Friday, December 3, 2010

You get what you pay for

For years, I've been asking politely to see evidence that Internet advertising works. I've watched it race away from mainstream media to whatever new digital platform seems hottest at any moment. But I've always wondered if it works.

In part, that comes from my own experience with finding a new travel location. The beach that I've used in recent years has lost its appeal since the latest hurricane attack, so I'm searching for another. Used to be, travel sections were filled with great advertising making me think of this alternative or that. Today's travel sections are filled with . . . nothing. Where has the travel advertising money gone, I ask. Why to the Internet where it is targeted, I'm told.

Well I spend much of my life on the Internet, and I am actively seeking travel ideas, and newspaper and magazine advertising guided me repeatedly in the past. Not so today.

Finally some data seeps through: Americans ignore Internet advertising in record numbers. They ignore other forms as well, but not nearly as much as they ignore Internet advertising. What Internet advertising seems to have going for it is that it's cheap. So is television at 3 a.m. You get what you pay for.

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