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Counting advertising clicks: "Vastly overrated"

? BW Podcast With Wichita Rutherford |


| Swarthmore's war radio provides a different perspective ?

February 02, 2006

Counting advertising clicks: "Vastly overrated"

Stephen Baker

Do we in the media focus too much on the accountability of Internet advertising? Are we in thrall to the idea of counting clicks? That's what I'm hearing.

Greg Stuart of the Interactive Advertising Bureau tells me that the science of counting clicks is "vastly overrated." He says that clicking on a banner ad does not lead to intent to purchase or brand recognition, and that most Web surfers get the message from the banner itself. Lots of people refrain from clicking on banners because they don't want to take a detour or fear a barrage of pop-ups.

In a similar vein, Jarvis Coffin of BURST! Media says that that too many people (ie. folks like me) are touting the idea of one-to-one accountability of Internet advertising. He also says that we move from one "killer ap" to the next, advancing from e-mail to search advertising, to communities, to blogs, as if each one is the definitive answer. In fact, it's the blend of all these killer apps that makes Internet advertising work. And the principal reason that it works is because people are spending lots and lots of time online.

I told Jarvis that it's the nature of journalism to feast on the new and to... Well, I don't want to use the word "hype," but you get my point. We can't pitch a story saying, "There are some interesting incremental shifts taking place." In any case, do you think we are hyping Internet advertising or blogs? Are we exaggerating, in our self-obsessive way, the disruptive changes coming to our own industry?

07:06 AM


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Well I agree with Jarvis.

I get most of my leads and clients from web searches.

I did get some as well from a piece published in New Jersey Life magazine.

I think magazine pieces complement the online ones and the advertising.

As far as the effectiveness of ADS placed on my Blog, 'Serge the Concierge', I am starting to reconsider.

The content quality of the (click) ADS themselves is not that great.

I start to think that ADS picked through a couple of affiliate programs that I recently joined could be more useful for my readers and create a better revenue stream for me. I can choose them and place them where I feel suitable.

A few months from now, I will have a better idea of what works.

Have a good day




Posted by: Serge Lescouarnec at February 2, 2006 09:57 AM

I've been involved in online advertising since 1996 (and in marketing/advertising since 1981) and I totally agree with my friends Greg and Jarvis. Measuring the effectiveness of online advertising by click rate is like measuring the value of a TV ad by how many people drop the remote, jump into their car, and go to the store. Or how many people decide not to get on the bus but walk across the street to the Gap store because of the poster on the side of the bus. Since the early days of online advertising, studies from IPSOS-ASI, Millward-Brown, Dynamic Logic, etc. etc. proved again and again that online advertising has a greater effect on branding than click rates reveal. Not a sexy story, it's incremental not revolutionary. And marketers have shown they don't really want another medium that does basically the same old job that traditional media do. Now bring me search, which intercepts active shoppers the way no traditional medium can, and that's a whole 'nother story.

Posted by: Jim Nail at February 2, 2006 12:57 PM

hi my name is sephiroth and i have something to say so please read on if u want to find out.Ads have been cutting off bits of shows for years now lets just cancel out adds for a while so no one misses there shows no more!

Posted by: sephiroth90 at October 26, 2006 07:59 PM

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