Is The Banner Ad The Bane Of Our Existence?

Cute and beautiful rabbit sitting. Sign in his paw over his head. Isolated on white background, reflection, a lot of copy space.

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One quote suggested you're more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad.

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Two things I’ve read recently brought this question to mind. Last week I came across (and posted via Twitter, LinkedIn and G+) a quote that claimed you are more likely to survive a plane crash than you are to click on a banner ad.

Seems plausible given that in recent memory, I’ve clicked on exactly the same number of banner ads as I have experienced plane crashes. (Zero in both cases.)

But that made me remember a quote I saw in the New York Times about a month ago.

…banner ads have ruined the appearance and usability of the web, perverted content and diminished privacy.

Overstate things much?

I’m certainly not here to defend the banner ad. But, really? We’re going to blame the banner ad itself when it’s really the stunning lack of creativity and usability science shown by nearly every major online publisher in creating the banner ads that are out there?

That seems backwards. I agree that banner ads are a pox and would prefer a web without them, but the issue is not the banner ads themselves; it’s the insistence on thinking in old advertising paradigms rather than heading off in new directions that available technologies make possible.

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