December 11, 2008

You Read It Here First

Over a year ago, we predicted that online display advertising was headed for trouble. From The Ad Contrarian, September 21, 2007:
"The Backlash Will Come

It's not going to take advertisers long to figure out that online 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...

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...

Web zealots can do themselves and us a favor...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."
Two weeks ago (November 24, 2008), Ad Age ran this:
"Is The End Near For Display Ads?

...Web publishers and agency executives said they are under growing pressure to prove the value of online display advertising..."
Despite the fact that display ads are remarkably ineffective, Ad Age is wrong in suggesting that "the end is near" for them. The end is nowhere in sight. There are three reasons for this:
1. Banner ads are cheap.
2. They are a great source of alibi advertising.
3. The metrics are so arcane, no one knows what they hell anyone is talking about.
So don't worry. You'll have the opportunity to ignore banner ads for many years to come.
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