Banner pollution caused by zombies?

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Browsers come with pop-up blockers and banner ad blockers and all sorts of add-ons to make sites less blinky and less annoying. I can't remember anyone ever saying they like or look at banner ads. (okay, I mainly read web development stuff, but still...) Usability tests show that experienced users have developed banner blindness and don't even look at things with typical banner ad dimensions. In a recent (March/April 2010) SitePoint podcast, one of the hosts said something along the lines of never having clicked a Google ad link and the other hosts gave knowing chuckles. Kind of a, "Does anyone click on those?!?" rhetorical question. (so even highly targeted Google ad links are skipped by people - I know I don't click on them)

My point is, if people don't bother looking at (let alone clicking on) banner ads, why are they so prevalent? I imagine the answer would be, "It makes money." Okay, if you can get paid to post ads on your site, that's all well and good - but who are the marketing managers who pay for the production and placement of these ads?

The logic to me looks something like this:

  1. We know lots of people hate banner ads
  2. Browsers have plug-ins to block banner ads because they're so annoying
  3. We should spend a lot of money to produce and place banner ads so that we can annoy people

I'm sorry, but it just seems like a brain-dead strategy.

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Follow the money

It might seem brain-dead to you, but it makes money and that's what pays the bills.

How about that! I'm a Drupal association member.

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