online marketing

Is advertising a dirty word for the online community?

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I was reading an article recently and, according to the Advertising Bureau’s annual report,  Facebook saw its year-on-year display advertising rocket by 27.5% in 2010. This now means that Facebook accounts for almost 25% of the UKs online advertising revenues which stand at £4b. Research in advertising trends now shows that £1 in every £4 spent on marketing and advertising by British companies is spent online.

After reading the article online, I continued down the page (as I always do, but by now should know better) to read the various comments posted in response. I was amazed by the rancour aimed at people who had ever dare click on an advertisement – and also the level of superiority of those who had resisted the advertisers best attempts at luring them in.

There were literally 100’s of posts from the ‘morally superior’ describing people that click on ads as morons.

Here’s the thing. I am not defending online advertising as I often find it irritating and, as a fairly heavy internet user, don’t recall clicking on an adertisement to further my interest in any product or service.  As a marketer I have not invested much in online advertising as campaign ROMI has been achieved by using other elements of my communications mix – although I wouldn’t rule it out as in the words of Richard V Benson “There are only two rules in direct marketing. Rule 1: test everything. Rule 2: Refer to Rule 1″ A maxim that should be applied to both the message and medium in my opinion.

However I don’t view the people clicking on advertisements any lower in class, social standing or brain power than me. However I do hold the view that people making such derogatory comments are pompous twats – who spell their anti-commercial/capatalist revolutions with a very small r.

The thing that really irritates me with this smug bunch is that they don’t seem to appreciate that 100s of online services, including Facebook, are paid for by ‘dirty advertisers’.  I would be very interested to see just how high their morale ground is, and deep their pockets are, should Facebook and others start charging say, £300 a year, for the privilege of having an advertisement free service!