Banners can be star-spangled

I read with interest the article “A new nail in banner advertising’s coffin” (MW February 22). However, reports of the death of the banner ad have been greatly exaggerated.

Recent news stories have highlighted reduced spending on banner campaigns, falling click-through rates, and consequent depletion of revenue for sites dependent on advertising. However, sites such as are bucking this trend – showing healthy growth in revenues while supplying cost-effective traffic to advertisers.

The sites which have avoided this supposed crisis in online advertising are those which effectively integrate banners into the “user experience” of the site. Unless the consumer can see a clear and relevant benefit in taking action, banners will continue to function mainly as a branding tool, creating awareness but not significant numbers of clicks. But if the banner becomes an integral part of what they came to the site to do, then the site delivers a cost-effective channel to the advertiser and thus delivers revenue.

The online advertising model has grown this far on the twin benefits of targeting and accountability. Those companies which combine these with the virtue of integration will continue to reap the rewards.

John Balmond

Site marketing manager

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