Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Great Advertising Scam

Advertising is a scam. It’s not as effective as the advertising industry would want you to believe.

Take CPM or clicks per thousand. (Note: Some ad person wanted to be esoteric and he used M – as in the Roman numeral for thousand – for this abbreviation).

In the past a company or store would just throw an ad in the local newspaper and maybe a couple of people would mention seeing it. With the Internet the success of an ad can be tracked by how many people click on it. From what I’ve read, most newspaper websites see low CPM’s.

But what do most newspapers hope will be their salvation on the Internet? Advertising. But if an advertiser can track how many people bother reading his ad by the number of hits and those hits are pitiful, why should be continue advertising with a poor-performing newspaper website?

And thanks to search engines, a company can promote itself with its own site. Why bother with the hard-to-navigate local newspaper website when eyeballs can go directly to you?

I’ve trained myself to ignore online ads. And like any ad, if the pitch is really annoying, I won’t buy that product or service. Advertising has driven me away instead of luring me in. Advertising can be anti-advertising.

Most advertising agencies and newspaper ad departments must be secretly aware how much they suck. Between being ineffective and even driving customers away, who needs them?

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