Online Advertising is a Nuisance

According to MSNBC earlier this week, 43% of users think that online advertising is a nuisance and, in another survey, 53% respondents said online clutter was a problem [both via Marketing Fix].

Of course, consumers do not like advertising. Nobody likes being advertised at, just as everybody believes that they are not swayed by advertising (but they know people who are!). Is this a big deal? Well, of course, no advertiser wants to believe their advertisement gets in the way and no advertiser wants to annoy users to the extent that they are turned off the product by the commercials. Yet, as noted in many places, TV advertising is the most intrusive advertising – the programme physically stops so they can show you an advertisement. So, why does online advertising come in for such a hard time?

Badly designed advertising can be a nuisance but I think advertising isn’t generally too much of a problem. What I am interested in is the concept of clutter. So many sites these days surround you with advertisements. Banners at the top, buttons down the left, a skyscraper on the right and some kind of rich-media thing walking across the middle. There’s a very large portal who does this kind of thing all the time. They’re making money but it’s very frustrating.

I’m sure cleverly designed advertising in the right place works – in all mediums. The online challenge is to make it work and make it profitable, at least profitable enough to pay for the sites we like.

On this day…