We've been discussing why online advertising is often a bad idea for advertisers (not so much for many publishers, but that's a different issue), as ad blindness rules the day. Now there's even more evidence, as the already tiny clickthrough rate on online ads is dropping, rapidly. Basically, it sounds like more and more people are simply ignoring online ads, which is to be expected, since they rarely (if ever?) add much of value. This is the advertisers' fault. There are lots of ways that advertisers could actually add value for consumers/readers/users online -- but they're all so scared to death of actually taking that step. Instead, many are so focused on obsolete metrics like the CPM, that they're unable or unwilling to really branch out and try marketing and advertising programs that actually are effective. Simply tossing up more ad banners isn't doing the trick. Really engaging with users would help, but most brands still haven't figured out quite how to do that, even if it isn't particularly complex.
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