea Salvati, a manager at Google Italy who will take the role of CEO at AdEthic in October, the platform wants to tap into the vast Catholic online market that has so far been unable or unwilling to use advertisements.

Many Catholic webmasters are “scared” that inappropriate advertisements, such as sexually related content or messages from “bogus religious groups,” will be displayed on their pages by context-sensitive automatic ad generators such as Google’s AdSense, said the Rev. Paolo Padrini, an Internet-savvy priest.

Padrini, who launched the iBreviary prayer app for iPhone last year, will head the ethics committee that will ensure the Catholic values of the platform’s ad partners.

“We want to offer highly selected, high-quality, controlled advertisement to the Catholic online world,” he said.

Moreover, AdEthic will offer Catholic websites the chance to “monetize” their traffic while supporting charity at the same time, Salvati said.

“There are 13,000 Catholic websites in Italy but they are too small and too fragmented to monetize their online traffic,” he said.

Part of AdEthic revenues will be used to fund charitable projects. “We want to turn the concept of advertisement upside down,” said Padrini, transforming it from something that “aims exclusively at profit to something that promotes solidarity.”

While there are no firm data on traffic to Catholic websites, Salvati estimates that around one-third of Italy’s 28 million Internet users visit one of them at least once a month. AdEthic aims to group them together in order to make them a desirable target for advertisers.

AdEthic will start operating in Italy, but aims to eventually expand to other countries. It hopes to attract websites with at least 2 million monthly users to its network by the end of 2012. “We will start selling advertisement space then,” Salvati said.

The advertisement platform is part of Aleteia, a Catholic social network that will launch officially on Thursday. Both Aleteia and AdEthics are promoted by the Foundation for Evangelization through the Media, a Rome-based Catholic lay organization that aims to promote faith through social media.

The foundation works in partnership with the Vatican on some media projects, in order to realize Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 call to proclaim the gospel on the “digital continent.”

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.

Comments are closed.

Read More Articles

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

noplaceonearth
An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

Pile_of_trash_2
Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

shutterstock_148333673
Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

shutterstock_53190298
Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

shutterstock_185995553
How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

HIFR
Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

shutterstock_186364295
This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

SONY DSC
Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.

shutterstock_186686495
The End of Surveillance for New York Muslims — For Now

How American Muslims modeled the right response to systematic injustice.

sunset-hair
From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.