September 21, 2007

The Backlash Will Come

It's not going to take advertisers long to figure out that on-line display advertising has been a failure as an interactive medium (see Two In A Thousand.) It can't sustain its growth for long with a response rate under 2 in a thousand unless it's willing to take big cuts in cpm.

Right now, we're still in the frenzy part of the adoption cycle in which every marketer thinks she has to be doing banner ads on the web. She doesn't know why, but she knows everyone else is and so assumes she has to.

Web zealots can do themselves, and us, a favor. Nobody with half a brain is going to continue to accept banner advertising as dynamically interactive when it has a click through rate of .2%. Instead of continuing to try to sell display advertising on its supposed interactive merits, they can face the facts, admit the issues, and derive a set of principles that help advertisers use the medium in an effective way.

Unless they do, they will face a backlash. It may not be this week or this month, but it's coming.


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